Africa is the oldest landmass in existence. 97% of African soil is approximately 300 million years old. African soil has given birth to humanity as a whole spanning through all divisions of race and ethnicity that we know today. Over time, history has recorded great kingdoms and empires that were built and maintained by African people making us Kings and Queens among other things. Somewhere in time we fell out of our royal standings and fell to where we reside now: the bottom of the modern social hierarchy.
Today, Black people are assumed to be thugs, drug dealers and addicts, violent and barbaric individuals; never really seen as what we truly are. Black people are strong, ambitious, savvy and all around beautiful aspects of humanity. We are survivalists. Within every neighborhood, Black people season the atmosphere with boisterous personality and perspective granting those around them the ability to delve into the heart and soul of Black culture. Every person of color, whether it be a drug addict or a great inventor, each Black person contributes to the richness of the people as a whole. Now before I proceed, don’t mistake the idea of “contribution” to be singularly positive or negative; there are both benefits and setbacks for each concept. At the same time, it would behoove people not to inertly relate negativity to those with fewer possessions and positivity to those who are rich in worldly or material things. The Black man on the street can be rich in knowledge whereas the Black man in corporate America can be starving mentally.
Amandla Stenberg once wrote “what would America be like if it loved Black people as much as it loves Black culture?”
Stenberg brings up a powerful concept of the perception of America on Black people. Being that the people make up the content of the culture her statement conveys the idea that there is something about Black people that is both enchanting yet threatening. For example, among Black people it is common to have the mindset that the government or “the white man” is holding them down. To a certain degree, that mindset is true. Even in “free” America we see remnants of red-lining, the oh so popular racial profiling, discrimination in professional settings, all around social perception of the Black man, the list goes on. Why would these things still be in effect if they didn’t think we were great? They try to break us down because they are completely aware of what we’re capable of; our untapped potential. We are destined for greatness. Now this is not to say that Black people cannot break out of the confinement that the government has placed us in but the issue is lack of motivation and drive to do so. Motivation and drive can be discovered through consciousness. Once we as a people gain awareness of ourselves, our history and our surroundings we will have begun the journey of returning to the kingdom.
“True teaching is not an accumulation of knowledge; it is an awakening of consciousness which goes through successive stages.” -Ancient Egypt
Consciousness is the exercise of wisdom rather than the expression of knowledge. It is the utilization of culture and history to transform the current circumstance. Consciousness makes way for unification of a people while working to return people of color to our rightful place as rulers.
Although it is not difficult to find empowerment for Black people; it is difficult to expect change without action. It is often we hear that “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:17) so rather than continue to quote literature, figures and tradition we should begin the process of achieving consciousness with the goal to return to the kingdom.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” -Rumi
Once we reinvent ourselves we can then proceed to change the world.