VOL. NO: 40      DATE:
 
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AFRICAN ECHO NEWS


Now I'm proud to be Nigerian, but I take even more pride in being black. Looking at the various struggles that we as black people face in society, not to mention the ordeals that we have overcame, there still remains one problem that merely adds to the discouragement of racism in society, that being the eternal battle that we face with each other.

The growing feud between Nigerians and Jamaicans is an example of the ignorance that exists within the black community, 'black community' being a word that I use loosely. The word community is used to 
describe a union of people, a description that falls short, when referring to black people.

A community is a group of people that work together for the benefits and growth of each other. As you may have noticed there is clearly a huge difference between this description of a community and that of 
the black community.

Now in the twenty-first century, the unity with our Nigerian and Jamaican brothers and sisters is far and few between. The question that we have to ask ourselves is: how did this feud begin? When the question is asked: why is there a feud between Nigerians and Jamaicans? The common answer is:
'Nigerians sold Jamaicans to the Europeans, when the slave trade began'. As an African man I am sickened at the movement of African traders, selling their own people to European traders such as Nicolas Owen, and as a result the slave trade did destroy life in Africa, dividing cultures, traditions and lives. Now the only problem with the above answer is that it wasn't Nigerians that sold Jamaicans to 
the Europeans. It was Africans that sold Africans to the Europeans. 

Now before the introduction of Columbus in 1494 Jamaica was inhabited by Arawaks, a peaceful people who formed fishing and hunting  communities. However the interference of the Spanish, much like that of the Europeans in Africa left Jamaica in turmoil. The Spanish Occupation (1494 - 1655) saw these peaceful communities break up and eventually migrate from their homes. This then saw an influx of African slaves into Jamaica to help in the conquest of the Americas.

Looking at the facts the harsh reality is that we should be more ashamed of the disposition of our ancestors; rather then let the past implications of others have an ongoing effect on our future. The dilemma now is that the youth of today are being taught the same negative views by their parents and grandparents, therefore continuing the feud between Nigerians and Jamaicans.

Like I said before I take pride in being Nigerian, however taking pride in where come from is one thing but if you don't have the knowledge of where you come from, you should really asks yourself the 
question: Why don't I know? Black people tend to only unite when it  is convenient for them, unity with your brethren should not be a trend, but it should be something that makes you feel good, a way of 
learning and communicating with your people.

However our inner turmoil's as black people, fighting amongst  ourselves is merely a small problem, compared to the oppression of racism, that we face. Today is an example of the struggle that we face, as the racist society that we live in has begun to brake us up. On job application forms for example we are classified as Black- African, Black-Caribbean, Black-British, White/Black African and White/Black Caribbean. Living in a world where our society tells us our ethnicity, black people face an upward struggle for an identity in their own environment.

With society clearly dividing black people into sections, there is undoubtedly an ongoing effect on the black community. As these divisions black people are put into have seen some black people begin 
to no longer classify themselves as black, but as the ethnic classifications our society provides. One thing that I've learnt from analysing the negative urban policies the government issues is that when we look at the bigger picture our eyes tend to see things which our mind or our ignorance had previously blocked out. Racism exist within society we just have to recognize the facts, for example the events that occurred after the hurricane in New Orleans, the Steven Lawrence murder April 1993, the Rodney King beating March 1991, the murder of Malcolm X 1965, the murder of Martin Luther King 1968, why guns and drugs are so accessible in poor areas populated with black people and the list goes on.

In the 'Land of Opportunity' when Hip Hop music and culture was introduced into mainstream America, many critics in society including those within the Government saw Hip Hop as nothing more then a 
passing trend, that would eventually end up being brushed underneath the carpet. The majority of white America didn't pay any attention, as they clearly felt that black music and culture didn't merit mainstream exposure.

The problem was, when groups like Public Enemy and The 2 Live Crew  began to appeal to white America, it was at this point that black  music gradually became a threat, a threat that is to the Ethiopia 
constructed by a conservative and racist society. This then of course led to various campaigns being introduced to restrict the influence black music had on a country dominated by white supremacy. In a country that claims to be democratic why was Hip Hop music challenged on so many levels? Could it be that freedom of speech is optional in America? Especially when the views of black people are 
used to express the discrimination of a racist society.

Though slavery was abolished over three centuries ago, black people still remain slaves to their racist governments and respective societies. We count for 12.9% of the worlds population, second to white people, so why are we are under-represented on a political stage? When we look at it black men and women are the trendiest of all races, which is why society tends to adapt to our music, fashion 
and culture. Could it be that we are seen as such a threat to a white world that our governments restricts us in order to control us? As society has systematically structured a method to box in black 
people, hence the word 'Urban' which now seems to describe any form of black culture and _expression, it is apparent now, more then ever that a change in both social and democratic equality in needed.

I swear to the Lord I still can't see Why Democracy means Everybody but me. ~Langston Hughes,(The Black Man Speaks)Many racists see the skin of black people as a disease. The only disease that black people have suffered from is Insomnia, because we have been asleep for far too long and until we unite as a race of people we will orever be living this nightmare as our reality.

 

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