We start by expressing in clear language that whether evolutionary development drove us from Africa 70,000 years ago (the Aboriginals in Australia), the transatlantic slave trade forced us out of Africa 300 years ago, or Africa's challenged economic infrastructure caused us to leave Africa last week, we are still all Africans. On this question, we should take direction from the Australian Aboriginal Africans, who left Africa so long ago, but still saw the importance of participating in the historical 5th Pan-African Congress in 1945 (the Aboriginal Rights Society). They made that connection to Africa, despite thousands upon thousands of years of separation from Africa, because they knew that their need to connect to Africa is not about it being the place they came from. The connection is all about them understanding the relationship between the future of Africa and their future.
So, for the sake of argument, we start by declaring we are all Africans whether in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, Central/South America, Australia, or Africa. We are Africans. Now, from that point we transition to discuss the major trauma, particularly Africans born and living in the U.S., have about connecting to Africa. I've spent over a half century on this Earth and 66% of that time has been spent as a Pan-Africanist - meaning I believe every person of African descent is an African that belongs to the African nation. With Africans within the U.S., we are being faced today with a reality where we are pushing back against the concept of being Africans. Anyone who studies the scientific evidence would immediately have to relinquish to the clear reality of who we are. Everything from the origins of Sickle Cell Anemia to our common usage of clear African verbal communication techniques (uh huh, um, um, um - how many non-Africans have you seen communicating like that?) makes it unquestionable that we are African people. Unfortunately, the challenge with this understanding today is the intense trauma Africans in the U.S. feel around this question. As Malcolm X so eloquently articulated, "you know nothing about Africa, and you aren't accepted in America." So, the African in the U.S. is in a strange and unique emotional condition where, based on our understanding of this dilemma, we are forced to go with the devil - the U.S. - because that's the only thing that we know and this reality is extremely traumatizing for us. Its the equivalent of a child being forced to be with a parent who clearly has contempt for them. That consistently brutalizes and rejects them. That child is going to grow up extremely dysfunctional and that's the sad situation Africans within the U.S. find ourselves in today.
This is a problem that doesn't impact other Africans stolen from Africa to the same extent and there are historical reasons why. In South America - places like Guyana, Brazil, etc., and Central America and the Caribbean, enslaved Africans outnumbered our European captors. So, even though they had superior weapons and were able to physically dominate us at various times, there were many more of us then them in places like Cuba, Brazil, Belize, Jamaica, Haiti, etc. As a result, those Africans were able to retain much of our African culture. Culture is a people's definition of who they are. So, despite our impoverished conditions in Haiti, Brazil, etc., we still knew who we were. This is unquestionably documented. Its the reason West African Ife is still practiced in the Caribbean (Santeria) and Brazil. In fact, in Bahia, Brazil, Africans can still be heard speaking West African Yoruba. And, for anyone who has traveled to places like Jamaica or Haiti, as well as Africa, much of what is happening appears very, very similar. So, Africans outside of the U.S. in the Western Hemisphere have been able to hang onto their sense of who we are and that sense has permitted us to hold that basic level of humanity that has helped us cope with the inhumanity of this backward capitalist nightmare we have been living for the last 500 years. If you need an example of why this is important, think about the old saying that everyone needs something to believe in. If someone doesn't have that something, their reasons for living diminish to the point where they are a danger to themselves and others. Well, a people with no sense of who they are can be that danger to themselves and others.
Unlike our family members who were able to retain some element of our culture, Africans in the U.S. were physically dominated by Europeans. We were brutally punished if we even thought about attempting to speak our languages and practice our cultural norms. Why? Because the Europeans knew that the way to subdue and subjugate a people is to eliminate their understanding of who they are. So, here we are today with our only understanding of spirituality being provided to us by the system that oppresses us. Actually, pretty much everything we do, all the way down to what we call ourselves, has been provided to us by our enemies. This tragic phenomenon has caused an almost psychological breakdown among the African masses in the U.S. I would argue, ironically, that it has only been the undetected African elements within us that have permitted us to survive. Or, as Africans within the Uhuru movement say "unleash the African within you struggling to be free!" Still, all struggle is of course dialectical, so on the surface, we feel abandoned, rejected, and forced to identify with a system that has made it quite clear it wants nothing to do with us. That would cause anyone to go insane. For many of us, this trauma has resulted in our having intense anger against Africa just as any abandoned child would have against a parent who they perceive left them to face misery unprotected. This backward system has repressed any knowledge of our African experience so most of us have no idea of the many, many, efforts our people made to recover those of us who were lost. History is full of examples of Africans who overtook slave ships and directed them here, many of them to never make it, in sincere efforts to rescue those of us who were captured. Another thing Africans in the U.S. aren't thinking about, because of this trauma, is the extent to which our kidnapping crippled Africa. Imagine yourself on a camping trip with all the people you love. Picture these beautiful people being picked off one by one. Would you sit there and say "well, that's them." Of course you wouldn't. You would try to defend them, but at the same time, you had to ensure you were not captured, that your remaining loved ones were safe. And, even after the captors left, wouldn't you be forever haunted by being unable to stop this carnage from happening to you and your family? All one has to do is explore the Elmira Slave dungeon in Cape Coast, Ghana, Goree Island, in Senegal, and other locations and you would see the scars of pain left from those who could not stop our holocaust from happening. This history has been kept from Africans in the U.S. because doing so serves the interests of our enemies. They know they have to always make you think you have absolutely no alternative except to stay with them, no matter how much they abuse us.
