February 3, 2018
How can Eritreans articulate their perspective of Black history? This is important question that Eritreans need to think about. What does it mean to be black? In the age of the internet and globalization, the world is exposed to infinite amount information. Yet, the world is polarized and divided. Inequality, income disparities between the poor and rich is obvious. The gap between rich and powerful countries is wider. It means nothing has changed.
Blacks are still the recipients of all the hate, economic discrimination, killings, and untold human suffering as direct result of deliberate policies and premeditated actions designed to ensure blacks remain behind. These institutionalized, systemic and sophisticated actions are criminal, inhumane and in most cases the perpetrators are given free hand.
President Barack Obama and his administration championed Human Rights, promoted-it and used-it to tout democracy-worldwide. However, the brand of Human Rights and Democracy he pursued was laced with venom that led to destruction of nations, death, displacement and exodus of millions.
Barack Obama was the perfect vehicle for the establishment’s agenda who like to prop-up tyrants and destabilize nations as means to an end. Similarly, in the US, the fate of Blacks in America is still based upon the establishments agendas while Barack Obama was in office.
Blacks in America and blacks around the world have a lot in common. Which means, the fate of all black people is intertwined. Our histories are similar no matter where we live. Whether you live in Haiti, South Africa, Eritrea, Somalia or, Côte d’Ivoire you have suffered the legacy of colonialism, slavery and oppression. That also means, our experiences and uniform-shared stories are what bonds or should bond us.
It is important to remember 65 years ago, Eritreans did not have the right to move freely in their own country. Eritreans were forced to serve Italians. On the other hand, Italians acted as if they owned Eritrea and treated it as a playground for Italians while they stepped upon the rights of the people of Eritrea.
Today, in the US, blacks are systematically enslaved in prisons; subjected to institutionalized racism, harassment and killing everywhere openly by the very forces that are supposed to protect them.
Parallel the African American experience in the US, Eritreans also face similar harassment by Western institutions and countries. Why, because Eritrea chose to chart her own path. The independent Self-Reliant path Eritrea chose is deemed a threat to institutions that prey on African resources. And the only way they can exploit it is by dividing the people and ensuring African institutions remained weak or none existent.
Everywhere you look it is the same. Therefore, if our past was dire, how can we look to the future and make it better?
As Eritrean, I am proud of the stride the people of Eritrea made to cement their future based on hard work, resilience, determination, self-reliance and willingness to sacrifice all. I am proud of the fact that Eritreans proved to the world that it is possible and showed examples on how to. It is however not cheap because we made untold sacrifices while the world looked the other way. I am also proud that Eritrea can share these successes of good example.
Eritrea is a source of energy and engine of peace, stability and prosperity in the region and beyond. Eritrea achieved successes against all odds while facing unprecedented hostilities from the West.
The history of Blacks in America is also one that mirrors Africa’s and blacks worldwide. Like Eritrea, blacks in the US are sources of energy to millions and the way blacks challenge the establishment, racism, inequality and injustices is inspirational.
The story of Martin Luther King Jr. is a great example. His life and work represent the struggle of Blacks in America. It is culmination of struggle that he represented in the most appropriate, significant, historic and meaningful way. It is an epitome of life to be emulated. A saint like presence that is nearly impossible to duplicate. Yet, his message transcends time and it is appropriate guide to our everlasting struggle. It rings true today when many thinks that there is progress in America while disproportionate numbers of blacks are languishing in prison, plagued by income inequalities and unemployment. When trigger happy policing is rampant.
Eritrea managed to achieve the successes as one-united with one aim, loyally and doggedly. No matter where they resided Eritreans placed Eritrea first. They did it as a family, with family, friends by looking-out for one another and for thy neighbor. It is truly a remarkable story of strength, will, and determination to chart destiny and future based on all the right principles that humans ought to aspire to emulate. It is a story worth telling. It is the story that can inspire future generations.
Considering the torture, slavery and centuries of oppression blacks went through and considering the countless untold stories of black achievements; it is imperative to make every day black history day.
A great example of this is the example of Jews and how they have successfully managed to keep the world reminded of the Holocaust every minute.
The world needs to be reminded of the holocaust the people of Africa endured for centuries every day.
“The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.” W.E. B Du Boise
Awet N-Hafash /Victory for the Masses is the legacy of the people of Eritrea.