By now you have probably read 9 things the Black community should unlearn: Part 1 if you haven’t, I suggest you click on the title above and then come back to this one as it is the continuation of the previous post. Now that you have caught up with the first tree things the Black community should unlearn, this week there are three more things I believe the Black community should unlearn today.
9 things the Black community should unlearn
4. A certain tribe is better than another: Tribalism
Tribalism is something that is really present in our community. We can live in the same country, the same city, the same area and even the same street or even be neighborhood and still ask each other where are you from? not as in where do you come from no as in which tribe do you belong to? Are both your parents from the same tribe or it’s a mixed? Tribalism has been something unconsciously pass down from generations to generations. Unconsciously that little child who has heard from the family that a certain tribe was associated with people with no manner, witchcraft, criminals, not worth being associated with etc, that little child grow up discriminating against that tribe with no concrete reasons apart from that is what I have been told about them. As a black person, when I travel outside of my country whenever someone ask me where I am from I automatically say I am Congolese. However, it is fascinating to see that even today when I meet my fellow country people outside of our motherland there is still that need to identifying yourself as belonging to a particular tribe not because they care and want to help you recreate your family tree, no not all, because they want to feel free to openly criticize and make jokes about others.
Within the same country Black community are already divided and when you come from a place where tribalism is acceptable and you belong to the oppressor’s side, it is easy to find it normal and discriminate others just because it is fun and because you have been unconsciously conditioned to do so and you now believe that within the same country some tribe are superior than others. Today with the social media activists many go as far as making videos calling out all black people to unite and stand together while you hate your neighbors because they are Venda (Tribe in South Africa), Kasai (Tribe in DRCongo) or Fulani (Tribe in Nigeria) or not from your country. Like what do you mean?
How does Tribalism affect you as an adult? You will find people employing only people from a certain tribe and now some have to avoid speaking their mother tongue in public or forced to hide their beautiful accent to avoid being discriminate against and have the same opportunities as others. Within the Black Lives Matter it is important to emphasize that the other tribe within the Black community matter as well. It is time to unlearn that your tribe is superior than the other. Unlearn Tribalism.
5. Standing up for yourself in front of your parents is disrespectful
Respect of elders in the Black community is one of the most important thing of not THE MOST important thing ever. In some culture, you can’t look at your elder in the eyes or talk to them without being given the permission to do so, you have to greet them a certain way and call them a certain way. I grew up following all those cultural norms and they have made me a better person, having elementary basics of respect is something extremely important. However, what I believe the Black child should unlearn is staying quiet and letting your parents, uncles, aunts and whoever your elders impose their opinions, beliefs and live their dreams through you. Having such great respect for them should not be a reason for them to impose whatever they want and dictate your life however they want and disagreeing with what they say or believe in shouldn’t be regarded as lack of respect.
As much as respecting your elders is crucial and very important in our culture, but when those people use their privilege to dictate how you should live your life, who to marry, what to study, what political party to join, what tribe is better than the other, then standing up for yourself is even more crucial if you want a life you are happy with. if you let the dictate your life, you will eventually make the same mistakes and reproduce the same patterns with your own children. Remember that the happiness and joy of your elders should be seeing you happy and thriving in life doing what you love, not sacrificing your happiness and live their dreams for you, then who will fulfill your dreams for you? your children? It is time to unlearn that standing up for yourself is a lack of respect.
6. Man don’t show their emotions
Dear little boy who was forced not to cry when he fail, who was told crying is for women, who was asked to hold his tears when he was hurt, who was told to impose his demand on his sisters and punish them when his demand were not met, that little boy who has never been told he was loved and appreciated. Dear little boy who had a complicated relationship with his parents and couldn’t openly talk about his feelings with anyone because he was told men have to be tough, men don’t cry. Those little boy have turned out to be angry men who don’t know hoe to deal with their traumatic emotions or how to show love or receive it. We have a generation of women of think women need to bend to all their demands and do not hesitate to use violence to make themselves heard. We have a generation of man who think killing women because they realize they want better than you is acceptable we have a generation of black men who believe going to therapy and seeking help is for the weak, a generation of men who don’t know what the hell they are doing, addicted to all sort of things to avoid thinking about their problems and don’t know how to love and treat themselves.
Dear men who were once those little boy told to hide their emotions and be tough it is time to start unlearning that showing your emotions is for the weak, it is time to let yourself be and acknowledge your emotions, it is time to seek help if need be, it is time to take back your power. it is time to break that cycle and set a brighter future for the future generation. To the man I know who didn’t let his childhood trauma impact who he is now, thank you for being stronger and understanding that you needed to heal and be better than what you have been taught.
Again, beliefs and perceptions can be learn, unlearn and relearn. Just because it has always been done this way doesn’t mean it is the ONLY way or the BEST way. Get rid of limiting beliefs and perceptions today. Next Sunday is the final part of this series of things the Black community should unlearn. Did you grow up with any of the above beliefs and perceptions? How did you unlearn it? What step are you going to take to break those cycles?
Till next Sunday