Black-man, has for years been dependent and reliant on other races, particularly the white race. For centuries we have been taught to beg for what’s left on the master’s table. Moulded, through miseducation, to fit perfectly into a system that sees us as pawns that makes it even richer and the vast majority of the blacks both in and outside of Africa and in the diaspora, remained in deep poverty and profound destitution.
That which makes us aspire to enter the echelons of the master and that which sees our black brothers and sisters entering the poor and over-expensive middle class, which live in deep debt. It’s not only financial biceps that a black nation was dispossessed of when the enslavers, settlers and the colonizers touched on our shores. One valuable aspect that they also took from us is our rich culture. They then subjected us to what they termed as European civilization. Through this concept, everything not in line with European culture was seen as backward and barbaric. Every black person who aspires not to be a European, those who reject the idea of whiteness assimilation, are being ousted from society through stigmatization.
Cultural capital goes about as a social connection inside an arrangement of trade that incorporates the gathered social knowledge that confers power and status. It’s a capital that defines a nation. Our culture, art, music, spirituality and education are essential apparatuses that the white man possesses and therefore entitles him to dictate what literature, education and economics are. It’s that, which makes him decides what art is, what are good and bad moral and what is an appropriate and inappropriate religion.
That which when a black person has to submit their thesis the white supervisor in a white institution, would be censored in line with whiteness. In line with what makes whites remain to be seen as clever, more knowledgeable and inherently smart. That which in order for a black person to get published, by a white publishing company, they’d have to conform to a whiteness definition of literature. They’ll have to have written about white content, about white characters or black characters in such a way to reinforces stereotypical way that benefits whiteness.
Since a white nation owns most of the institutions that administer education, music, art, literature and economics, a black man just has to play along to his rules. It’s this cultural capital that has our black brothers and sisters disowning their home languages because they are not economically viable according to a white man. That has them rather abandoning their African accents to appeal to the whiteness and perhaps land themselves a job in a white corporate company. It’s the one that has most of our people abandoning their lifestyles and conforming to whiteness assimilation in order to please a white man and conceivably have a piece of his pie.
The one has our brothers and sisters subsequent to having a bit of white master’s cake flee from our communities and settle in white neighbourhoods, because a white man through cultural capital, dictates what is a healthy environment and which one isn’t. It is the same one that has our people sending their kids to white schools as education is nearness to whiteness, they are told. Cultural capital is orchestrated through economic power. Since the dominant race owns the means of production and therefore owns most institutions. It’s administered through media, white owned media. It is the one that shapes people’s view on what beauty is. That has held the definition of beauty as being whose pale and pink, one who’s slim and probably with a sharp nose. And until we gain control of such powerful platforms, we’ll forever be subjected to whiteness and its demonic manifestations.
What is the solution for Africans? One might ask. How do we free ourselves from this propagated and tainted culture that we are subjected to? How do we misconstrue the fallacy of white civilization and bring back the proud culture of Africans? The great African civilizations that existed even way before European civilization existed, the ones that defined our art such as the Benin Bronzes, which decorate palaces and are used for highly naturalistic royal heads from around the Yoruba town of life.
Art and instruments such as, rhythmic and spiritual African music, like the lamellophone thumb piano or mbira, a popular instrument in the African Great Lakes. Our traditional Maskandi and Isicathamiya music that has been side-lined by the imposition of European culture through cultural capital also falls under that category. And then our African literature that is free from European influence. The answer is one. We first have to establish our own institutions. This is how nations survive. It’s how the Roman Empires survived. How Europe survives today and certainly how our ancestors survived before theirs was taken away by a white man.
We establish institutions such as academic institutions that will teach African content and history. History teaches us that one will never find a progressive African scholar in a white establishment. By progressive I mean, those who don’t sing to the master’s tune. From Harvard to Stanford one would find none. All the great African scholars and historians like John Henrik Clarke came from black African institutions. There were fewer facilities which were designated to blacks. In Africa as well, some of the great African minds like Oliver Tambo, Robert Mugabe and Prof Mangaliso Sobukwe were educated in black establishments, which were given the status of Bantu universities. One of them was Fort Hare University.
