Black consciousness is needed

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

Black consciousness or awareness is not a negative or divisive tool as many would have you believe. It could be a powerful productive tool to bring about significant and productive gains for African Americans. It is a conduit to bring about Blacks working together and recognizing the greatness and beauty of a people who have been defined and categorized by others, with little if any sense of who they really are or what they truly bring to the table. All too often, this lack of understanding and knowledge of their historical significance or true worth as a people have helped to foster a sense low self-esteem and inferiority among many African Americans—especially our youth. Black consciousness can only make African Americans and others more effective in their quest to secure equality and equity despite resistance from a system historically discriminatory and oppressive toward them.

It is contentious that the systemic forces at hand have intentionally used their influence, especially here in America in projecting history to promote Blacks in a negative light to promote White superiority. It only makes sense that a true Black consciousness will lower or eradicate many of the societal ills that disproportionately are attributed to Blacks. Once African Americans realize their true worth, it will empower Blacks not to be treated as inferior and insignificant beings, but recognized as the significant individuals they are.

Regardless of your opinion, the truth of the matter is that as it stands today, there exists a Black America that is basically not in sync with the mindset of its White counterparts. The need for Blacks to truly become in tune with their history, promoting a sense of Black consciousness, is diluted by some Blacks who feel they have arrived and that White assimilation is best for all if we are to live in this country and be unified. Of course this modus operandi is more apt to be accepted if you are one of a group of handpicked subservient Blacks used as an example asserting that all is fair and okay here in America. These selected middle class and upper class Blacks help project a smokescreen that the argument of a racial divide is unfounded and equity and equality is the rule. Thus you have the ‘divide and conquer plan’ in action to have Blacks in a distrustful mode with themselves, making it easy for White racists to continue their reign of socially, physically, and economically perpetuating White supremacy. It is a thriving practice orchestrated in practically every mode of the media (newspapers, TV, movies) subliminally projecting Blacks in a negative light. It is a marvelous plan for an oppressor and has had hundreds of years of practice to be fine-tuned and set in motion.

Black consciousness is a key component in releasing the chains and shackles subconsciously and without force imprisoning many African Americans. This is only made more prevalent when you have many Blacks extremely cautious about saying or doing anything, which might upset their White counterparts. This is often ironic, because by acquiescing, many times Blacks allow practices or treatment that is detrimental to their own wellbeing. It appears that Black concerns and problems don’t matter because many of us see ourselves in a secondary or irrelevant role.

A true Black consciousness can only come about through an awakening of Blacks really learning who they are as a people, by learning their true history. This consciousness is paramount to improving our perception of who we are as a people and elevating us to a level of accepting nothing less than our White counterparts. We do not have to ask permission to find ourselves. In finding ourselves we become better individuals, which is a win for everyone. This will improve our social, political, and economic standing—by realizing our true worth and potential, which for the most part is unknown or has been hidden from so many of us.

This Black consciousness or awakening will not take place in our public schools or other educational systems dominated and led by many of those who still seek to oppress us. We as African Americans must make a conscious and legitimate effort to create a movement among ourselves to gravitate together and collectively emancipate our minds and truly learn and appreciate whom we are. We will then be able to tell and educate the world to who we are instead of being told who we are supposed to be. This will be an emotional and spiritual cleansing that will attune us to the truth, which will be our guiding force. Thus the world will be better by the positive and productive gifts we have to offer as a beautiful, spiritual and highly intelligent people. As the saying goes, no light can go unhidden forever.