Welcome to the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge! Throughout the 28 days of February, my posts will not (necessarily) be about HR, Leadership or Management topics.
This is the final post in the series.
Black Consciousness was a movement which began in South Africa in the 1960s. The movement was founded by Steven Biko, who spent his life fighting against apartheid. He was jailed and tortured and died under suspicious circumstances while in police custody in 1977.
The movie “Cry Freedom” was made about his life starring Denzel Washington. This role marks the FIRST time Denzel was robbed of the Oscar. Sunday night’s Oscars was the SEVENTH time he was robbed … Meanwhile, Kevin Kline’s character somehow ended up the hero of the film, although it was Denzel’s Biko who lost his life in the fight for freedom and justice while all Kevin Kline did was write about Biko — but we now know this is typical based on the theory of White Fragility …
Biko defined Black Consciousness as …
“the realization by the Black man of the need to rally together around the cause of their oppression and to operate as a group in order to rid themselves of the shackles that bind them to perpetual servitude. It seeks to demonstrate the lie that Black is an aberration from the ‘normal’ which is white”
This definition along with the circumstances surrounding Biko’s death goes to show that this World has not come nearly as far as it thinks it has or as far as it needs to go surrounding the issues of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or socio-economic class.
Because 40 years after his death, we are still having these conversations daily and suffering the consequences of not heeding his wisdom all over the World.
We are not inferior to anyone. We deserve the same opportunities and privileges as every other group. We are entitled to our love, our looks, our culture, our thoughts, our opinions, our successes, our failures, our achievements and our stories. We have the right to be free and feel normal in whatever we choose to be. We are justified in working together to achieve this. We have the prerogative not to include or allow anyone else access to or joint credit our efforts.
We are not our ancestors. We are not bound by their limitations. We are not required to respond the same way that they did. We are allowed to take fresh approaches to these old problems — as long as we do it together.
I am excited by this. And I am ready for this fight.
This blog challenge is over. But my challenge has just begun. Stay tuned.