Umkhonto we Sizwe! (Spear of the Nation)
Independent Afrikan centered parenting and education

The Unanswered Call

I know that this is a topic many of us prefer not to engage in, for some odd reason. It seems to me as if it is a discussion that is feared or avoided in Afrikan centered circles. But i am about to “go there” because i feel it is necessary. Lately, i have heard alot about the level of child abuse and incest that is going on within our diaspora communities. This concerns me alot. I worry for our children. I understand that they need and deserve our love and protection. I also understand that if so many of them are being brutally abused and violated in this way that means that we are failing them as a people. Almost everytime i get on the internet i come across another story of an Afrikan child being molested, beaten to death, burnt with fire, raped or violated- by their parents, another family member or a stranger.

When i speak to my sistas and brothas, i also hear about acts of incest that go on within the community i live and elsewhere. I also hear many disturbing stories about acts of incest that go on in various parts of the Caribbean, which is where both sides of my family is from. Sometimes it is a story about a mother who ignores the fact that her husband is molesting her daughter for fear of losing her “relationship”. Other times it is a story about a father molesting his daughter or an older brother raping his sister. I have been told disturbing stories about drug-addicted mothers “selling” their daughters to dealers for a “fix”. And i have also heard many stories about young boys being sexually abused by so-called “men” in our community. The stories i hear are too many, too frequent, often too disturbing to hear. I am by no means saying that the majority of our people abuse our children. But in all honesty, with the rate i and others are hearing about these things it is clear that this is becoming an epidemic.

Let me not forget to mention the fact that so many Afrikan children in the diaspora are in foster care, from a young age, and are being adopted by europeans and non-Afrikans at a rate that is appalling and crippling to us as a race. I often wonder to myself how these children will react to Us in the future when they reach adulthood. Will they have contempt and resentment for Black people? Will they want to be associated with Us or will they shun Us? One thing is clear: europeans or any non-Afrikan cannot raise Afrikan children. The fact is they should not even be allowed to! The final judgement is that: Our children who are being raised by europeans and non-Afrikans will more than likely be culturally confused, spiritually imbalanced and traumatized. And only Onyame (the Creator) knows what is happening to these children in their care. After reflecting upon all of this, i have come to understand that our self- hatred runs deep, WAY too deep.

It manifests in many ways, and our children are paying the price for it. The state of our children, the most innocent and vulnerable among us, is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves, as a whole. Therefore, it is evident that collectively, we are lacking self-love, dignity and self-respect. And just because we define ourselves as Afrikan-centered does not mean that we do not suffer from self-hatred and willie lynch syndrome. Many of us came into this reality late in our lives and have experienced the same trauma and mental/psychological torture as any other Afrikan person in the diaspora.

I have been told that this is “not my problem” that “i should just relax and take it easy” and that “i should just focus on me and my son”. I have been told this so much by Afrikan people that it has now become a mantra to me playing over and over within my head. But i block it out so it does not become an idea that i internalize. I DO know better. I know all too well that i do not live in a vacuum. I know and realize that the trauma these children are experiencing is a result of our collective failure to accept the responsibility of building a true village to raise our children, together. We say “it takes a village to raise a child” because it sounds good to our ears but not because we really mean it. It is clear by our current state that we have No intentions to live by it. That is very sad and pathetic, to see how many of us make a mockery of the wisdom of our divine ancestors. I never knew that Living in harmony with Afrikan culture would be something we would voluntarily make a joke of.

I also recognize that some Afrikan people in the diaspora are having children just “because…” or sometimes even “by accident”. But if there are unfit parents in our immediate families and communities, as we know there are, the state should not be the ones taking those children out of their homes. If Any Afrikan child has to be removed from their home that should be our sole responsibility. We should have our own community sponsored childcare agencies for this reason and with the amount of so called black “professionals” this is more than realistic and possible. I know that many of us who feel this is “not our problem” may one day be haunted with the Shocking Truth. Our children, who we are raising in this Afrikan centered reality, will soon be interacting with these children who have been traumatized, raped, molested, beaten incessantly, insulted and abused by our own people and by europeans and other non-Afrikans.

What will we tell our children when they grow up? To run and hide from them? These children are going to grow into adults and become part of the larger society. They are going to interact with our families and communities. It is so funny to hear Afrikans say “this is not our problem, think about yourself”. If you look around you where-ever you live, you will see that so far that has not worked very well for any of us. It will continue to create a disastrous situation in our communities if we do not change.

