Black History Means African History

Novel New

So as I was winding down, getting ready to settle in for the Christmas break, one of my colleagues called to bring a matter to my attention.
Of course, in keeping with conventional wisdom I should’ve just let the phone ring and listen to his message. With the yuletide season a day away, who wants to get into an inevitable long, albeit mundane, discussion about the world’s (and closer to home our more personal community issues…), especially at this time of year.
After all, everyone was in the yuletide, festival, eating, drinking and merrymaking mindset.
So I figured what the hell, all that Christmas stuff will be preoccupation the next week to 10 days. I’ve lived and enjoyed several Christmases, and have come to the realization that they’re all the same, a case of “been-there-done-that.”
Wonder if I outlived Christmas?
I’m by no means a Scrooge, a Christmas hater; in fact, like everyone else who still call it what is: the Yuletide… Christmas season—not the holiday season—when all is said and done I still enjoy Christmas. For me, “the holiday season” is a vague Christmas descriptor, much like hearing people say “Happy Valentine’s…” ditto “Halloween.”
Stop! Christmas is old news; back to matters of the real world.
So, that gentleman got right into it, telling me about an article he had just read in the New York Times about a very popular Rap artist/performer, Nicki Minaj…
Aside from her flashy (stage) presence and performances, she is equally famous for a ‘bottom’ that’s as big as the globe. Is it real, Memorex, or simply grotesque? That’s the question curious minds have been asking… wondering… whenever they see the woman on stage.
Rumps are nice, but Nicki is simply lugging too much on stage.
[…] Oh yes, I’m off topic.
So that gentleman read an excerpt from the newspaper article about Nicki ignoring the protestations and requests of certain popular performers and human rights organizations that she cancel a performance in Angola dubbed “Show Unitel Boas Festas” a Christmas festival held in Angola for the dictatorial leader of another of those mineral-rich African countries (oil in Angola’s case) where the benefits are shared among the leader’s offspring, family and friends (a close, tight circle). His name is President José Eduardo dos Santos, and he reportedly paid Minaj $2 million.
“Government corruption and human rights violations” are the norm, and most of the people are destitute.
Not in a narrow, community, but in a global context, that’s some of our African… Black history unfolding… And anyone embracing local Black History Month things every February shouldn’t think “It has nothing to do with us, it’s happening over there…”
Which is why it’s so easy to be complacent, apathetic, oblivious… or the totality of those descriptives when we look at our history in a global context—rather than our existence in the African Diaspora.
[I’m sorry and immensely apologize to all those Black people whose ancestral origins are not Africa, but elsewhere, like say, some seismic/volcanic creation/formation in various regions across Earth.]
But whenever we talk history, as many will the remaining weeks of February, it’s as if by virtue of [us] living here, our history was created in a vacuum. That there’s no connection… ties that bind us to our real and true origins.
So here we are in the “West” far removed and existing in [our] Utopia, our mental mythical place of racial, [social] idealism, seemingly oblivious to the looming famine—another one—in Ethiopia. Desertification in that part of the world is happening incrementally, but alarming pace. Many blame it on global warming.
I have seen some of the images of parched earth and dying crops, and the victims: human beings, especially children, usually the primary, and hardest hit victims of Africa’s crises.
And there’s so much more of Africa unfolding—the good and the bad—which should be of interest to all of us with an interest in Black, African history.