In the context of African consciousness, what is self-hate? And why does it matter? Post Traumatic Slave Disorder (PTSD) is the term we use to describe the emotional and psychological patterns in the minds of African people who are descendants of colonialism, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, or the African Diaspora. The problem with PTSD is that most of the symptoms are not apparent to the victim.
Most people walking around with Post Traumatic Slave Disorder appear fully functional on the outside. They go to work or school, hang out with friends, and do whatever else the popular society around them deems as acceptable. Others show the symptoms more obviously through gang involvement, drugs, and other addictions. What both victims have in common is PTSD manifested in vastly different ways. Self-hate is one of those ways.
Self-hate is not the lack of self-esteem or confidence. Self-hate also has little to do with you as an individual, but rather it is defined as a collective hate, a disdain toward your collective self. It is a hatred of all that is essentially you, including your own skin, blood, brothers and sisters. It is the disdain of all that is African, the mark of "slavery" and of being different.
The shadow of self-hate, again, is not so obvious especially in a society where all that is African is view as inferior, poor, dirty, slave-worthy, or of-low quality. When all that is around you honors everything other than the African, it becomes unconsciously normal to do the same. Such is how an integrated society functions where the minority seeks the acceptance of the majority. Yet, the question is have you noticed this within yourself, the shadow of self-hate toward your very self, your brothers, sister, or anything deemed "African."
When you see a Black or African-owned business, do you view it the same way as a Wal-Mart or brand name store? Do you identify being black with being loud, obnoxious, ghetto, thuggish, or oppressed? Is that what it means to be black to you? Do you believe the stereotype of Black or African people? The clothes that you wear, who owns the brand? Your favorite sports team, who owns the team? Your favorite music, who owns the record label?
The problem is two-fold. Yes, self-hate is the unconscious collective disdain of all that is deemed "African" and therefore, different from popular society. The other half is we are also unconscious of what it means to truly be African. What does it mean to be African? You see most of think of Africa as the home of exotic wildlife and/or extreme poverty. The only thing we know about our motherland is our ancestors were sold and enslaved all over the world. Yet, Africa is beautiful and full of a rich history and many cultures.
It takes self examination to see our own biases of what we believe it means to be black. Is it just the color of your skin and means nothing in terms of your heritage? What's the cure? We gotta start defining ourselves for ourselves and not let popular society or culture define who or what is African.
Africa belongs to us. She is our heritage, our mother, lost and abandoned as a result of years of colonialism, slavery, and mis-education. It's time to reclaim our heritage, our legacy, our honor. Africa is not poor. Africa is not inferior. Africa represents the very best of mankind. She is beautiful, the motherland of all peoples. Her history is deep and broad. Her glories are too magnificent for the mind to comprehend. We carry her history and beauty within our own skin like cloaks of royalty, proud and bold.
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