Redefining one’s racial identity

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

I wish that we all could truly and honestly accept and relate to each other as members of the human race. But that is not the case for so many in acknowledging their other brothers and sisters. While it should be an added compliment in accepting others groups and ethnicities for their contributions and accomplishments in this beautiful tapestry of mankind, all too often ugliness rises to make deceptive disparaging differences. These subjective and discriminating practices are used to trivialize and demonize some cultures and groups. When implemented systematically, this practice of propaganda and mis-education can be used to control and divide groups of people.

One must understand that when governments and controlling entities keep people from historically knowing their true relevance and greatness, these deprived groups tend to cling or acclimate to other groups’ cultures and practices, trivializing their own personal value or worth. By forcing your ideologies and principles on smaller groups, you keep them from coming together to embrace their culture, traditions and history.

Basically you are depriving them of knowing who they truly are. You keep people mentally and physically divided. This is a systemic practice by governments to control and keep groups of people from coming together, becoming empowered and loving themselves.

The greatest contributor to this is practice is our public education system that seems to celebrate and emphasize the achievements and accomplishments of people of Eurocentric descent. It minimizes (if it even recognizes) the achievements and accomplishments of people of color. There should be no surprise that White children feel a sense of pride and privilege in contrast to so many children of color feeling minimized and inferior.

It should be no surprise that Raven Simone recently denounced her African American identity. There are many other Blacks who do not want to be identified as African Americans. Now everyone has a right to his or her beliefs and opinions. But regardless of what they feel or see about themselves, the world sees Blacks here in America as of African American ancestry—now, today and tomorrow. That is the reality of the world we live in. It is not going to change just because you are in denial. Now what you can change is the negative perception that is projected by the media about Black people in general.

While some Blacks may think they have arrived and are above their other brothers and sisters, they are still viewed by their oppressors as Black with all the negative baggage projected by TV, movies, newspapers and the media as a whole. Blacks may be accepted by a handful of racist free Whites, but they can never fully rise above the overall perception of their recognized group or race.

Blacks should learn the truth about their history. Then they can truly understand why their oppressors have worked so diligently to subjugate and suppress them. Their oppressor’s greatest fear is for Blacks to realize their greatness—to see their true beauty, and realize their unrelenting strength. Blacks have a legacy of timeless accomplishments, achievements and perseverance. It’s one they should not be trying to run from or deny, but embrace.

You do not find members of other ethnicities or nationalities (Asia American, Indian American, Italian American, Irish American, Hispanic American, Japanese American etc.) divorcing themselves from their recognized group. In fact they are not so quick to assimilate to Anglocentric practices if it means diluting their own cultures and traditions.

These are signs of a strong and proud group of people. As African Americans, it may be to our benefit to take note. We are intellectual, beautiful, spiritual and loving people. It seems that we are the only ones who don’t know our real strength, beauty and potential.

Black is beautiful.