Dr Mama Marimba Ani says our culture is our immune system, referring both to the petri dish culture of microbiology and the social ‘construct’ of culture. Both these concepts describe a type incubator of practices, beliefs, patterns of logic, behaviours and emotional responses of a Nation or a People towards themselves and other People, Nations and forms of life.
Where land is the direct source of spiritual and physical life force and energy – The roots producing fruits, bread and dignity. Land provides the space and time for the creation and recreation of life, and thus the cultural incubation that will allow for the ethos, norms, routines and worldviews that maximally develop and protect the children and general population.
Culture, has many unlimited definitions as one can provide, must be deliberately used as a source of security, stability and strength for the safeguarding of the life and interest of a people. Thus culture must be able to evolve.
African culture must and is constantly changing and evolving because of the context in which African people’s lives are experienced and evolve. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst.
What makes it African culture is that it is conceived by African people, operates in the best interests of African people, maximally developing and protecting African people.
In that sense we realise why it would be a strategy of war for those who seek to dominate, exploit and oppress us as a group of people, to try and control the way we view our culture and tradition, calling it witchcraft, barbaric or uncivilised.
There is a need for Africa to revisit and review its precolonial civilisations to remember and understand what made them survive and thrive for so long, and also how they were able to be disrupted and destroyed by invasion, colonisation, slavery, apartheid, etc., in order to rid us of our collective and individual self-negating, self-destructing dysfunctional behaviours in the family, neighbourhoods and country, towards All Africans at home and abroad.
This false consciousness, a collective maladaptive African consciousness or personality sustains and supports European or Arabic power and control over people of African descent.
The methods of Cultural mis-orientation and cultural disorientation operating among people of African descent maintains their perpetual subordination and powerlessness, landlessness and dependence on oppressors and exploiters for survival; be it for jobs, food, intelligence or development.
How much of our traditions, cultures, spiritual practices have been destroyed and restructured by a 9-5 work day, a 5 day a week work-week and two rest days cycle. All these organisations of peoples’ energy into capital for white capitalism have a direct effect on how blacks, Africans or people of African descent relate to each other, themselves and other groups of people.
Are single mother parents not a direct result of migrant labourer fathers?
Such and other jobs that men and women of African descent have taken under the employment of the white supremacist system have produced most, if not all, of the societal dysfunctions experienced in the villages, kasie, ghetto and slums.
Even in the black middle class or black bourgeoisie; the self-alienation and self hate experienced by African people who classify themselves as workers, middle or upper class citizens of any country on planet earth is a direct result of their employment by and association with white supremacy.
Therefore in creating and recreating a culture, or a personality that is deliberate about the maintenance and maximal development of African life, we need to define and understand the material and spiritual realities of African life.
We create and recreate self-defined, self-directed and group-defined group directed personalities that are both ‘inner directed’ and ‘traditional directed’ as well as responsive to immediate and future realities of the Global African Population
What we mean is that culture must be a container for our past, an inspiration and influence on the present and a prophesy on our future.
Thus a deep introspection into the misogynist patriarchal elements of “black culture” that may or may not be a direct result of white and Arab invasion and destruction of Afrikan civilisation needs to be made; for the neutralisation and reduction of these elements that have put African people against each other.
This will be personal work that we must all do, and group work that we must all do.
Initiatives, programmes and movements like For Black Girls Only, Black Girls Rock, FeesMustFall, RhodesMustFall, Black Lives Matter, BlackWash and many others known and unknown among scholars, like Dr Runoko Rashidi, Dr Umar Ifatunde Johnson, Dr Marimba Ani among many others known and unknown who work to help heal restore and rebuild the African Worldview in areas of people activity like Economics, Entertainment, Education, Politics, Religion, Labour, Law, Sex and War, have been spaces and places to start.
While we may not agree on day to day specifics and particulars, we can agree and create a deliberate and general universal culture that will work for the survival material and spiritual needs and demands of our Global African Population – this is what we need to do by any means necessary
We can call it Radical Black Feminism, Black Consciousness, Pan Africanism, Scientific Socialism, Communism, or any other Religious or Socio-Economic constructs, it must be a behavioural philosophy that responds to the past, present and the future of the Global African Population. Then we can understand how power and culture relate, in the maintenance and survival of a people, Nation.
Understanding that White, Arab and other people oppress African people because they have the power to do so. The black people are oppressed because they have not developed and thus lack the power to neutralise and prevent their oppression…
No matter how we choose to explain oppression or global white supremacy cosmologically, ontologically, pedagogically or mundanely; the ultimate reason the white people can oppress black people is because they possesses the power to do so.
We must pursue Afrikan-centered Consciousness, Black Consciousness, personality and cultures as instruments of power.
Understanding our oppression and exploitation in terms of power and power dynamics. Realising that the problem we are confronted with yesterday, today and tomorrow as Afrikan people the world over, arise and flow from our inappropriate use of power and the resultant powerlessness.
We cannot exist without understanding or having power. A battery without power is dead.
One needs power to act, to behave in the world and to deal with the world.
Consequently, we must interpret what we are about in terms of power. With power, we have opportunities and possibilities. We just need to re-organise ourselves, re-organise our consciousness, our personality and ultimately our culture and begin all these as instruments of power to transform our situation.
The beautyful ones are born.
We are the ones we have been waiting for.