Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why We Need to Identify as Black

From time to time, I receive comments from people about the fact that I use the word “Black” to refer to people of African heritage. Thus, my books are called Black Success Stories, Success Strategies for Black People and More Black Success.

The history of the word Black is an interesting one. In traditional African spiritual practice, the colour black is considered to be the strongest, most powerful colour in existence. When we want to attract something, we use the colour black to attract it.

To take an example from nature, a black hole in space attracts everything to it.

My opinion – this is a personal view – is that white people, people of European descent, as well as other light-skinned people such as Arabs, were aware of the power of the colour black, and that is why they feared it. So they started to associate blackness with negativity.

However, as African people, we have no reason to fear the colour black or the word “black”. Plus, many of our ancestors were black, the colour of the earth, and there are still many black-skinned African people in the diaspora, all over the world.

The rich, deep dark blackness of Black skin - "coal-black, plum black, blue black" to quote Maya Angelou.

So Blackness is an important part of our identity.

As an African American, I am proud to identify myself as Black and I shall continue to do so.

This blog contains hundreds of Black history resources. If you type “Black history” into the search box, you can access them.

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