Black Pride and What’s Wrong With Black People?

Black Pride… What’s wrong with Black People?

I’ve never really taken the time to think about what the phrase black pride meant, only that it must mean different things to different people, even to those who may not be black. Black people are the only people who feel that they need to be proud of their skin colour. They need to constantly prove that they are beautiful, smart, and intelligence as individuals and as a race.

Why for heavens’ sake? Being black is not a pre-disposition to criminal behavior  drug addiction, poor fashion sense, bad hair, ignorance or apathy or obesity! Seriously let’s start killing the stereotypes by not buying into them ourselves. Stop apologizing for universal human traits!

Whereas I am proud to be black and proud to be myself and have no aspirations to turn Michael Jackson anytime soon, the constant pressure of self-acceptance on the basis of skin colour and race is overwhelming! Furthermore, you sometimes feel like you’re a representative of every black person in the world wherever you go and even to black people!

I am almost afraid to be myself!  And when a black person has done something wrong and it’s flashed across the 6 pm news, there are some of us who hang our head in shame. How could that person do that? Don’t they know that they are making me look bad as a black person? Lets get over ourselves!

Errh, that person wasn’t thinking of skin colour or race when they were stealing. Most likely thinking of their own selfish needs and survival. Damn them! Anyway…

Although many of us know that a persons’ race and culture doesn’t make them more likely to committing a crime, why do we get so touchy about? Is it the way the stories are portrayed? Or do we really believe that black people are prone to criminal behavior (mostly petty crimes and gun crimes of course, because the sociopathic stuff is done by white folks who enjoy a good kill and like to cut their victims into pieces out of sheer boredom and because their mamas didn’t love them). Oh my! The dangers of racial and cultural stereotypes!

A while ago, Africans where appearing on the 6 pm news for not so good reasons at an alarming rate. Like almost every day! Featured in stories of youth crime and gang violence. Every time after the stories would appear on the news, my white neighbors would look at me as if I’d committed the crime myself.

Being me, I’d give them a cheeky look and stare at them making them slightly uncomfortable while they read the headlines of the violent African youths in Australia and their failure to assimilate in the papers.

After  wave of this media insanity, community protests against the demonization of visible migrants in Australia (that’s what they are now calling people who stand out for racial reasons).

With the backlash against the media for their sensationalized reporting of coloured folks and their apparent appetite for social disorder, this little girl could again walk the streets and wonder into stores without getting suspicious looks from poor frightened white folks (oh I wonder what the Muslims are going through).

Anyway, now I hope people will stop asking me about why there’s so much fighting in Africa and why are black people killing each other! Pardon my ignorance but I can’t answer the questions around why there are boy soldiers fighting wars and why the soldiers in the Congo are raping the women! I’ve never even heard of the place (joking)!

I am proud to be African, I am proud to be black but I refuse to take responsibility for everything that some people feel is wrong with black people or Africans.

Aren’t you just sick of hearing the phrase what’s wrong with black people! I guess you will all just have to accept yourselves warts and all and stop excepting people to not let you done because they are black or Africans or whatever!

After all we’re only human.

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6 Comments »

  1. Timi Onduku-Pedley said

    That was a good thought provoking piece. I totally agree, taking on the shame of crimes that other black folks has committed is wrong wrong wrong!… there are evil specimens in every given race in these planet not just the black race. Great work Visso

  2. julian ophel said

    i thought the term “black pride” originated in the usa civil rights movements of late1950s-early 1960s because it was clear that “white subjugation” having been so strong for so long that it had lead many African-americans to low self-esteem – a feeling of inferiority as person rather than as treated. the need for “Black is Beautiful” for many was clearly evidenced in many songs [eg oh my yeller, oh my yeller gel] and in the stimulus for “My Handsome Brown-eyed Man” in place of “My Handsome Black Skinned Man” etc. it served purpose for a time, but without more real improvement in social form it’s still a need.
    All colonialism – wether African or any other produces a wide feeling of “inferiority” in most who have suffered it – only the strong in mind survive it and rise to make the fight for “equality liberty self-possession or whatever” large apologies if this seems trivial – much love, jules

    • Thank you so much for your input and positive comments. You are right about the origins of the phrase ‘black pride’ and its symbolism for racial unity and individual black self empowerment.
      Has a race and a people we have so much to be proud of that I think that sometimes as people we still get so caught up busying ourselves trying to disprove and not live up to the racial stereo types that prevent the re-development of our cultural identity and cultivation of our individual freedom.
      I am glad that we can all make a positive contribution to greater enlightenment.
      Many thanks for your comments and lots of love.

