Being a conscious, race-first Black/Afrikan man or woman in the 21st century within the system of racism/white supremacy, which places a target directly on your back is, to say the least, very challenging. It can be lonely, mentally taxing and depressing when you feel as though you see and have the courage to speak and act on serious and important issues concerning the condition of Black/Afrikan people, and the system of racism/white supremacy that everyone else can see, but refuses to acknowledge due to fear, apathy or whatever other reason. It can be heartbreaking when you seek out and come across information that the great Dr. Kamau Kambon calls “life saving information”, you excitedly and eagerly share with those around you, and get at most a shrug of the shoulders. It can be extremely frustrating to find yourself, as perhaps the only “conscious” person in a room full of Black people, having to try to sell liberation to the people for whom liberation is most desperately needed, our own Black/Afrikan people. This is doubly true if you do not have a solid support group of people who are like minded to exchange ideas, plan and strategize with, or an experienced elder figure, who understands the psyche of Black people and has experience dealing with the difficulties of working for Black liberation. In these environments, “standing on your square” and “holding the line” without getting discouraged can be very difficult. But these are the environments when remaining consistent, persistent and resolute are the most effective
In the chance that there might be some who are unaware of the meanings of these terms, now is the time to give a brief synopsis of what those terms represent to the writer personally. Standing on your square” and “holding the line” represents having a viewpoint that is rock solid from a logical and truthful perspective, and sticking with that view, until presented with better, more complete information, which may slightly alter your viewpoint to align with the new information (remember “We should always seek the highest truth or the best way in everything we do. It is the way of a true warrior to always follow truth wherever it may lead”). It means not giving in to the fleeting, momentary feelings of despair and hopelessness that taking this colossal assignment may incur, as the system of racism/white supremacy is designed to crush opposition before the opposition becomes the opposition. It means being unwavering, even in spite of challenging personal circumstances which may threaten your ability to stay true to the liberation of Black/Afrikan people, even if you may necessarily have to alter your approach in some situations. It means having integrity, having a steady, unchanging moral compass, and most importantly, being consistent. Consistency is the key, because as a saying that I once saw that resonated with my spirit goes, “consistency is a cornerstone of respect”.
This is why it is most important to stand firmly on your square, and hold the line in the face of skeptical, and perhaps uninformed or misinformed opposition. If you operate as if you yourself are unsure of your position, and are not consistent in thought, word and deed, not only when under pressure and everyone sees you, but also when you think no one is looking, it becomes easy for those who may not subscribe to a Black-First mindset to write off and dismiss those who purport to subscribe to such a mentality, and then subsequently write off pro-Black, Afrikan-centeredness altogether. But if you operate with integrity, you are as consistent as possible in thought, word and deed, and are thorough (as they used to say in the streets), then a certain level of respect is sure to follow, even if those who are showing the respect are not quite ready to immediately embrace conscious Afrikan-centeredness, pro-Blackness, Black-First, kwk. And this brings me to another very important, related virtue that must be brought to the forefront, patience.
“Most of us have the ability to remember when we were openly, ignorantly mentacidal. Our memory of this should keep us humble enough to not dismiss the possibility of others coming into consciousness. So we should exercise some degree of patience when dealing with those who do not know that they are Afrikan but who have the capacity and willingness to learn.” – Mwalimu Baruti
We are currently living in one of the most uncertain, dangerous times to be a Black/Afrikan person in history, even if it does not always appear to be so. This is a time of heightened and increasing racial turbulence and tension right in the forefront. But hidden beneath is very well-refined, less acidic on the surface level but much more deceptive and equally dangerous white supremacist rhetoric and propaganda. This is an environment where our enemies relentlessly promote an anti-Afrikan, often anti-life and anti-sanity agenda, which is marketed and sold non-stop to Black/Afrikan people worldwide, via various forms of media. This is made even more dangerous by the fact that many of our people are either “still asleep”, or are just now waking up from the integration dream that was sold to our people, and bought by many of us, where many of us are taught that racism is a thing of the past. In this environment, considering that a great many of us were not taught pro-Black consciousness and racial pride from “day one”, it is very important to be patient with other Black people, who may not have been exposed to the information and life experiences, and subsequently may not have come to the conclusions that we have, or who may be at a different stage of their awakening. But it is equally as important to also be patient with ourselves in our studies, our dealings with other Black people and our enemies, our thoughts, speech and behavior.
We must be patient with ourselves, with the understanding that we will always make mistakes, and will always bear the mental scars of living in a country that directly benefits from our misery, bloodshed and subjugation, and a world that is designed to corrupt you, exploit you and then exterminate you. We need to be patient with the understanding that Black/Afrikan people are trained to be hostile to each other, and hateful of ourselves. Another one of my favorite quotes by Baba Mwalimu Baruti is, “when you are swimming in a sea of insanity, you will get wet”. We must remember that we are constantly fighting to become the Blackmen and Women that we need to be in order to replace white supremacy with justice. And besides fighting against this system in the way that we deem most constructive within our abilities, we are also constantly fighting against our own conditioning and the resulting mentacide. Although mistakes are to be learned from and avoided, and mentacidal habits, conditioning and contradictions are to be discarded, it is a lifelong process to rid oneself completely of the wickedness that is passed off as normal and even acceptable in a society created and run by inherently wicked entities and individuals. So patience is one of the most important qualities to exhibit by those who consider themselves conscious or Black-First, especially by those who, like myself, spend the majority of our time around those who do not consider themselves conscious. I believe that patience and consistency draws in more people than fire and brimstone.
Brother Osei, 21st Century Race Man