Africa: The World of the Black African Man in the 21st Century


It is the utter foolishness that sends us into lethargy, and which makes us think we are doing great even when we are disgraced which is our enemy. From slavery, to genocide, to attempted total annihilation, to colonialism, black people or people of African descent in history have been institutionally taken advantage of, shamed, ridiculed, humiliated in the most despicable manner history could ever record. The scale of hatred unleashed against black people in the Southern Part of the United States in the 50s and 60s from the whites and the level of racism suffered by African Americans is the true meaning of inexpressibility.

This year marks the four (400) hundredth year since slavery began. Apart from colonialism, the transatlantic slave trade is perhaps the most organized and well-orchestrated institutionalized act and example of man’s wickedness against fellow man. The drive of this article is to attempt to subject the state of the black man400 years ago into some scrutiny and how causalities and experiences have influenced or affected his nature and self.Taking into consideration the objective of this article as well the focus on the black African, it is crucial that this inquiry commence fromthe 1884-1885 Berlin Conference to ascertain some sufficient background to help readers make their own minds about the state of mind of the black race and supposedly why we act the way we do.

Before 1884, some decades after the main transatlantic slave trade had been abolished, several differentEuropean countriesrushed to occupy different parts of Africa. Their primary policy andobjective was to loot, kill, ransack and exploit with maximum effect. In order to achieve this, the Europeans devised a rather well orchestrated and systematicmalicious yet psychological way of altering with the very innate yoke of the unique African man’s identity and hisculture. This policy, which was wholly adopted and enforced mostly by the Western Europeans mainly focused on utterlycontemptuous depiction of African culture. For decades, Africans where repeatedly and methodically told they are savages and had no history and culture of their own and therefore had no existence except that which had been provided or introduced to them by the Europeans.

Even though this policy of systematic cultural depletion was practiced by most European colonial occupiers, it was the Frenchthat sought to thoroughly and permanently thrash any trace of strong African heritage and culture through its policy of Assimilation. The French also knew that they could not on their own accountachieve their policy objectives without the help of what later became known as the Local Agents. The use of Local Agents became very popular among all colonialists as a strategy to break the front of any possible indigenous uprising against the colonial establishment. Shamefully, the French and the British as well as the Belgians found many weak and selfish Africans who could be recruited into helping to advance the course of the colonialist’s agenda.

The creation of local agents in some respects backfired and as result led to the creation of rather some patriotic and progressive leaders and intellectuals such as Leopold Senghor, Aimee Ceasaire and Leon Damas. Even though the French had originally planned to create a cloned or a duplicate black French (local agent) to take over the barbaric policies and operationsof some colonial territories, these above mentioned black African intellectuals established whatlater became known as the Negritude in the 1930s.TheNegritude movements which started in the early 1930s was a reaction to the impertinence and downright disrespect shown by the French colonizers to African culture and its people. As we can all see today, the French colonial policy of assimilation was designed to devastate and destroy what Leopold Senghor of Senegal describe as the collective soul of the African people.

Senghor also noted that “despite the destructive force of slavery and colonialism, the roots of African civilization have been retained”. The most fundamental aim of the Negritude scholars was to recapture the African reality, culture, aesthetics and philosophy as well as its own perspective to the world view and civilization.One of the most fatal effects/consequences of colonialism is the level at which it decreases one’s self-worth or sometimes even completely removes self-respect of a whole generation. This led to many Africans becoming unpatriotic and often a sell-out thereby betraying the good course their own fellow Africans have been pursuing for decades. While the Negritude scholars were busy working to rebuild and reinstate the image of the black man, the French secret services used different methods to destabilize the movement including unnecessary raids in their offices as well as theplanting of African moles within the rank and files of the Negritude leadership to spy on Senghor and his compatriots.

Self-Destruction

In recent history, especially from the early 20th century to date, several African emancipation and decolonization movements led by great African intellectuals have emerged yet majority of them have collapsed. The immeasurable destruction caused by colonialism heavily created a false and negative sense of self-worth to the extent that pleasing the so-called “colonial masters” somehowbecame the standard even for most educated black elites.As indicated above, the enslavement of particular race for centuries and subsequent colonization of the same race for over a century must certainly have some sort of profound long term dent on the confidence of that race. This as a result contributes to the countless number of treachery and betrayals cases by blacks against their fellow blacks with the aim of gaining favoursor being accepted by the “white man”or the European.

