Hard Lessons Drawn From History

23 Jun

The other night I was interviewed on an urban radio program, Mobile Extreme Street Team on the subject of self-hatred in the Black community. As a social issue, there are few simple answers, and yet the topic resonated with the themes in my book. Self-hatred within any racial or ethnic group derives from internalizing limiting beliefs drawn from a legacy of discrimination and persecution. My own story reflects the common saying in the country of my birth, Argentina, “In Argentina, there are no blacks.” This became part of a collective denial of the African presence and its influence. One of Argentina’s leaders, Domingo Sarmiento actually coined the phrase and was responsible for extermination of blacks in the War of Paraguay (1875). Later, a yellow fever epidemic broke out in 1871 which contributed to the demise of many Argentine blacks. These events teach African descended people hard lessons about justice, equality, courage, and the even harder lesson to learn- self-acceptance. Today in the United States there appear to be many examples of media bias as related to African Americans. We have only to scan the Center For Disease Control webiste to see alarming health statistics that point to a shorter life expectancy. It appears stories of advancement and gains made by African Americans are uncommon, and under-reported. It is up to every individual to rid themselves of the horrid indoctrination perpetuated by all negative sources- history, the media, family, and the self- destructive voices within.

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