I am sure whoever coined this term “Afrocentrism” must have been narcissistic in nature or had some narcissistic qualities ingrained in their psyche (but then again, a lot of us do have some narcissistic tendencies). Please do not mistake Pan Africanism for Afrocentrism though the latter was influenced by the former. It is believed that W. E. B. Du Bois came up with that term though this has been a hotly contended subject, so I am not even going to go there. However, I know the whole idea behind this ego-centered term was for a way for African-Americans (those who embraced the ideology) to help validate their identity in a society that had made them feel less than significant and told them that they didn’t matter. But I am of the school of thought that any concept that denies or lessens the contribution of different cultures and ideologies so as to promote and elevate their own concepts already calls for some concern and is trouble in the making. I mean isn’t that how Hitler got started? The problem lies when the society is already in a vulnerable position which makes them susceptible and open to all types of spheres of influence.
I think the mistake we make as the human race is when we allow our diversity to become a crutch in which society can then use against us. Then we continue this vicious cycle by retaliating and doing the exact same thing, ensuring that this malicious progression doesn’t get broken. It is very easy to hate those that hate us and to take an eye for an eye and want to lash back to those who have wounded us and broken us and mistreated us, but how does that make us any different from the offenders? I beg (Nigerian style)! Please do not think I take lightly what happened to Black people and in a lot of places what is still happening. Being a black woman from Africa and having lived in various continents has allowed me to be exposed to different cultures and societies and belief systems. I have lived in radical societies where any form of dissent was met with the threat of death to open societies where people were free to express themselves and all that has taught me this: We are fundamentally all the same.
Living in these different societies and always being the minority helped me understand how important it is to know yourself and understand where you came from because that in turn will help you define who you are as a person. That is why history is so important, but what happens when history is clouded or altered? Such thing like Afrocentrism contributes to this issue by twisting history and the focus so as promote an ideology. I know how important it is to embrace our culture and our heritage, but we should be aware of how we are not isolated in our existence and we impact and influence other cultures and systems through our interactions whether positively or negatively or both! I don’t like the fact that I experienced racism purely because of my color skin, but I don’t hide behind that and make it my ultimate truth. I will probably continue experiencing racism throughout my life, that’s the unfortunate fact, but there is more to my story and I won’t allow that to be my basis of classification for all non-black people. We cannot treat racism with reverse racism and unfortunately that is what Afrocentrism promotes!
We need to come to a place where we acknowledge that globalization is inevitable and we do not have all the answers as a continent and it is OK to allow exchange to take place. We should also look at how we can use this as a leverage to advance collectively and see a brighter future for the African people and the African continent and essentially the world at large.
My blog has been stagnant for a month now and I have done so on purpose. Not because there is a lack of things to write about when it seems like every time I blink my eyes there is some newsworthy event capturing the world’s attention. Also not because I am lazy, which would be easy to conclude because if there is a lot to write about, why am I not doing so?
I have not written anything for a while mainly for 2 reasons. One because I was not feeling inspired and secondly because I have started a new chapter in my life and I wanted to settle into it before I started writing. This new chapter in my life is not so much physical, but more of a mental change, a shift in my consciousness of thinking and a new pair of “life” glasses to go with it.
Of late, I have really taken to reflecting on my life, on my choices, my priorities, asking myself what is important to me. I have noticed as my thinking is undergoing a turn around, the things that use to matter a whole lot to me and would consume me no longer hold as much importance over me. Some would call it getting perspective, I call it a spiritual awakening.
I started 2012 optimistic, full of hope and expectations of how this year will turn out to be. As the year progressed, reality settled in and I slowly saw those expectations and hopes slowly take a backseat as I scrambled to make sense of everything. On the outside no one could tell how entirely lost I felt in my soul, wondering where was God in all this mess? Why was there so much death around me? Why was I being reminded of how short life is, that anything can happen and life can be gone in a blink of an eye? I should say though with all the darkness, there were moments of light. Moments that will forever leave me with a smile in my heart of gratitude for the people who have touched me for the better.
So end of Nov and most of December have been my chance to take an analytical look at Gloria and what she wants and where she is going. I have come to a final conclusion that has been ingrained in me, but I have tried to run away from. That without God, it is like chasing the wind- useless. I can climb to the top of the corporate ladder, can be making it rain, live in the crib of all cribs, but without Him it would be like having a beautiful and expensive fruit bowl with plastic fruits. Beautiful to stare at but that’s all it’s good for.
So there it is friends, my revelation. My secret key to life, except now that you know, it is no longer a secret, but a truth I am growing in and embracing. As I am growing and changing, so will this blog to reflect and capture the essence of who and what I am about it. A big thank you to all my supporters, fans, friends, and families for allowing me take this journey and share it with you as I continue to show you: “The World Through My Eyes”