The shocking number of willing African Americans hired by the United States secrete services as informants and spies to help crush the Civil Right Movement (CRM) is mind boggling. Given that the movement was fundamental to their own wellbeing as citizens of the United States and the laws required for their own protection. From generations to generations across the world, black people or people of African descent have been subjected to humiliation and disrespect.

However, on every occasion when a messiah or true leader with the right understanding and sense of purpose emerges to emancipate same from its predicament, the same blacks or people of African descent turn around to kill or betray that leader and the course he pursued.The continuous recurrence of such incidents is not only baffling but it also discourages any such possible iconic and extraordinary leaders to emerge in the future. There is a scientific explanation to why the black man finds it easier to betray his fellow black man and that is Slavery and Colonialism.

As Kwame Nkrumah once said, if transatlantic slave trade had happened to any other race, there would’ve been a shrewdly determined systematic effort which would’ve led toamassive exodus,and all descendants of that race would’ve been returned to their homeland and some healing process would’ve begun to help solve the agonizing physical and psychological trauma caused centuries earlier. Unfortunately, astactlessly as we are, the black African man has failed to either reverse any damage and humiliation caused to his ancestors, and as indicated hereinabove, whenever any leader with the right understanding and sense of purpose emerges, his fellow black African man betrays him and a vision is destroyed.To mention a feware Patrice Lumumba of Congo, Félix-Roland Moumié of Cameroon, Marcus Garvey of Jamaica, Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso and of course Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana.

The paradox here however, is that the only politicians that survives in the African continent are either the ones that proposes nothing original but a mere representation of Western ideals or the misguided ones who simply are not a threat to economic transformation or with any meaningful ideas that could lead to the transformation of the continent and its people.The seeming predisposition of people of African descent everywhere in the world to readily “self-destroy” themselves and the ostensible ease to betray each other can only be linked directly to low self-worth as a result of slavery and colonialism which brought about the frustrations due to our lack of influence in the current world order either politically, economically, culturally and agriculturally.According to the former CIA Director John Stockwell in an interview in 1978, the only African leader who has ever shown a clear sense of purpose with the understanding to transform was Kwame Nkrumah whom he, with the help of Mr. Howard Banes and again with the innate character of self-destructive Africans assisted to overthrow,leaving the continent in disarray for decades till today.

Insensitivity

Incontrovertibly, all black people or people of African descent scattered around the world including Brazil, India (the Siddi tribe), Chili, Guatemala, Cuba, etc. had originated from Africa through slavery and till date, (Apart from W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, George Padmore and Kwame Nkrumah) no modern African leader has ever made any attempt to either exhibit any level of understanding or reconcile and build some sort of road map towards recognising this phenomena and creating avenue for resettlement.It is an agreed fact that the lack of crude insensitivity embedded within the mindset of most sub-Saharan African political leadership is the major contributing factor towards the weakening front of the African Union (AU). The extreme absence of Sense of Purpose among politicians across Africa especially my own homeland Ghana, the upshot of slavery and colonialism has gotten the best part of their ability to reason with some originalities, and depleted necessary confidence required to stand up to imperialism makes the “ordinary black man” simply insensitive and incapable of understanding the world whilecompeting within it.

For example, from the late 19th century to mid-20th century, Belgium killed what is estimated to be well over 5 million Congolese and Apart from Kwame Nkrumah who warned Belgiumof possible payment of massive compensation upon achieving African Unity, the level of insensitivity shown by the African Union towards this issue is mind boggling. Again, since the 1960, at least France is responsible for over 24 assassinations plus coups and political destabilization across Africa. Yet no African leader has ever had the guts to raise such matters at any AU session.

True African Heroes

The impact of colonialism is so deeply grounded and powerfully inserted into the minds of the African, as well as within the African continent that we are even unable to proudly celebrate and uplift the names of great leaders who truly represents and in the past represented the interest of the black man and his progression. From the 1900s, it has been the systematic policy of the West to clandestinely discredit or neutralize the influence of any black African leader with the right understanding and clarity of thought and vision. Rather, as part of their long held social engineering agenda to control and manipulate the focus and advancement of Africans, they’ve rather supported stooges, weak, subservient, docile and malleable leaders who possesses no mental capability to provide the needed transformation either economically, culturally, agriculturally or industrial development.