A excellent short film by Regi Allen, about being African American, African , & identity .
And this film is the perfect ilustration of something that I've been saying for the longest, there's more to being African than skin color. So many of us in the diaspora feel as if we are damaged goods because we don't have our African language and culture. Well here the thing about that, WHICH African language and WHICH culture. Our ancestors came from so many places that were so radically different on e from the other. There is no ONE language or cultue to be had. We in the diaspora are the totality of all the different peoples we came from as well as the new world that we helped to build. The societies that we live in are all riddled with the ingredients brought from various regions. If it were not for those elements, the societies we live in today would not have the flavor and character that they do. Rather than seing ourselves from a perspective of deficit, we should embrace the fact of who we are. It speaks toour resilience that we were able to invent ourselves while at the same time transforming the societies we ended up in. That is something to be respected and proud of. A reed can withstand the strongest winds, yet a mighty oak will snap in half. The strength of the reed is that it is able to bend. Our ancestors came here with something so special that it refused to die, or be stamped out. It bent itself, adapted and in so doing, was able to live on.
We forget that back in Africa, they went through changes too. The cultures of 500yrs ago did not remain static, no culture does. European culture today in nothing like what it was 500yrs ago either in language, dress, culture, spirituality. We all change. YEs, it is important to have an understanding of who we are and where we came from, but realize also that it's no possible to know everything. A great deal of "knowing who you are", is to recognize who you are now and all that contributed to it and above all, finding value in that for that is where your setrength truely lies. We have the choice at all times, to evaluate where we are and to make the adjustments that will best suit us. Part of that for me, ws choosing an African based spirital practice rather than Christianity or Islam. It would be nice to speak an African language, but even if I did, there would still be a lot of folks I couldn't speak with and so, I speak English, and I seek to spek it well as my ancestors in Africa held eloquence of speech in great regard. So although the vehicle may be different, the spiritual essence remaines the same. This isn't to say hat we haven't and don't face challenges. But I think that if we choose to look at ourselves as empowered people rather than victims, the strength of our ancestors will carry us through. The key to our success is to believe in the strenght within us is greater than the injustices done to us and to let that principle guide us in the actions of our lives.