“History is a clock that people use to tell there political and cultural time of day. It is also a compass that people use to find themselves on the map of human geography. History tells a people where they have been and what they have been, where they are and what they are. Most important, history tells a people where they still must go, what they still must be. The relationship of history to the people is the same as the relationship of a mother to her child.”
-John Henrik Clarke
Several years ago, I attended a colloquium held in Salvador, Bahia, hosted by the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC). The colloquium was entitled, “Multiculturalism and the Prospects for Africa and the African Diaspora.” I was there as a member of the Pan African Strategy and Policy Research Group (PANAFSTRAG). One of the presenters, a white female professor, who is married to a prominent and highly respected Nigeria, who was also a presenter, made a presentation that I found out of place--it was a cultural imposition, and was anachronistic. It made me question why she was even there! Her paper focused on two areas that Afrikan nations needed to make improvements in: Acceptance of Homosexuality and Gender Equality. Really?
There is no doubt that many nations are addressing these concerns, as they are pertinent to where these nations are in terms of their political and sociological development. But with issues like genocidal wars, political corruption, extreme poverty, growing class and even ethnic divisions, poor to non-existent healthcare, lack of educational facilities, high infant mortality rates, selling of mineral-rich land and water rights to foreigners, and I can continue ad infinitum. So, my question is, in terms of Afrika's developmental needs, “Where does the acceptance of homosexuality fit in?” What priority should it be given? Her second point, also raised some concerns. I have no problem with Gender Reciprocity, which is building balanced, male-female roles and relationships based on observable laws of nature, and not the misogyny imposed by Western culture, Islam, or the ridiculous idea of some supposed innate female inferiority. It is the Western notion of Gender Equality, which is derived from Platonic dualism, rather than the Kemetic harmonious interaction of complements, that cautioned me. My fear lies in her conception and not in the fact that in modern Afrikan nations we must redefine or reassess the question of gender and the role it will play in the (new) societies we must perfect. But that role must be based on our past, our worldview, and not borrowed from our various oppressors. Since we, as Global Afrikan people, are at a different place in our history, our existing issues are uniquely ours, and WE must address them. Everybody's issues (whether disingenuously labeled as universal or as human issues) are not ours.