      • julian ophel said

        please pardon my wordiness, but i had intended saying a little more but found i speak to much.
        would have said that in the usa civil rights movements very little was said publicly till after much consideration and argument, that there were many who where unhappy about the “Black is Beautiful” and more the “Black Power” approach – some because it was seen to be promoting further ‘divide’, some that if extended it might develop something approaching ‘role-reversal’ more than ‘equality’.
        the one beauty of usa is that record of such discussions are maintained and can be considered still from the time of Harriet Tubman through writing of her contemporaries, through Marcus Garvey’s volumes of written argument – and then to late fifties on also in film and video.
        being badly educated, and speaking only english i have been unable to comprehend the times and struggles of Africans in different regions.
        i desire to know how much there is in common all over the world in proposals and arguments for and against particular means of struggle and particular primary aims (those elements thought most important to be gained first). contrasting Ghandi or Martin Luther King jr with Jomo Kenyatta or Kwame Nkrumah et al would be excellent help in constructing methods for approaching present day needed changes.
        sorry – i wish i was more brief, love, jules

      • beautyandtheblackwoman said

        Jules, I’ve been fortunate this year to have spent almost three months in three African countries (Angola, Namibia, Kenya). I am originally from Angola and went home for the first time. My reasons for living were unfortunate. Angola was embroiled in one of the longest civil wars in the world, one aided by western countries such as the USA. The civil rights movement and the political revolutions that occurred in countries in South America and Africa where universal movements and a backlash against colonial powers and its evils throughout what the west affectionately called the ‘third world’.
        For most African’s and other parts of the world the fight for freedom turned into ugly civil wars that have ear marked Africans as violent barbarians who are unable to rule themselves without the aid or assistance of their former colonial powers.
        Same hair issues, skin colour issues occur throughout Africa, even in the presence of very strong cultural traditions that unfortunately are now being corrupted by western media. Africans and African Americans have more in common than just skin colour. The suffering of Africans from the hands of europeans did not end when slavery ended. In my country, the fight for getting our country back did not end until 1975. Originally colonized by the Portuguese, fighting to keep our Angolan identity and racial pride went on for 500 years! I’ve lost grandparent’s, Aunties, cousins, Uncles (in the most brutal of ways), and I’m now living in a foreign country of which I am not always happy about. I want to go home, but even though the war is over, there are other logistical complications, it’s not that easy.
        I originally wrote this blog post more out of annoyance as I found myself trying to explain or defend human behavior that some black folks have been hoodwinked into believing is associated with their skin colour.
        Recently I had a meeting with a psychotherapist as I have been researching the psychological basis for self-loathing and the depreciating behaviors some of us black folks participate in as a race. The unfortunate truth is that the colonials have been very effective at polluting our minds. They have stripped us of our spiritual beliefs and replaced them with Christianity, demonised our cultural practices as being barbaric, we’ve given up so much of ourselves just to survive on all levels and most of us are not even aware of it. I am researching for a book on the psychology of hair care because it frightens on how willing we’ve given up who we are to fit in. What is the pay off! Now I have gone on….
        Thanks again for the discussion. Sorry if I haven’t made much sense. I might have just gotten to passionate. yes in short the struggle for freedom was not African Americans alone. We too in Africa have kept fighting (in our own back yards). We have more in common than you think, the only difference is that we remained on the continent and African Americans represent the many suffering African tribes that remain in Africa only you guys suffered away from your home, which is a lot harder to deal. Feel your pain… lots of love.

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