Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Bookshop boogie.. ( crap title I know:))

Chromes recent Kemet post got me thinking

I’ll use the term black community loosely in this post without analysing it too much with regards to if there is one, because I think you’ll all get where I’m coming from.

I wondered if improved knowledge of black culture and history would make any difference to many of the issues that blight (talking of the negative issues) the ‘black community'.
I used to think it would. Now I’m not so sure.
I’m not sure because many black African Caribbean people have decent knowledge or at least an awareness of black culture and history. Yet more often than not it makes little difference with regards to how they live their lives or treat each other.
I am beginning to think the change that is needed may be more spiritual and less factual.
I went into a well known black bookshop recently and there were three middle aged (and over) black men in the corner talking. Talking about the bible being fairy tales and other such (barbershop style) conversations.
I browsed the books. I winced in many cases at the price of the books ( but that's another story)... and felt odd about their conversation..
I wondered about sub cultures. I wondered why black men (of their ilk) huddled in corners to talk about these things. What did they do for a living?.. Why are these talks ‘underground’ and not ‘over ground?’
To me they seemed to represent our hidden black men. Hiding away in huddles talking about things they’re never likely to do.
Also... there was no real customer care... I felt like an outsider... and indeed... I was.
I didn't fit in this space, and that was weird.
I left the shop feeling relieved to be out in the air.

The ‘Africans were the first’ type of conversations are beginning to grate on me a little. Why? Because despite knowing that... quite often we treat each other like shit.
We harbour internalised racist beliefs, and are rarely open and honest about the things we think or feel.
Love is often limited and almost always conditional
Discussions become competition... become arguments... become resentments
Self healing is (in my view) possibly the best way forward. With knowledge of self.. self discovery.. everything else will fall into place.
I think
Without a huddle in sight.


  1. You should listen to a typical Galaxy radio phone-in, you'd be shaking/crying/laughing at some of the outlandish (barbershop) comments from callers :~) However there are those, like the Rasta in my post, who make sense and put in hard practical and uplifting work - these people I pay attention to.

    The myriad Afrocentric creationist/revisionist views can be at times incoherent, especially when you try to reconcile it with the current state of the "black community". You find yourself asking "so, if you were first on the planet why isn't ..?"

  2. I hear you Chrome
    Maybe i'm beng cynical.. maybe i'm not .. tough call...
    I just dont much dig fakes, frauds, liars, or the arrogant longbagatalking' types that frequent certain estblishments. My tolerance level is... 0.
    My tempatation is to remark.. and so f****** what!?!
    Do you really think we need a history lesson , or a lesson in self love?.. or ...are they one and the same?... as I said ...I'm not sure...
    We seem to be going around in circles somewhat
    Besides.. I know of enough 'afrocentric'/'rasta' 'types' who call their women 'Queen' then beat the hell out of them in private.

    Shit don't wash with me

  3. D, the merits of an Afrocentric world view is never lost on the discerning mind, so no you are not being cynical. If anything its a frustration shared by many. OK, it sounds good to the ear but what's its application when our kids are been killed on the street?

    As you describe it, and as I've witnessed too, these guys wear it like some reactionary label and are thoroughly incapable of applying even its basic tenets. Always in the negative and nothing really uplifting about the conversations - race this, white that, devil this. This is a different age and these views are mostly outdated, address nothing we face today, and bunk when you swirl it around in your mouth (yuk!). Better to do most times than to talk.

    I had this "conscious" breddah once tell me white women were devils not to be touched with a pole. Turned out my man was the biggest "perpetrator" in a shocking way (;) I'll tell you the bizarre story sometime)

    We should remain proud of who we are but very mindful of who is telling our story

  4. I hear that Chrome.
    I talk about lots of things often of that nature so I hope I’m not being hypocritical. It’s certainly not my intention. I am also aware that we are often our own worst critics... and my entire blog one could say is subjective..
    My 'world view' if you like
    Still... a broader perhaps a less ‘huddled’, navel gazing approach is very very welcome
    I like the comment you made..'better to do most times.. than to talk'
    I feel we're on the same page