Re: Writers Back African Languages
Posted By: PatriotWarrior In Response To: Re: Writers Back African Languages (karibkween)
Date: Monday, 14 November 2005, at 11:24 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Writers Back African Languages (karibkween)
It is interesting how little Afrikan-Americans identify with Afrikan culture in reality (that is, of course if we put aside all those physical symbols and emblems and mental clichés and stuff), but don’t blame them: Indigenous Afrikans on the Motherland, especially those who think they have attained a certain level of euro-centred education, and thereby achieved some amount of “upward” economic mobility and power, are themselves even more “guilty” of the same. In more than just one small way, there are of course many similarities in attitudes to or against culture, in general, that Afrikans, wherever they may be found in this world, share. Faced with their day-to-day fight for survival as they confront a harsh and racist world, all black people are trapped in a dilemma. I guess such ambivalent attitudes are the wrong chip off the famous “Survival of the Fittest” slogan; or perhaps from the more recent “If you can’t beat them, join them”?
On the other hand, it is of course regarded as obvious for European-Americans (if such a classification exists or can be accepted at all!) to proudly identify with their European heritage and roots, even where there may be controversy. This may be done through religious commemorations (“Thanksgiving”), political commemorations (July 4), celebrating adventure and exploration (Columbus; the docking of the “Mayflower”) etc. I am sure some African-Americans do get involved and participate in marking such occasions. Yet … There still isn’t anything called “Slavery Memorial Day” for us to judge if whites themselves are FREE enough to take part and assist in any such afro-centred Afrikan commemorations. Who has even heard of “African Reparations Day” or “Anti-colonialism Day”? What about of “Afrikan Lands Appropriation Day”?
The only logical way forward for Black Afrika -- FOR THE SAKE OF ALL BLACK PEOPLE WORLD-WIDE -- is to annul current language policies continent-wide as void, and enact new ones in their stead so that Afrikan languages and vernaculars are placed on the upper rungs of the socio-economic ladder, not down under. I have come to realise that many Afrikans back home do not even know what’s going on around them as parroting English-speaking politicians pass laws and bylaws in a language that the MAJORITY of citizens understand only with difficulty. It is important to remember that the gradual colonization of Afrika between the 15th and 19th centuries was carried out in much the same way, using these languages, and it has actually been speculated that in MOST cases where European “missionaries, self-styled explorers and traders” signed “contracts” with affable (and sometimes too naïve) local Afrikan chiefs, “Indunas” and “headmen”, such “agreements” -- (composed in the Portuguese or Spanish or French or English language, as it were) -- ended up proving to have been a trick. Yes, a TRICK! I am sure most of us already know that:
The mistake most of us today make is to believe that our countries are “free”, we are totally “free” and are therefore even free to say whatever we want -- (be it in English or French or Portuguese or Spanish or German) -- whenever we want, about how our countries should or should not be constituted or ruled. In reality, though, it is simply not the case. MOST Afrikans are automatically cut off from such democratic processes not because they don’t vote, or can’t read, but because even when they vote, and even if most Afrikans can read, they simply don’t understand the twisted promises made by those economic planners whose main interest seems to be to ensure that MOST Afrikans are kept dumb in a dark corner of their own countries, while sparkling riches get carted out. I think one step to correct this very sad state of affairs is to put in place proper language policies in Afrika that allow for the majority of people to UNDERSTAND exactly what is being carried out in the country.
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