I woke up this morning thinking of the great Aime Cesaire. La père de la Negritude. Translation the father of the Negritude movement. Négritude is based on the notion that locating a sense of solidarity in a common black diasporic identity is necessary in order to overcome the social and political rhetoric of French colonial racism and domination. More specifically, the Négritude movement is characterized by Marxist ideals, a denunciation of European colonial rhetoric and practice, and a valorization of African history, traditions, and beliefs.
I was lucky enough to learn this stuff in college. During my second year of college, they started up the Africana Studies department, so I thought what the hell i’ll get a minor in black studies. As far as my public school education went, the only people in black history was Martin Luther King, Malcom X. Rosa Parks and we got a little Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. But what happened to W.E.B Dubois? Amie Cesaire? Geronimo Pratt? Assata Shakur? Antenor Firmin?
I can’t even bash anyone for not knowing about the Negritude movement because they did not teach that in the schools… Or can I?
As I spoke with a friend this morning who ironically had the same man on her mind, she told me that she wasnt lucky to learn this stuff in school, but as a black person living in America, she was determined to search the truth for herself.
So what about the rest of you? Do you not have the burning desire to know who you are? Are you content letting the world define you? Maybe if we took the time to learn about who we are and what we have accomplished, we would have more self pride. When I mean pride, im not talking about just saying your proud to be black, but truly understanding why the pride is even there. Why do we put our fists up, why do we shout black power? Do we understand our place in society? Wearing the garb and speaking the tongue doesn’t mean anything. It is not the true indicator of our authenticity. Knowledge is power people. Seeking knowledge is the first step to self empowerment. If you don’t know what the Negritude movement is, I suggest you get on it.
“It is no use painting the foot of the tree white, the strength of the bark cries out from beneath the paint.” Amie Cesaire