Black People : IS CONTINENTAL AFRICAN SUPERIOR TO AFRICAN DIASPORAN CULTURE???

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Isaiah, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Many times I have read here at Destee's Forum, folk whom I have a lot of respect for bowing to African customs, traditions, and opinions over our own, and thought I might offer some personal opinions of my own on this problematic subject...

    First and foremost, African Americans, were born outside of the African Continent to parents and ancestors who were born outside of the African Continent, and \have had very little interaction with Africa and her traditons and customs for centuries... We are not fully African, nor fully American, and have created out of each of these cultural paradigms, our own cultural paradigm, for better or worse... I am fine with that... I respect African American culture and traditons, and laugh heartily at those who feign ignorance of them, even as they partake of our cultural traditions, or ask "what is it?'... That is THEIR cultural illiteracy speaking, not mine...

    I think we do ourselves a major disservice to hold someone elses cultural traditions up above our own - yes, even if they are from the continent of Africa... Where is is written - and by whom - that Continental African Tradition and Culture is so superior to that of our own??? Would it be the same "reasoning" that made European culture so "superior" in our self-loathing minds - because it was theirs and not ours???

    I am asking this question as a clarion call to reassess ourselves and our thinking, not to get the staunch Pan Africanists at this board in a tizzy... I understand how some of us feel about Africa, and moreso, about America... Sometimes I think the latter is behind all of our over much touting of African Culture over our own... I also think that not enough of us KNOW just what our culture is, and how that culture DOMINATES the world at present, and has been doing so for nearly a century.... I wanna know what makes a people who can do that so loathesome of themselves, and their contributions to the world??? I wanna know why many of us think Africans and African Culture is so superior that we are constantly holding it up as a paradigm for ourselves, even as Africans on the continent look to us as dynamic creators of culture for the world???



    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  2. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    ^5, yes, i'm guilty of doing that.......
     
  3. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    What's happenin', brother James!

    I am wondering WHY we do this, not to impugn anyone's character for doing so... I am asking us to reassess our own culture, and be proud of it in spite of the assault upon it by others, as well as ourselves... I am saying that while it is great and wonderful to celebrate ALL that is African Culture, we are just as much a part of that culture as anyone who deigns to appoint Continental Africans or Europeans superior to us culturally...


    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  4. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    it seems we are always placing someone else above ourselves.
    i just came from a thread where some young brother put down the contribution of the civil rights era blacks and said we should look to the Japanese and follow their example. meantime Japanese kids are trying to be as ghetto as they can get.
    we do have a problem big upping our selves. we will spend volumes saying what we do wrong.
    while that is also true, we do a lot that is good. much of the world follows us.
    we build industries. rap, nba, hell, all major sports.
    we just need to learn to control them for our own benefit.
    we are not as bad off as we think, i think.
     
  5. MississippiRed

    MississippiRed Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Big Brother Isaiah.....how you been CatDaddy ?? Man this is a good question and something I've wondered and have spoken about in here a couple times...

    James that's a dam good point bruh


    I have no problem with folk being proud of our African heritage I know I'm proud of my background, both sides but not at the expense of our heritage and tradition here.....yall know how I feel about Southern Heritage and Tradition so I won't get into it but like I said good question Isaiah and I think this will give us all or at least the folk that respond some insight into why each side of the debate feels the way they do........



    Red
     
  6. SAMURAI36

    SAMURAI36 Banned MEMBER

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    The problem with some of the assertions made here, is that Continental African culture is somehow a different and separate entity from Diasporic African culture.

    I've found that many of the people who make this presumption, actually know little to nothing about what they refer to as "Continental" African culture. And I surmise that this is by design as well.

    How far does one go back into his family history, before he discovers an "ancestor" that is not related to him/her?

    Where do we think our affinity for music comes from? Our hairstyles? How colloqualisms and mannerisms?

    What have we in the Diaspora created, that is altogether unique from that which is on the Continent?

    The plight of Africans on the Continent is not dissimilar in the slightest with what Blacks in the Diaspora are experiencing.

    Aren't they killing each other, just like we are? Aren't they oppressed and controlled by the White man just like we are? How are their tribal civil wars, any different from our Bloods and Crips?

    Personally, I give credence to the Continental African experience as superlative to all others, because it serves as the source for all others.

    But that is not so say that Diasporic African culture does not have its merits, any moreso than Continental African culture is not without its faults.

    The bad thing about this, is that we as Blacks, seem to be the only peoples who separate ourselves as an entity.

    Never would we here Asians in the West, speak of Asia in any other tone, but that of reverence and homage.

    Our heritage and tradition here, be it in the Caribbean, or in the South, is merely an extension, for better or for worse of the Continental experience. It's not one that was created in lieu of it.

    Now, we can sit and talk about which aspects we as individuals prefer over that of others: I personally despise the South, while loving the Caribbean. I'm sure it's vice-versa for some others.

    But none of us can deny the parts that these regions have played in the development of our universal heritage.

    My Journey did not begin in the South, or America at all. For that matter, it didn't begin in the Caribbean either.

    I personally will pay unequivocal homage to the land in which my forefathers and First Mother was created from.

    Much love to Mother Uhuru.

    HOTEP
     
  7. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I thank both of you brothers for responding to the question... I know that some of us have it fixed in our minds already, that aint nothing we could've accomplished in this part of the world the equal of what our ancestors accomplished on the Continent... They are WRONG...and there is so much beyond, say, musical culture that we Africans in Diaspora have accomplished in literature which Continental Africans cannot hold a candle to...

