Generally speaking, in dealing within a group of recognizable Africans, the outward symbols can be played down, as there is already a common experience and outward appearance with which to relate. But when dealing within the wider world of mixed communities, then the outward symbols of a culture can help people get an easy visual statement of where you are coming from, or going. They can obviously see your focus. Of course, the people who can communicate well can convey many symbols with words, but most people cannot do that so the outward symbols help. It is also comforting to many who are making this journey to see others with the symbols of what they feel. It makes them feel like they are part of a wider group. It is quite attractive, and is usually the entrance point for identifying with a group/culture.
If a couple of informed Africans are chatting, then they do not feel the need to highlight the fact that they are Africans. We can easily get into the essence of the reasoning. But if we were chatting in a diverse arena, and especially today where many Africans are still colonized, then the symbols and references to Africa can ensure that others easily recognize our focus.
The outward symbols can serve a valuable function, and I know there is no attempt to dismiss that here. But in saying this, it is still the inner meaning that will bind people together i.e. bring lasting unity.
The main point is: If people only rely on the external symbols of a culture for authenticity, then they will be easily fooled, because detractors can easily copy the symbols, and they usually do.
In my view, the key points in the two perspectives are quite valid.
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