Here’s the problem many “conscious” Blacks have with raising our children under Systems and Institutions of White Domination: our actions don’t reflect our ideologies.
So, we can’t tell Black children; “don’t trust White children,” or “the White man is the oppressor,” or “you come from Kings and Queens of African,” or “we need to unite as a people,” or “we need to unite with and support our own people,” or “Africa is the home of human civilization,” etc: we can’t say all that shit and then not live it out.
I’ve been a father for 13 years now and lemme tell you, children watch what you do more than they listen to what you say.
I see Black Radicals, the most militant MFahs you’d ever come across, but they do everything they can to get up under White people. They live in White communities, they send their children to White schools, they live individualized White lifestyles, they embrace White values, and they only want all the comforts and opportunities that White society offers; but they hate the “White Devil.”
I was once a part of a rites-of-passage program, and the main goal of that RoP was to help Black youth get through school, get into college, and get a good job. My older son has also attended African Centered Schools and Programs, and they emphasize getting good grades, getting into college, and getting a good job; the more “radical” programs will encourage “startin yo own bizness” but they teach them to open and operate their businesses the exact same way as the dominate culture dictates! Or we push Black kids into STEM cuz that’s what the corporations are looking for in their workers, but we pretend that it’s supposed to empower us; as if a Black engineer designing guidance systems for US military drones somehow empowers Blacks. How is that Liberation?
If we are not educating, training, equipping, and inspiring Black children for Liberation and Revolution, we are feeding them into submission. If we are not building right now for Liberation, we are failing them before they even get started in life.
You can’t tell Black children not to trust White folks, or White children, while you life and actions reflect an absolution trust in the economy, infrastructure, laws, and stability of the oppressive government. Black children are instinctively too smart for that!
Black children know they should be rebelling, by and large, instinctively, they know they should be fighting, going against the System. It’s our job to give them the skills and resources they need to fight, but instead we train them to submit, without looking like they are submitting. We tell them to practice and embrace Black culture and African Heritage on the surface, while serving the oppressor in “real life.” We teach or model for them to work for the oppressor, while you party and protest with your own people.
We literally treat our struggle (for liberation and survival) as a hobby, or a weekend endeavor, or an after work thang, and our work for money/Whites as our real work/duty/jobs; and our children see this, it don’t matter what we say, they see and understand this. They know that we work for fiat currency, and we play for Liberation.
So, the only real options for Black youth is to submit, or rebel in a dysfunctional, under-resourced, and unsupported manor. They rebel by adopting some backwards Black Nationalist ideology, or by sagging pants, or vandalism, or gangsterism, they rebel by harming themselves and other Blacks; and we mistake this untrained, misdirect rebellion for mere criminality, or lack of respect. But #TheYouthAreTheTruth, they show us our mistakes and failings collectively. If your youth are fucking up as a group, if they are abandon you and your movements, if they don’t embrace your guidance, it’s cuz the whole damn community/nation/Race is fucked up, it’s cuz we failed them, not the other way around.
Of course the Oppressor drives and profits from this dysfunction as well; but that’s counter-insurgency; it should be expected that they would push self-destruction or submission on our kids, or else their Systems wouldn’t survive a generation. But we don’t do our part to even spark the insurgency. They kill our (revolutionary) seeds, before they are even planted, let alone had a chance to grow.
So, the bottom line is, we wouldn’t have to tell Black youths shit about Whites if our communities reflected our own values and Revolutionary objectives. If we set up the proper community infrastructure and institutions to encircle our children physically and psychologically. But the Conscious folks are as individualistic as the Black masses and all of our children are as exposed to the devastating effects of Oppression and White Domination as the rest of us, and telling them to “not trust YT,” without the proper African Infrastructure to support them in their resistance and cultivation comes off as paranoid “Hotepism” instead of proper guidance and instruction.
How the hell you gon tell Black children not to trust White kids when you true White adults to purify the water, maintain the roads, keep the power grid up, and all that shit? Your kids will go along with that shit until they are old enough to tell you: “mom, dad, I’m not with that Africa stuff,” or some version of that statement. I’ve met the children of many Black Radicals who’ve told me just that.
So, tell you children whatever you want, but if what you tell them is inconsistent with the live you build for them, they are gonna see you as full of shit, eventually.
This post is getting long, I apologize for that, but this is an important issue.
My wife and I simply tell our children the truth about the world they were born into, we tell them our response to the world (which is Pan-African Revolution), and we model that in our lives. That’s it. Our sons have been able to take it from there. My sons have never been in a majority White school, and we’ve always lived in the Hood, so they have never had that “only Black” experience, I don’t know how to advise those parents besides telling them to Get Out!
I wasn’t the “only Black” until my first year in college, and my then my African identity was secure, I can’t image being in a majority White school or neighborhood as young child. Your parent telling you to have “Black pride” when they can manage to live among other Blacks in large numbers, that’s fucking crazy.
My sons play with all children when the opportunity presents, at the playground, basketball court, or skate park, both of them are able so see the larger social dynamics play out among their peers, they see Racism, they confront and challenge it. They see young Uncle Toms, and they deal with that shit. They recognize the processes of inferiorization and they have the foundations needed to fight back, and they have the support too. My sons are joyful and still full of wonder, they are not burdened by the state of the world, they welcome challenges, they are just regular children, far as I know.
There’s more I could say, but it’s time to wrap this up. Good question, thanks.