Do we truly think that these children are going to somehow grow up into adults and disappear into some other world that we do not exist in? These children are going to grow up and be full of anger, bitterness and rage against their own people, which is US, for not providing the protection they know they deserved. Not only have we ignored them, we have also ignored the fact that as a society, we have produced them. What does that say about Us? Even now, i see and notice some of these children when i take public transportation here in the city.

When i look in their eyes, i can see the pain and the rage. They look at me too, probably wishing they had a loving mother, father or adopted parent to go home to. They may not be our children biologically and therefore we may feel we have no responsibility to them, but there is more to the story that just what we “think”. All of this hyper-individualism and egotistic selfishness is going to come back to haunt us. When your son is 19 and wants to go to the local talent show and community dance, he will meet these children who were abused and neglected and he will interact with them. When your daughter is 20 and begins to meet and interact with brothas of her own peer group in her community, she may also come into contact with young brothas who you or other community members may not know. There is no telling who she may meet. Will we still say then that “it is not our problem”?

It is ridiculous and unrealistic to assume that our children, who we are raising within the Afrikan centered paradigm, will have NO contact with children who were physically, mentally and psychologically abused and tortured. We do not live on separate planets, we never have and never will. Therefore, not only do we have to delve deeply into this topic, we have to accept that we do have a duty and responsibility to care and nurture children that are not OURS biologically and are not connected to our direct family lineage. It is still amazing to me to hear Afrikan centered people say “it is not my problem”. That is an oxymoron. If we continue to say that Afrikan children are not our problem we will be dealing with a severe epidemic of Black self-hatred and self-annihilation in the next 5-15 years. And we already know how that manifests, don’t we?

It manifests as Black on Black crime, teenage pregnancy, rape, drug addiction, criminal activity, psychological and mental illness, depression, suicide as well as more self inflicted physical and psychological abuse and torture within the Afrikan world. These so called Black “intellectuals” who believe they can run off to the suburbs to live with europeans and other non-Afrikans in order to escape our problems will get a rude awakening very soon. They will continue to ignore the fact that they are still part of the Black community until their house gets broken into by one of these children and they lose meaningful “valuables” that “cost them alot of money”. Or until they get robbed at gun point walking to their car. As someone who has been actively involved in the local black community for years, i know that some of these children get involved in crime when they become adolescents.

I know this because i have seen the desperation, rage and pain on the faces of these teenagers. Many of them notice that the middle and upper class are able to live comfortably. They also notice this about the so called “black bourgeoisie” who scorn them. They feel that they are owed something. I cannot disagree with them. This does not mean that i condone crime because i do not. What i do recognize though is that these children cannot be ignored, because they DO exist. They are not and never have been invisible. But these Black “intellectuals” who experience first hand the rage of these teens, will be quick to run to their local police station to make a report on these “dangerous and violent” Black adolescents, after they are traumatized by their experience with them. They will express how fearful they are of them. They will tell the police that “something must really be done about these juvenile deliquents!”

They will make every effort to assure the police officers that “their” children do not associate with “those types” of black people”. But they will fail to remember that when these children needed them they were Nowhere to be found. They will fail to remember that they ignored these children all their lives until the problems of these children arrived at their own doorstep! Regardless of their economic status, they are not the ones these children need and we know it. These children need US, those Few Afrikans in the diaspora who are committed to reviving and restoring our divine ancestral laws, values and principles in our lives and families.

Even those of us with minimal resources can still offer them something. All of these Black “intellectuals” need to be disqualified from speaking on behalf of Anyone who is Afrikan. They definitely cannot be given the right to speak on behalf of our wounded children who are in need of healing. They are actually part of the reason they are still being abused in the first place. In my opinion, We must do something concrete for our children in the diaspora, within the next 5 years or we are ALL in very serious trouble. It is not going to affect a few of Us it is going to affect us all. Those of you who believe “it is not your problem” will not be exempt. In approx. 5-10 years, Mark my word, it WILL become your problem.

Don’t we see we have endured enough trauma already, as it is? Are we at peace knowing that our children will be left with a legacy of powerlessness because of our ignorance and neglect? Personally, i am not. I realize that i/We Must take ACTION, even if that action is putting a solid plan into place for the near future. I realize that our children are silently calling on US to notice them, to notice that they need our help, support, love and affection. They have been betrayed. They are hurt and enraged right now, and many of Us have grown to fear them. If we fear them, it is only because we fear ourselves. We Can nurture and heal their wounds. We have been nurturing one another for centuries, under worse circumstances. I am sure we can do it again. We Can help them to honor, enjoy and celebrate the essence of what it means to be an Afrikan child. It is up to US if we will answer their call.

To comment on this article contact me at yayakentake@gmail.com.
Yenge ye zola (Peace and love).

Written by:
Yaya Kentake.

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