Reading Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s article “We Were Always Men” causes me to respond with an opposing question: Why do we constantly seek the approval of the dominant culture?
Are our natural heritage, will, and status forever determined by the whims of white men? This has been an on-going phenomenon for now over 400 years.
Since crawling out of the bowels of Europe’s Dark Ages, white men have continued to assert themselves as the archetypes of manhood. Through their magna cartas, revisionist history, control of literature, wars, colonization, and conquests, they have commanded the world to pay homage to whatever they think.
“We Were Always Men” — the title is a fact. Who defined “manhood” before the rise to power of white men? Was it the dynasties of Asia, the Pharaohs of Upper Egypt, the Persian Empire, or perhaps the Moors of the Iberian Peninsula? Or was it the great Ethiopian Empire? Were they not men?
Since invading the New World, the white man has conquered its’ people, enslaved others, created the rules, and stated the laws that lay claim to the rights of “manhood.” When was the vote taken and passed that gave white men dominion over “manhood?” Was this some kind of virus that seeped into the minds of men and woman worldwide and leads one to prostrate oneself before the self-appointed G.O.A.T.?
Yes, we were always men, despite the efforts of those who wish to set themselves above all others. Indeed, it is written, ”As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he…” I’ve been blessed to have my thoughts guided by my elders, and the spiritual wisdom of my ancestors. I know that I am nothing but a man; all else are traits, circumstances, and consequences that determine the depths of my character. My travels have taught me that there are hundreds of millions of others throughout the African Diaspora who think as I do. Ominira!
Tim Reid, Sr.