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The Vitality of Learning About the Black Heritage Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Saint, Nigeria Oct 20, 2003
Human Rights   Opinions
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The fundamental problems concerning the past, personality, education and the ''who'' of the African person has been a thing of ridicule. Blacks have been educated away from their own culture and traditions, as African peoples have attached themselves to European cultures to the detriment of our own heritage. In fact, a positive identity or enhanced self-concept is critical for the academic, social, and personal success of Black community everywhere. And this is where the learning of Black history becomes important.

The main objective why blacks should learn black history has always been to promote Afro-centric awareness through the use of knowledge derived from our books, programs and activities. What we need is confidence in ourselves, so that as blacks we can be conscious, united, independent and creative. Knowledge of African achievements in art, education, religion, politics, agriculture, medicine, science and the mining of metals can help us gain the necessary confidence which has been removed by slavery and colonialism.

The use of historical knowledge is the greatest weapon we can use in our struggle for complete liberation. I find it really a tragedy that many African children grow up today convinced of their own inferiority. The educational process largely ignores the contributions of Blacks to world civilization and is full of negative perceptions of Blacks and their culture. The school system in North America has continually perpetuated the historical myths and stereotypes about the African past. So if we are to stand up and face the odds against the back community, we need to learn ourselves so that if they say that Africans don't have a history, we should be able to point out the fallacy in such ignorant statements by referring to works by distinguished African historians such as Cheikh Anta Diop, Chancellor Williams, Walter Rodney, Adu Boahen, John Jackson, Yosef Ben-Jochannan, John Hope Franklin, Leronne Bennett Jr., John Henrik Clarke, J. F. Ade Ajayi and many more. Thanks to their works, we've come to know that when we talk about African history, we are also talking about African astronomy, African mathematics, African metallurgy, African medicine, African engineering and so on. And thanks to the great contribution by the late African historian, Cheikh Anta Diop, we now know that the history that we need to recover includes that Egyptian science and technology which laid the foundation for the development of Europe. This efforts of stimulating minds to seek knowledge and information about their past are done for the purpose of rediscovering self identity as a people. (Cultural conservation and perseverance) if blacks will read the history of Africa, the history of our ancestors' people of whom we should feel proud of, we will realize that we have a history that is worth while. We have traditions of which we can boast and upon which you can base a claim for a right to a share in the blessings of democracy today.

Over time, many of us Africans have been injected with inferiority complexes, humiliation and cultural degradation as a result of the lack of knowledge of our past and ourselves. We have become caricatures and an inferior subset of the human race in the body of Western thought. Which further handicap us by teaching that the black face is a curse and that our struggle to change our condition is hopeless is the worst form of lynching, because It has kills most of our aspirations and dooms us to vagabondage and crime.

Enough of this tragedy of colonialists and white racists to degrade Africans in this manner, but this tragedy is only compounded when Africans join in the mockery. Therefore, to me, there can be no freedom until there is freedom of the mind. Therefore the study of black history will give blacks an enormous need to celebrate themselves everyday of the year with their self-esteem and a sense of the positive achievements of their people, providing self-confidence and self-pride which are essential to any program of assertiveness.

Besides building self-esteem among blacks, helps eliminate prejudice among whites. These aimed both to inculcate in the mind of the youth of African blood an appreciation of what their race has thought and felt and done and to publicize the facts of the Black among whites, so that the Negro may enjoy a larger share of the privileges of democracy as a result of the recognition of his worth.

Let us, then, study our history with the understanding that we are not, after all, an inferior people, that our dark melanin coated skin is not a sign of weakness but and embodiment of power and great potentials untapped. So let us lift up our heads high and chest out for we are going back to that beautiful history and it is going to inspire us to greater achievements. It is not going to be long before we can sing the story to the outside world as to convince it of the value of our history and we are going to be recognized as men. Know your history and you will always be wise.

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Awake !! brothers
Obinnah.S.Anyanwu | Dec 26th, 2003
There is more to the blacks than what the contempory soceity thinks and I am about to prove that only time will tell

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