Being a Ras in the Diaspora, repatriation occupies a big place in my conversation, but not all are ready to hear about it, let alone pursue it. Even some who declare Rastafari seem unable to reach that ground. As I see it, it is not a problem, since the most important repatriation to accomplish for an Afrikan is the repatriation of the mind, whether he plans on doing the physical one or not. It is necessary to make that step in a world where every other culture and social manifestation is proudly promoted.
The repatriation of the mind is the first major milestone in the personal liberation of the Afrikan. It is when decolonization takes place at the individual level. It is basically about recovering the natural self and way of thought. Those who live on the Western side or deal with the European on a regular basis have generally taken the bad habit of caring too much about how we and our actions are perceived by the coloniser (whose human form is near extinction, we are now colonized by businesses, governments, religious and similar institutions, a completely different topic). This toxic habit alienates one from the self. Repatriation of the mind is also about gaining control of the knowledge and tools provided by our roots in order to make progress in a personalized way. And finally, according to the old saying, you have to know where you are from in order to know where your going.
There are many ways to accomplish this kind of repatriation. You can research your family and national history, reason with (uncolonized) elders, learn about Afrikan folk tales, learn to speak more Afrikan languages and to perform Afrikan arts, get in touch with Afrikan spirituality, etc. Historical knowledge is always precious, especially in places where they have officially abandoned racism but still teach a version of history written by racist euro-centrists. Their version of history denies the Afrikan contribution to a point where it even questions Afrikan’s humanity, when the truth is very different: we initiated, erected, certified and officialized humanity and contributed to it in so many ways – if you are a regular TAP reader, you should know. It is therefore essential to access the truth about your past so your humility can be accurately calibrated to your royalty.
Again, the physical repatriation is not imperative. But it is important to help rebuild our throne, on site or from a distance, so please get involved in any way you can: you can finance development and repatriation projects or help those who are on the journey with logistics and resources. If you have specific skills that are needed in the motherland, share them, build, inspire, be a voice for your causes and your community, etc. The fate of Afrika is linked to you even if you do not plan to go live there because you are also treated differently on the basis of your origin: if your homeland is strong, your status as an individual is also strong. The great Peter Tosh sings ” Don’t matter where you come from as long as you’re a black man you’re an African”. No matter where you are, Afrika is your throne! Look at China: Chinese were laughed at when China was considered poor and backwards; now that China is a leader, who dares disrespect Mr. Yap? Today the Chinese gets praised by all for his work ethic.
Most important of all: be a good ambassador for all of us. It is very ignorant that people generalize so much but because of this, we all get judged when you get judged. As much as we would all like to be judged individually, the downfall of some is impeccably the fall of all. Thus, discipline becomes key. We all ought to discipline ourselves to always be on our best behaviour. It is also very important to the Afrikan children, because without an inspiring Afrikan model, the only choices they have in sight are the disruptive gangster culture and the uncle Tom culture, and we all know which one is more appealing to most. With all that said though, there is no place like home.
More love and powers.
I Lex is a young Ras hailing from West Afrika and living in Ottawa, Canada, studying translation and linguistics because he “knows that the key to overstanding the trap lies in language”.
Afrikan: a person of Afrikan roots (from the mainland, second or third generation immigrant, diasporical, etc.)
Humility: the accurate knowledge of the self’s worth, no arrogant pride or false modesty.