By Nachi Aguboshim, (Nachi,
like most African Children born in the diaspora
is trying to redefine himself.
He writes with passion and an open mind. Nachi
is an intern at the youth desk of African Echo
Why is it that black culture such as music, fashion and even our diverse lifestyles which includes our mannerism, our food and even the way we carry ourselves are accepted on a global scale?
But we, as black people, the people who live, eat, breathe and truly value the fundamentals that express who we are as black people, are still seen as outcast in society?
When we take time to analyse the situation we begin to wonder whether or not this acceptance has had a positive effect on the progression and current status of black culture and the presentation of black culture. Or has this acceptance, which has seen black culture emerge into the mainstream media been nothing more then a devise that has simply presented a negative view of both our culture and our people? Hence keeping us in a box, where we will remain until we have the vision and most importantly the courage
to say: ‘Wait this isn’t how life for black people should be?’
Do you know how many slaves died for us . . . . . . . ? Actually I don’t like the word slaves do you know how many of our ancestors died for us to get the privileges that we now have toady? Not hundreds, not thousands, millions, think about the millions of black
people who died for us to be able to speak in our native languages, read and write, talk and even follow a religion.
We have struggled so much and we still struggle today, just ask our brothers and sisters in New Orleans. Do we not have black multibillionaires in the land of opportunities, America, to stop building up their empire out of a continent that has raped and exploited their people for hundreds of years. Countries like Jamaica, Ghana and many other parts of Africa and the Caribbean continue to be controlled by the IMF (International Monitory Fund) and the World Bank. Why?
Because as black people we are deluded by the appeal the media gives us, by making us feel that this disgraceful ‘Urban’ tag, is fine for us. We have become urban and so seem not to care about the rest of the black world. The word ‘Urban’ however is associated with being undeveloped, inner-city and of low class. We have unfortunately accepted this because the media and the images it presents of us glorifies a kind of lifestyle and all that we e young impressionable minds watching the television seeing the music truly aspire to rests on getting expensive cars, houses, girls etc. The ‘Urban Culture’ a word I use loosely as our future and with that said really is a true miss-representation of what we stand for in our societies.
And most importantly we have become so diluted by the influences of this western culture that we have became oblivious, to the discrimination that black people go through, or maybe we are aware but we just dismiss it? Though I may always mention western culture and it’s influences, don’t underestimate the power money; material possessions, women, technology and greed have brought over to us.
The factor that is seen as the catalyst behind the way that black culture has been acknowledged and presented to the media is the progression of Hip Hop culture and the conventions that have been associated with it throughout the early 90’s to the present date.
Because of the social presence, the colourful backgrounds and the emerging popularity of black culture to the mainstream i.e. the white audience in terms of our distinct styles within society, the media became very aware of this popularity and began to take notice of the styles and conventions of black music forms, especially Hip Hop music.
The media focused on Hip Hop music not because Hip Hop was the most positive black music form, (or though it was the most popular among the impressionable youth) or because it expressed a positive message to the world about black people, our music, our culture and our heritage but the media focused on this music form as they saw Hip Hop music and it’s offspring ‘Urban Culture’ which the media created to be the device that would generate money at the expense of black people and also a device that would systematically present a destructive view of black people and our lifestyles. This establish the ideal of black people being low class degenerates with no morals, direction, education, financial stability and most importantly no future And by using our own music
and narrow-minded artists who believe more in the power of the pound or the dollar then in the power of their culture shows just how much we as black people are willing to sell out in order to become accepted within a society that truly doesn’t care about us.