The grass has grown under my feet, in the sense that I was sold a dummy by a group of people who appeared to have strong ideals about the way that people of my heritage ought to live our lives. We were supposed to stand in solidarity against the influence of those who had derived benefits from oppressing our ancestors. I remember spending time with friends who knew me from my teenage years who concluded that I had become a radical, after I told them what the progressive mindset was supposed to be.
All the time I was buying into the notions peddled by the so called radicals, some of our siblings were busy assimilating into the culture of the “oppressor”. Now I look around and see folks of African heritage being touted as possible contenders in the race for leadership of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom. I’m still wondering how I managed to overlook that part of the process.
If I was able to retrace my steps and live through those years of indoctrination again, I doubt that I would listen to anyone claiming they had the best interests of African cultures at heart. One moral that I now understand on a deeper level than before is the fact that culture and traditions are dynamic and fluid, regardless of what anyone says at a specific point in time.
Now I can perceive a wide range of hidden complexities in the thought processes of people who are basically doing their utmost to survive. It seemed like many of the loud voices I heard in my early adult years were searching for a form of purity, with regard to African expression. Now I know that purity of intention is most effective when it applies to personal aims and aspirations.
I am happy to own my personal journey and I don’t have regrets about the choices I made along the way. All I need to do now is aim for my own notion of purity, instead of being taken in by the sensationalism of those who claim to have the best interests of others at heart.