Archive for December, 2007

Black and Proud: why?

After watching the rerun of the 2007 BET awards on TV, a special friend of mine and I got into a discussion on the phone that went on late into the middle of the night. The discussion was centred around the concept behind the statement, “I’m black and I’m proud” as well as the other seemingly similar but apparently different statement, “I’m proud to be black.”

My issues were and remain that I do not see the point behind black people globally needing to affirm out loud their pride in being black. Essentially, I can understand pride in being a part of a race, tribe and whatever other mass of people  that form the community you are part of, but I fail to really see the point in affirming it out loud, for other people to hear it.

I understand that the statement, “I’m black and I’m proud”, which one has seen in magazines and T-shirts and a whole lot of other places is meant to be part of this campaign that is geared to instilling into the so-called black nation some pride in their blackness.

But then ask the average black person who spews this statement, on the back of the time-worn argument that black people have been discriminated and marginalised and God-knows-what-else and you find that they are unable to break it down and describe exactly what this campaign is about.

And so, I shall then ask pointed questions in the hope that someone will break it down for me in simple easy to understand concepts what the point of this marketing campaign (make no mistake: it is one) is for.

I ask you:

  1. What are the values that blackness comes with?
  2. So people feel proud to be black. What is their character thereafter? That is, how do they behave differently from the way they behave now that fits within the above character?
  3. How does the change in their behaviour affect the competitiveness of black people globally as a nation?
  4. How is the world meant to therefore behave in the face of this proud black people?
  5. Will there come a time when this marketing campaign of instilling pride in people, will be irrelevant (because it will have been successful)?

I think a community can only be proud of its successes. The larger the community the more the number of successes in everyday life that are required to instil long term pride into their people.

 

The more black people who will excel – despite the odds – to positions of influence and leadership, positions that the world takes seriously (therefore outside of showbiz and entertainment, where black people have excelled) then the better the chances of black people having real stuff to be proud about.

Besides, for now, the field is as level as it is going to be for a while. The legislative process globally has been made politically correct to deal with whatever discrimination there may be. Enforcement of these laws remain the purview of normal individuals, whose biases can only be dealt with in the face of success. 

It is when children in black communities stop being inadvertently stopped to be competitive in the so-called “non-black” areas such as speaking proper English because it is connoted to be “white” (true in America and in many parts of Africa) and sciences and other areas; when black people do not hinder each other’s growth or their own for fear of standing out that they shall truly be competitive.

I dare say here, Emancipation is largely complete. The next hurdle is competitiveness.

i am very romantic… i can show you – check this out. I come over to your place in my jalopy to pick you up, give you some bourgan villea flowers, walk you to my car and get it and wait patiently while you struggle with the door. eventually, i even lean over and give the door a jab and when it sends you sprawling i even yell pole and only snigger quietly as you pick yourself up and hop it.. as we drive, i romantically rub my hand against your knee as i change gears.

i take you to njuguna’s – an upmarket nyama choma joint if there ever was one – in lavington after all, right? i find us a discreete corner somewhere inside and after the smoke from the nearby jikos proves to be too much, i move us outside where we sit on logs across under the stars…

Wanjiku the barlady comes and gives me a kiss as a squeeze her ass and in a friendly manner ask us what we shall have. I order a very well done rump steak with assorted bone marrow (Muguu choma) and as a starter, some chicken kidney and other assorted bitings…for drinks i order a Tusker (what else) and for you i order a soda kingfisher (you are a girl!)

We have some conversation where i describe the problems I have been having with my jalopy, my pigs especially the process of assisting one’s birthing and other animals that I have in my kashamba (actually 770 acres of prime highland), my last drinking escapade with my mates and others.

It is as I mention my friends and others that Muturi my close pal comes over with his ka-ravle (ka-lovely) and so does Kachamba and his and they of course join us.

The meat comes as we are enjoying the meal and the conversation which has gone into many areas from Wanjiku’s endowed bossom to kibaki and that other one – no one ever says raila – and we dig in with gusto. I keep asking you why you are so quiet before jabbing you in the ribs and joking at how sexy you look when you are quiet like that – to the hearty amusement of everyone there.

We leave at your urging and we drive you home. I am feeling quite amorous and enquire whether we should stop somewhere and relax a while “I know a good rodging” and I don’t understand why you are so emphatic with the no. I guess you have to be at work early or you are playing hard to get.

We get to your house and i lean over for a kiss. you move away rather fast so i am forced to place it on your bossom. not bad. you hastily get out of the car and promise we’ll talk tomorrow and I understand. Your father must be kali.

I put the toothpick in my mouth and drive away with a smile on my face leaving you in the dark fumbling with the chain on your gate.

Now, my dear Esther, can you now fail to call me romantic?