    Continental Africa has not produced as many great writers - the James Baldwins, Richard Wrights, Toni Morrison's, Walter Moseley's, and August Wilson's - as have been produced in the United States, and the diaspora...and that's only a short list of U.S. Black writers... In the Caribbean, there is C.L.R James, George Padmore, Derek Walcott, Edwige Danticat, and so on... Why would we not make literature a part of the discussion of culture??? Is it because our knowledge of these things are bereft, as well???

    I think that if you are going to say that someone is superior to you, then they must possess something you cannot even touch... I have looked at some of the cultures of the world, and I think while there are a few which I greatly respect, I don't feel that African Americans are in any sense culturally inferior to anyone... What is even more interesting is that many of those cultures KNOW that we are superior to them in many aspects of culture, and are constantly indulging in our culture to taste all of its dynamism...

    Again, I regard Continental African culture as the root from which our culture here stems, but there are no SUPERIOR parts of a tree... All parts of the tree serve their purpose... I am wondering why we Africans in Diaspora cannot simply serve what our purpose is without having to hear we have no purpose at all???



    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  8. MississippiRed

    MississippiRed Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I think the problem with that train of thought however is that we are not wholly African and neither is the culture that we now have here in America true there are similarities but there are also differences....most of the Asians that I know who are born here don't speak with reverance when thinking of their homeland because usually they can't relate.....from what I've seen and this is only my experience Africans that come here are different from Blacks in America so much so that most people from other ethnic backgrounds can even tell the difference............

    As far as the plight of Africans in Africa them killing each other is the same as any other group of people on the earth...

    To me loving a place you were from at some point over the place you are that nurtured you and shaped you is backwards but to each his/her own....it's the same deal that some of Black Americans think the key to our salvation or happiness is to move back to Africa and others aren't going anywhere ........who's right both neither who knows .....I personally think this question has no right or wrong answer it's based to much on personaly ideology and what that individual believes is best for him/her and those they are in charge of taking care of........

    Isaiah I was wrong this will not give either side of the arguement insight I think it will possibly only deepen the divide......JMHO


    MississippiRed
    Got a double sided Soulstirrers this weekend.........one word bruh..........Fi
     
  9. SAMURAI36

    SAMURAI36 Banned MEMBER

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    As I have said previously, there is a rampant epidemic of ignorance from our people in the Diaspora, about Continental Africa.

    Much of the perspectives stated here on this site, as well as in the world at large, as they pertain to Africa are outlandish and perposterous.

    Africa has heralded more Black literary personas than any other continent put together, from ancient times to now.

    Regarding contemporary African writers, we have:

    *Chinua Achebe
    *Vincent Chukwuemeka Ike'
    * Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    *Mbulelo Mzamane
    *Nawal El Saadawi
    * Tsitsi Dangarembga
    *Chiekh Anta Diop

    And countless others.

    As a matter of fact, there is an African Literature conference taking place in Ghana, this May: http://africanlit.org/

    Why is there going to be a conference, if Africa does not have any writers, that can "hold a candle" to what we Blacks do in America?

    Last I checked, Chinua Achebe's "THINGS FALL APART" was required reading in many HBCU's across the USA.

    Why, if it doesn't hold a candle to anything American Blacks have done?

    I wonder if they are reading James Baldwin in Kenya.... :?:

    From an ancient perspective, our people were writing books before the White man was even a thought in anyone's mind, must less the Diaspora.

    Timbuktu was THE literary center of the world.

    Regarding music, contemporarily Africa has numerous artists that are world reknown:

    *FELA KUTI
    *BABA MAAL
    *BALLAKE SISSOKO
    *LADYSMITH BLACK MOMBAZO

    Not only that, but African musical artistry graces jazz, Reggae, Opera, and even Hip-Hop (there are numerous African MC's, like IAM, LIN BROTHAZ, PEE FROIS, etc.....Interestingly, all of the above MC's have worked closely with WU-TANG, yet another "American Black Group"......Go figure.).

    In antiquity, AFRICANS CREATED MUSIC!!! Where do we think we got the concept of the bass drum? Or the flute? Or the Trumpet? Of the Piano?

    Dizzy Guillespie wouldn't have been able to "do his thing", were it not for the Africans of the Songhay.

    So I ask again, what have we "created", that we didn't already create?

    For every one thing that we do not know, is an opportunity to learn about it.

    Africa and her knowledge and culture are waiting for us.
     
  10. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother, firstly, I used the term "Continental African Culture generically" to avoid the unweildy task enumerating the plethora of African cultures which have been used by various posters to denigrate African Diasporic culture... There again, I used the term "African Diasporic Culture" when I know full well there is no such animal... Now, brother, we clear, or are we gone take this to the jury again??? You got to be able to read between the lines sometimes brother...

    Now, you say you "despise" Southern African American Culture, so I presume you don't dig RAP music, because geographically that is it's origins... Sure, I have heard - and believed when I didn't know no better - that it all began in Jamaica somewhere(smile!) That's a very self-serving narrative on some people's parts - those who don't know AFrican American's have been recorded using this term RAP since at least the 19th century, and have been setting rap over musical interludes since the 1940's, when African American Disc Jockeys - ALLLL of whom were from the SOUTH - invented and perfected the technique...

    You're right, to each his own, but it's a tough thing to say one despises a culture to which so many millions of African Americans subscribe to... Wonder what your response would be if I said I despise African Caribbean culture, and by extension those who make it???(smile!)


    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
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