By Roy Douglas Malonson
“We Africans in America have been socially engineered to reject our past, and far too many of us live in a state of suspended animation. We deny the historical realities confronting us daily. Too many of us mistakenly believe that the past has no bearing on the present and is unrelated to the future. Thus, we have been conditioned to live our lives disconnected from cultural values, principles, and ideals – essential for peaceful living.”- Anthony T. Browder
These words have always remained dear to my heart. For they explain in part, some of the reason my wife and I started out on the journey of educating and serving the Black community decades ago.
We MUST Understand our past has the power to dictate our present and control our future and those who deny this concept do themselves a grave injustice by not facing reality. In order to gain an understanding of what I am conveying, I think it is imperative that the terms, “socially engineered” and “state of suspended animation” are defined.
Socially engineered is defined as, “the use of centralized planning in an attempt to manage social change and regulate the future development and behavior of a society.” While, “state of suspended animation” refers to, “inducement of a temporary cessation or decay of main body functions, including the brain, to a hypo-metabolic state in order to try to preserve its mental and physiological capabilities.”
Although these elements do not apply to the Black community as a whole, the truth is it affects more of us than it ought to. A lot of people hide from who they are, not realizing you can’t change who you are or where you come from. People who know of me and know me, are aware I let nobody make me forget who I am and where I come from!
I state this because, there are so many members amongst us who are phonied carbon copies of an image and personality which does not belong to us. Too many African-Americans in today’s society are just trying to blend in with other cultures and trends of other races, just to fit in and be accepted. This creates a problem for many when they go out and try to attain positions, power and acceptance and are met with the same realization, many of us already know; there is something about this Blackness that will never be understood or accepted.
But, it goes back to Browder’s thoughts which suggest, “we have been socially engineered to reject our past,” which causes many to “live in a state of suspended animation.” Meaning, these things were all done by design.
We MUST Understand, when a culture or race of people has no knowledge of their history, or in our case, when that history has been white-washed to paint a picture that our past struggles and history in this country has no bearing on the present; then it creates a state of suspended animation. Many of us want to believe that we have overcome, and we have not. We MUST NOT forget what has been done, because what was done in the past is repeating itself in real-time today.