The great Bob Marley sang “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.” As a child I often wondered what does this mean? As I got older I realised he was speaking about letting go of all the stigmas attached to us as people of African descent. Jamaicans of African descent seem to cling to one in particular and that is the race/colour aspect. Our forefathers were taught by their masters that being white was superior, and being mulatto was still better than being black and we as their fore children have carried that along with us for many generations.
I wanted to know my friends’ views on this so I posted this question to Facebook: Why is it that we abandon our African ancestry but we claim the European like a prize?
A Few responses are as follows:
Bob: Well I’m half black-half Israeli and I’m proud of both sides… I don’t attach anything negative to me being black and I’m not prouder of either side
Roy: I would say I abandon my African ancestry, because everything civilized and enjoyable to me, my entire culture really, is European based.
Some feel in order to be considered worthy they need to stick to their European roots and abandon the African because it isn’t “civilized.” I do believe it’s a problem that affects us as a people and in order to overcome this we must first empty our minds of all the negativity surrounding being African/of African descent and relearn the positive.