There are as two (but not only) mindsets prevalent in the Black community. The Negropean and the Black Consciousness groups.
I want to give definitions for the keywords I will be using throughout the article. They are:
- A Negropean person is someone who consciously or unconsciously uphold the agenda of elitism, colonialism, or other race / bias platforms. They arae largely unaware that they live under a type of (mental) slavery that makes their “world view” of themselves and others the exact same as the group of people who oppressed them.
- A Black Conscious person is consciously defining themselves as Black and are awoke to the law and traditions of politically, socially, and economically discriminated as a collected body/or group.
- Consciousness/Awoke – It is the awareness of ones self and the world they live in.
- Unconsciousness/Asleep – It the lack of awareness of ones self and the world they live in.
Just from the definitions we can see a relationship between identity and awareness.T hese two groups in the Black community have the most influence in how others see the “Black identity”. The extremes of Black identity.
The sole reason for Black conscious-Negropean split is due to domination. Why are these two main groups fighting to uphold a certain and dominant ‘Black identity’? It could be explained with the Realistic Group Conflict Theory (RGCT) (Muzafer Sherif, 1961 – The Robbers Cave Experiment). RGCT depicts these two different socio-political groups as competing for limited physical and psychological resources which has led to hostility, negative stereotypes and beliefs about each other. Example of resources could be status, jobs, housing, prestige or power.
But while they are fighting over these resources…. who actually control these resources and how? Well, those in control is the dominant society that these groups live in. This kind of group conflict can only take place where there an inequality or scarcity caused by domination.
This divide and conquer type of domination. The African mind is consequently divided into these two extremes of “Negropeans” vs Black consciousness. The divide and conqueror is a part of social control.
What is social control? “1.The power of organisations, institutions and the laws of society to influence and regulate behaviour. 2. The impact of education, religion, media and other social forces on a person or a groups’ behaviour.” – Psychology Dictionary. I call it the Matrix.
“The Matrix is a system, Neo.” Morpheus, The Matrix. There are certain systems that create illusions of “us vs them” conflict. Today we are looking at media. Malcom X said, “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”
Media is a people influencing tool aka ‘propaganda’ machine. The media use their stories and images to drive division between, races, ethnicities, classes, sexual orientation, generations and sub groups (e.g. Negropeans and Black Conscious groups).
The western media is built on Eurocentric individualism. What is Eurocentric individualism? It means the motivation of controlling others to achieve self-interest. It is through self interest the Eurocentric ideology of attaining freedom/resources only by destroying/marginalising others. Since freedom is the most valuable resource to the oppressed, it is a lot like the Hunger Games movie. Different Black groups with different perceptions of the world and hold different values are kept busy pitted against each other for the prize of freedom, but never quite attaining it.
Is Eurocentric Individualism also seen in Black media? Yes, we see images of the so-called “black culture”, for examples of casting lighter skinned women for leading romantic roles, darker skin men casting as villains, praising black celebrities with European features or partners, sensationalising “black on black” violence, and “I don’t see colour, slavery is over”.
White media always allow the unconscious Black spokespeople to speak on “black issues” but never let a black conscious minded person who are fighting for the “black issues” to have a voice, unless it is to discredit them. Also, the matrix demoralises our racial and cultural identity which naturally makes us hate ourselves as a racial group, demobilise us from unity and organising infrastructures.
Did you know that not only is there a division among the socio-political ideologies (e.g. Negropean vs Black consciousness) but also by psychologies. Did you know that there is a division of the conscious and unconscious within the Black community?
There are people walking around with red, yellow, and green t shirts and tweets #BlackLivesMatter but still unaware where those colours come from or what it means to say Black lives matter. They are simply following trends. These people may appear conscious but are unconscious because they react on instinct to try and achieve their freedom.
How is consciousness achieved then? It is through struggling. Kwame Ture said “the only route to consciousness is through struggle.” Audience, what are the struggles we are facing today? Whatever the struggle is, it brings self realisation (Know thy self). It actually doesn’t matter what the struggle is to achieve consciousness. It is how you cope and interact with the struggle. If you agree that is doesn’t matter what the struggle is, can you see why the Negropean v Black Consciousness division becomes a pointless conflict?
It is like two men in a boat, the first man facing east can see land on his horizon and the other man facing west can see land on his horizon. They both start paddling towards their own direction. Do you think they will get any where?
Carl Jung said, “There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
Consciousness rises more and more as our conditions get worse and shrouded in darkness. People start to ask where is the discomfort coming from, how do we stop the pain and what must I do to make sure the pain never comes back. This is the expansion of the true consciousness.
And once the true consciousness is raised then the African mind can collectively organise to make movements for mental freedom rather than been split into two. The more people’s mind become truly conscious, the more likely of mass organisation towards knowing reality from unreality, collective action to bring solutions to our problems, become “we centred” than “me centred”, reject social controls that is harming our psychological well-being, and selflessness that can lead us to reaching the promised land by rowing in the same direction because we are in the same boat despite class, gender, ethnicities, immigration status, skin colour shade, and mixtures.
The unconscious that becomes conscious stops reacting to the struggle and stays one step ahead of it (proactive) because he or she now is unplugged from the system and know why they live in poor conditions and can do something about it together. If we can improve our conditions we can improve the African Mind.
Meanwhile, the unconscious minds, do not see the matrix system. They do not see our poor condition controlled by Eurocentric dominating system in economics, housing, healthcare, education, politics and employment resulting in prejudice, discrimination and our mistrust of the system.
The unconscious minds see our poverty, prevalent mental illness rates, criminality of a few, high unemployment rate as down to the the individual’s character such as being unambitious or having a biological short coming.
The unconscious minds start to feel ashamed of being identified with the “others” that have inherent deficiencies and they deny their African Mind. And once they are indoctrinated, they cannot change the system because they just blame individuals that look like them. They have no room to see the inequalities in the system that is linked to the poor conditions in the first place.
The battle is to keep you asleep! “If you are bitten by a snake you fear seeing a rope at night.”- Kenyan proverb. The proverb means there must be a cease of giving your power to control your happiness, your mind, and your life to others, if that be the us vs them intergroup conflict, racial discrimination, or the media (social control). If you don’t take control then someone else is going to try.
A lot of us get caught up in this group and that group but not conscious of what and who are really behind these small conflicts. It is recognising the true potential we hold in our minds if we help each other to look the same direction. We don’t read the right stuff, we sit in front of the idiot box that is programming your mind with programs/ entities entering in to entertain you, we eat foods that are not allowing you to mentally function, and we confuse our identity with a system that chooses to exploit us, keep us reactive long enough not to be mentally free to action change, a better mentality and organise community level infrastructure to help where the system has engineered our scarcity and poor conditions.
We need to find ways to unlearn a lot of conditioning done to us, we need to define our own identity, and we need each other to function in our right African Mind/consciousness. Without a sense of identity, there cannot be a real struggle; without struggle there cannot be real consciousness; Without consciousness, there cannot be real progress. And without real progress, there cannot be liberation for all.
Maybe cooperation is simply working together to have an abundance of resources to not be in conflict so we can unplug from the matrix, and struggle to overcome any systems that is oppressing our African Mind and achieve true consciousness where all can be mentally free and able to organise and mobilise for equality.