“You may not control all of the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” -Maya Angelou
Today is all about self-determination. We are often told what we can’t do. I have personally heard statements like “Black people can’t learn,” or “Most of you guys (Black people) are lazy.” In schools, we aren’t taught our full history. We are only taught about slavery, but not about the great minds, authors, mathematicians, and kingdoms of ancient and modern-day African nations. As if Africa didn’t exist before slavery began.
But in all honesty, we can’t blame our nation’s system for that. Our nation was settled by Europeans looking out for European interests. And any nation that colonizes another would do the same. Since our nation’s heritage is heavily European, it should not be surprising or troubling that European culture is predominant and beloved, here.
What should trouble us, though, is how easily we have fallen prey to lies about who we are. It is up to us to take initiative in learning about and loving ourselves. There are so many beautiful things about our history and the various cultures from which we descend. What if we were all well-versed in those things and were able to stand tall in that knowledge?
So, what are some ways that we can practice self-determination today?
–Learn something new about African or Black history!
–Commit to reading a book of substance by a Black author (think Chinua Achebe).
–Assess yourself and your personal goals. Are you living up to your potential? How can you start doing that?
I look forward to day 3 of Kwanzaa tomorrow! Have a happy Tuesday!