It would be stupid and naïve of us to think that those that had oppressed us for centuries through Atlantic Slave Trade, Colonization, Apartheid and now neo-colonization, would at some point regain their consciousness and educate us to dismantle their much unearned gains. It would be dumb of us not to set up our own institutions and re-educate our children and cleanse them of the junk miseducation we’ve for centuries been fed. It would be a grave error for us to believe that when those same people first came to Africa they did not come to milk us dry and maximize their profits. Proof is this; when they first landed/docked on African shores their first encounter was one of violence towards us.
Will we ever be free of such a past? It’s through the establishment of our own institutions that we’ll be able to have our pride, our heritage, and our rich culture back. This will allow us to write and publish literature which is pro-African. It will also allow us to publish and produce knowledge which is for the advancement of Africans. It will allow us to redefine what it means to be educated in Africa and being able to back your community and empower others. We’ll be able to live in an African way of life that is communal and interactive. Not individualistic European concept of education of ‘one man for himself’ that our people seem to have adopted among other demonic practices of Europeans.
Through accumulation of cultural capital the black nation will free themselves from mental enslavement brought about by negative images of black people in the media. For we’ll have our own and we can educate our children of the rich and powerful culture blacks have. We’ll free ourselves from economic bondage that is linked to white institutions like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, those that have us swimming in pool of poverty through high interest rates debts and recapture of African continent. We’ll establish our economics and trade among ourselves. Research tells us that black are the biggest consumers of white products. We are the breath that keeps the white economy breathing. We are the force behind their success.
We can achieve the same as African Americans; they succeeded in boycotting white owned businesses and institutions to make their profits go down and make those same white institutions and businesses pay attention to their needs and demands. That should be our motivation as blacks to deprive the whites of what they deprived us of and lead to black economic prosperity. Only then will black consumerism crumble and the white man’s pockets become flat, leaving them unable to take advantage of the blacks’ nation. We’ll then practice black economics; you only buy from black people. Those who are in service will only be providing their products to black wholesalers and suppliers.
Those in Supplying and manufacturing only procures material from black corporations. We read black that we buy from black owned book stores and which literature is published by black publishing companies. Even those black publishing companies buy their material from black corporations. It will take time buy eventually we’ll be there. We’d have freed not only ourselves but our children and future generations. We’ll wear black brands from black owned stores. This is how we establish cultural capital.
The black nation has for so long been the back bone of white success. Our brothers and sisters are educated through the same education that moulds them to become future workers in white companies and pawns to a white man’s economic prosperity. This sees them, after graduating, entering into white law firms, white accounting firms, and all the white owned corporate structures. They work their butts off, sweat blood for the peanuts they earn, which makes them think that they’ve arrived. Then they take all their earnings and give it all back to a white man through consumerism; conspicuous consumption by the so called black middle class.
Those black people work their entire lives and until the system of whiteness is done with them. When they are no longer productive and a white man cannot make as much from them anymore, he spits them out like sour fruit. He throws them outside like he never knew them and as they say life goes on. Their children will come and serve the same master and their children will do the same and the vicious cycle of enslavement continues like it has for the past hundreds of years. If we take this away from the white man we can then establish our own law firms, our own constructions firms and empower our people to stop begging the white master.
What we do not create however, is what the new ruling class has created; the black bourgeoisie that seeks to replicate the same system of whiteness now under the name of black elites are detached from the entire black community. The reason for this is that we don’t have cultural capital. When these black elites make it to the upper structure they get consumed by the prevailing whiteness and end up assimilating. They, as much as they claim that they have arrived, don’t even own corporations. They are, as much as all black people are, pawns in the white man’s game. They dance to the master’s tune until we liberate them by establishing our own economic structure that will consume them and have them serving the black nation. They’ll sing the master’s notes as much as all of us do now.
Tell us: Do you agree with the author? Should wanting a better life for yourself as a black person be considered as selling out? Why? Why not?