Looking through the archives, I came across this piece. I think it is something that must be debated some more.
Are Afrocentrists shallow when it comes to Africa?
October 12, 2003
by Bantu Kelani
I am an African from Congo; I have had the opportunity to live in few other African Countries and currently in the States. This experience has given me the opportunity and authority to analyze various issues at hand in depth.
I can boldly say that most Diaspora Blacks with their white, near-white counterparts expressing Africaness through the prism of Afrocentricity and Pan-African movements are somewhat shallow about AFRICA, with or not by intent but by the mere fact that they do not feel or have a direct link and relationship with the ongoing conflicts, poverty, diseases in Africa. Mistakenly, they bound the continent all together with romantic philosophies. This explains why the majority of Diaspora Afrocentrists have not reached out to their brothers and sisters in the Motherland.
It is very obvious that black, white and near-white 'Afrocentrists' in the Diaspora and Africans on the Continent are very different! It is only logical when it comes to societies and circumstances, that Diaspora Afrocentrists ASSUME that they know what the Native African side is thinking, feeling, what motives and aspirations they have. This idealization comes about due to subjective fragmentary information, 'self-worth' based hypothesis and flawed observations through the western media.
Diaspora Afrocentrists praise repatriation to Ethiopia qua Africa, but how many of them are WILLING to invest in the affairs of Africa politically and economically? How many will be willing to try or even taking their time to visit Africa? Not many!
Diaspora Blacks, whites and near-white Afrocentrisists are not only scared of the instability of Africa, but also of the people in Africa itself!! They actually do not want natives of Africa to succeed... the white and near-whites sure as heaven don't want to lose some of their privileges. Consequently they get jealous and refuse to discuss the roots and solutions that could lead to the success of the kinky-hair-dark-skinned-black-Africans, who are a great deal of the African populace worldwide. The MAJORITY of them, although claiming Africa Liberation and Repatriation, remains in the Diaspora and refuse to go and create business in the Motherland. Thus, the indifference and sometimes HOSTILITY of some Africans towards Diaspora Afrocentrists who never set any foot in Africa and never reached out to build bridges.
In any case, there are Africans in the continent who very much distrust all people who are not from the continent, even people who are not from their country, ethnicity or tribe. I speak of rotten misguided souls who ruin the reputation of the rest of us Native Africans...I also think there are numerous Africans in the continent who are very accommodating and genuine! To practice Afrocentricity and Pan-Africanism does not mean only strutting in African trappings and promoting self-contented propaganda but it does mean Honesty, COURAGE and Wisdom. I am optimistic Africa can use inquisitive knowledge, expertise and help from the Diaspora and entrepreneurship.
It is the DUTY of ALL Diaspora Africans having reached the end of their journey to freedom to reconcile with the Motherland. They should strive towards it instead of learning, accepting, and attaching themselves to the comfortable Ideologies of treacherous people who cloak themselves in Afrocentric robes. It's time for all conscious Diaspora Africans to think out of the bubble and take the opportunity to visit Africa, this is very important to gain ALL the knowledge crucial to solve problems and give to the Motherland. We'll ALL be richly rewarded for this effort!
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