My Quest To Teach

January 7, 2016

The Colonization of African Americans Continues in America

Filed under: Education — William Jackson @ 9:23 pm

scrample
The Colonization of African Americans Continues in America
by William Jackson, M.Edu.
Dedicated to Chinua Achebe of Nigeria

“Until the lions have their own historians, the history of
the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” Chinua Achebe

The story of Africa was a story created by Europeans that is
and in some cases still ignorant and in denial to the beauty,
intelligence, creative and innovative spirit of a continent
that gave birth to the world.

You can tell the intelligence of a person when they call Africa
a country, Africa is a continent, not a country. Africa is composed
of many diverse countries and cultures, each with a story of their
birth, development and purpose in the life of a continent that
had progressive life while Europe was still struggling with
understanding that the world was not flat and the sun was the
center of our universe not the earth. Africans knew the sun was
the center and earth was one of many planets.

The importance of stories can be seen from African writers like
Chinua Achebe (Nigerian), who is called the “Father of African
Literature.” Because of his influences in writing, the written word
was his weapon to change the perceptions that Europeans had
created. His statement, “there was a gap in the bookshelf,”
represented that the truth about Africa was not being shared by
Europeans in literature.

His experiences as a student in schools run by Europeans, denied
true historical educational knowledge, his culture and history
were replaced by European Christian views and even denied to
allow his story to develop where he understood the commanding
limitations that Europeans placed on African’s. One of the best
illustrations was limiting what Africans read about themselves.
These writers were Europeans that painted a picture of African’s
being savages, having limited education and ignorant to progress,
this just touched on the educational atrocities that Africans were
subjected to.

“When I began going to school and learned to read, I encountered
stories of other people and other lands.” Chinua Achebe

things

Achebe’s book “Things Fall Apart,” tells the story of European
colonization and the adverse changes that occurred in African
culture and communities. How the traditions of family life and
cultural upbringing could be changed in a matter of years when
others were allowed to educate youth to keep them docile and
unapologetically dumb-downed.

Similar stories are shared around the world by the Japanese, Indian,
Australian and other cultures that were influenced by Europeans and
others. Listening to Chinua Achebe there is a wisdom in his words that
speak to the importance of reading, literature and engagement about
historical truth.

The influence of Europeans helped to create self-limitations and self-denial of what Africans were capable of. Even in Africa Achebe
was laughed at for writing a novel, which was his first novel
“When Things Fall Apart.”
Even in this country it is difficult sometimes, but not impossible
to be a  published author that is African American. African Americans
need to understand that in some cases they too will be laughed at
and criticized for their literary talents, but that should not stop
them from following their passions and dreams.

Achebe shares his wisdom in the statement that, “No one should
tell you how to write your story.” The experiences in Africa are
similar to the experience in America when it comes to reading
and literacy. Achebe shares in many of his writings that defending
your culture should be a priority even when colonized. If you do
not know where you come from you don’t know where  you are
going. If you do not teach the youth they will be lost and not even
know it.

british-colonialism

The tragedy of colonization is the elders, the story tellers and
conduits of  history were removed from power and even the
children were denied knowing their history as Achebe states
often in interviews. In the African culture the elders were wise
because of life experiences and the sharing of knowledge.
The elders were mature, experienced and well respected. In
the United States too many youth do not respect the elders
so do not listen to them. American culture does not embrace
the elderly as valuable and wise, but in too many occasions
as a hindrance.

Assimilation has caused African American children to rebel
against their elders and their history. The reality is that the
media has portrayed Africa as a poor and powerless continent,
lacking education, full of starving people with diseases, wild
animals and being saved from destruction by Europeans. This
is far from the truth. There are struggles and challenges, but
these can be seen in Europe and the United States.

colonization

The late Dr. Edward Robinson uses the correct term
“prisoners of war not slaves,” in his discussion on why
African Americans do not know their history and being
denied knowledge that could free their minds.
Posted by Troy Wontstop Brooks on Thursday, December
31, 2015
https://www.facebook.com/troy.brooks2/videos/10206395351815915/

African Americans cannot continue to have colonized
mindset because they are losing their history and the
cultural respect of their elders. This is by design, to keep
generations from communicating with each other and
uniting to be stronger culturally and as a unified body
with influence in politics, commerce, community and
culture.

“Colonialism hardly ever exploits the whole of a country.
It contents itself with bringing to light the natural resources,
which it extracts, and exports to meet the needs of the
mother country’s industries, thereby allowing certain
sectors of the colony to become relatively rich. But the
rest of the colony follows its path of under-development
and poverty, or at all events sinks into it more
deeply.”
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

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