Why “Defy”? Why “The Lie”?
Some people ask me why CHN keeps insisting that in order to heal, we, as people of African ancestry, must Defy the Lie of Black Inferiority and Embrace the Truth of Black Humanity.
“Can’t you find some softer language?” they ask.
Sure, we could. But then we wouldn’t be true to our history. People of African ancestry have long been defiant in the face of the brutalities and indignities of racism. The bold escapes from enslavement, the movement for abolition, the fight against colonialism, the struggle to end apartheid, and the quest for civil rights are all expressions of Black defiance.
But, it’s 2019 and we need a new kind of defiance. Progress towards racial justice has stalled. And that’s because we have not taken aim at the root of our challenges. Until we free ourselves and our children from the lie of White superiority and Black inferiority, the root cause of anti-Black racism, the global mistreatment of Black people will continue.
The first step toward genuine freedom and healing for Black people is recognizing and naming the ideology of White superiority and Black inferiority as the lie that it is. No other word better describes what has actually happened to us. In order to justify the economic exploitation of African people and the looting of Africa, Europeans intentionally falsified history and fabricated lies that they then injected into every institution that shapes our lives.
The next crucial step toward complete freedom and healing from centuries of anti-Black racism is defiance. That means open resistance to the lie. We must acknowledge that, for centuries, people of African ancestry have been living according to a narrative written for us by others to serve their interests. In the face of continuing acts of dehumanization, we must make a decisive, defiant break with that narrative—and write our own narrative. No other, more soft approach, will save us.
We cannot fully embrace the truth of our humanity unless we consistently defy the lie of Black inferiority. Defiance is the key to Black flourishing.
Flicker photo by NiXerKG