LET’S TALK TUESDAYS ! | TAKING CONTROL OF OUR RE-EDUCATION
Happy Tuesday, Friends of CHN!
This has been a phenomenal Black History Month!
Black Panther lit us up! It sparked illuminating conversations. It forced us to stop going through the motions and to begin to think in fresh ways about our history, our present, and our future. It united us as people of African ancestry. It raised a host of critical questions, the answers to which can help us get clarity about the future we want to create for ourselves and our children.
This year’s Black History Month has brought Africa and its Diaspora to a crossroads.
We can stay on the road we were going down before –a road that leads us to more of the same: the devaluing of Black lives and the underdevelopment of Black communities.
Or, we can take the exit that leads to emotional emancipation, healing, reparation, wellness, empowerment, and a reclaiming of our dignity and humanity as people of African ancestry.
For generations, African freedom fighters across the Diaspora have been calling us to free ourselves from the shackles of mental enslavement—as a prerequisite for complete freedom for Black people.
STEVE BIKO TOLD US THAT:
DR. KING URGED US TO FIGHT FOR OUR “PSYCHOLOGICAL FREEDOM.”
MAYA ANGELOU ADVISED US TO “TAKE A DAY TO HEAL FROM THE LIES WE’VE BEEN TOLD AND THE ONES WE’VE TOLD OURSELVES.”
We would do well at this crucial moment to deepen our understanding of the legacy of these and the many other “psychological freedom fighters” in our history.
As Black History Month comes to a close, we should pay special attention to Carter G. Woodson’s observation that:
“[E]very man has two educators: that which is given to him, and the other that which he gives himself. Of the two kinds the latter is by far the more desirable. Indeed, all that is most worthy in man he must work out and conquer for himself. It is that which constitutes our real and best nourishment. What we are merely taught seldom nourishes the mind like that which we teach ourselves.”
The first and most important thing for us to do now is to be skeptical of what we have been taught. Woodson was right. Our education has been– and is—”mis-education.” It is education for the preservation of White supremacy—for the maintenance of the lies of White superiority and Black inferiority.
So we would do well to start or intensify our own re-education. Take a break from the relentlessness of social media and spend time curled up with the writings of Dr. Amos Wilson, Dr. John Henrik Clarke, Cheikh Anta Diop, and Dr. Frances Cress Welsing. We may not agree with everything they say, but we will learn more about ourselves, our past, our present, and possible directions for our future.
Who else would you add to this list? What do you think? We’d love to know what’s on your mind. Share your comments below.
–Enola G. Aird, Founder and President, CHN