The other traumatic piece is the shameful and disgraceful analysis of Africans in the U.S. that is consistently being provided by Africans born in Africa who come to the U.S. For most Africans in the U.S., this is their primary and only source of information about Africa. The first thing that must be said about that is if you lived next door to Jeb and Jethro in any U.S. city, I doubt you would stroll over to them while they were drinking beer on their porch and flying confederate flags to secure their insight into what makes the U.S. tick? My point is just because someone is from somewhere doesn't mean they know a damn thing about that place. People have all types of selfish and opportunistic reasons for believing the things they do. Or, as Malcolm tried to educate us 50 years, we have always had field and house negroes, in Africa as well as in every other place in the African world.
If you stop and think about all the anti-immigration rhetoric happening within the U.S., its important to understand this racism didn't come out of nowhere. Prior to 1965, practically no immigrants of color were even permitted within the U.S. because of the quota system that was in operation then. It was only because of the African civil rights movement that this racist quota system was disbanded and since that time approximately 85% of the immigrants coming to the U.S. have been non-European (white). With this understanding, its certainly absurd for any African born in Africa to look down their noses at Africans in the U.S. since our struggle here is the only reason they are here. And, if you have been to Africa as often as I have you know how difficult it is to get a visa to come into the U.S. Its even harder now, but its never been easy. I've even experienced struggle getting back in this country and I was born and raised here. African activists used to have to marry Africans born at home in Africa as the only way they could stay here. What else would you expect from this racist country? So, my point is with women advertising in African newspapers for U.S. "citizen" men to bring them over here, any African here with a visa is an African who comes from some level of influence in Africa. They are not the everyday African in Africa who by and large, are lucky if they travel 100 miles their entire life. Most of you in command of your sanity would never accept someone like Clarence Thomas (sell out U.S. Supreme Court Justice), Ben Carson (Trump Secretary), or Kanye West as your spokesperson in other countries, so why would you accept just any random African born in Africa as the voice of the entire African continent? This isn't to say every African born in Africa is a mouthpiece of our enemies. I have had the honor and privilege to recruit and/or work with scores of African youth born in Africa who see through the games of our enemies just as we see them from our vantage point. Its just that far too many of our people born in Africa see coming here and "fitting in" as the pathway to "success" in the U.S. and unfortunately, a portion of that pathway is mistreating the African masses here, an unquestioned requirement in advancing through the social code system of this country.
Confusion about Africa is a key component to capitalism's continued exploitation of cheap African resources. The minute Africans wake up to this 500 scam against us, its over for imperialism. They know that, but as long as we continue to play by their rules, they know they have little to worry about. Playing by their rules means refusing to engage in serious study about Africa, its history, and its relationship to you as an African in the U.S. The trauma we have because of how we have been brutalized by this system is understandable, but what isn't acceptable is how many of us know we have never read a single book on Africa and wouldn't know a passport application if it slapped us in the face, yet we are insistent on arguing against being Africans or having any connection to Africa. That's just lazy and ill-responsible. If you are satisfied with that, then stop reading this right now, but if you would like to do better, there is a pathway for us out of this sad situation. First, you must decide to commit to learning about Africa and the only way to do that in a healthy way is for us to decide to join and/or start organizations that have or develop study programs on Africa. We are certainly willing to help you do this. Its that important. Also, if you don't have a passport, get one, today. And, don't just use it to go to Europe. Go home to Africa. We can help you do that as well. We can guarantee you that if you go to Africa with the right people, meaning people who understand Africa's history and our relationship to our mother Africa, you will have an experience that changes your life for the better.
Our trauma is real. Its understandable. Our unwillingness to do anything to address it is not.