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Opinions of Sunday, 9 March 2003

Columnist: Adomako-Gyimah, Julian

Emancipation-What Does It Mean To You?

Is Ghana Emancipated?

Emancipation,according to the Webster's International Dictionary is the liberation or deliverance from any onerous and controlling power of influence. This same dictionary further goes on to define it as a gradual segregation of an original homogenous embryo into fields with different specific potentialities for development.

In my opinion, emancipation can be spiritual, physical, mental and economic and is a process. For more than four decades, the Blackman was discriminated against and had to go through the worst atrocities in the history of mankind. A lot of intellectuals and people who had done nothing wrong were sold by their own people and treated like animals just because they were blacks.

They were even forced to throw away their names and were given foreign or "white" names. The white in this way proclaimed himself superior to the blsck. Blacks were chained like dogs and packed like sardines on ships and transported to Europe nd the Americas to work as slaves on farmlands. Black women were raped by white and had to go through mental torture in raising their children.

Early in the nineteenth century precisely in 1834, this trade of innocent humans was brought to and end in Britain and this caused the awareness that, Blacks were after all humans and were thus treated as such. A lot of great leaders of African descent have died in the name of freedom or emancipating the race.

After over a hundred years of this inhuman treatment, black are still slaves in my opinion. This time, they aren't slaves on someone's land but on their own land. The blacks, as far as I'm concerned cannot talk of being fully emancipated for as log as he shows unwillingness to stay and help in the development of the continent. If a ship should dock at the Ghanaian show looking for people to slave in America or Europe, a lot the people will go willingly. Most blacks have developed something called inferiority complex and this makes them view themselves as inferior to the whites.

As Marcus Mosiah Garvey said, "the blackman is not developing and is not respected because he does not see himself as a human and has no respect for himself ". This means that until blacks free themselves from this form of slavery called esclavage mental in French and mental slavery in English and see themselves as equal to the whites, we cannot talk of being emancipated.

As Bob Nesta Marley said "we've got to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery" but the fact is that none but ourselves can free our minds. There should be nothing like African time as far as emancipation is concerned. The notion that blacks have black sense should be done away with before true and total emancipation can be achieved.

Africans have embraced neo-colonialism, another form of colonialisation at home and in the diaspora. The International Monetary Fund(IMF) always makes policies that will keep black men divided and yet African countries sucumb to their policies. As Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah said, "In a neo-colonialist, environment, no country can act on its own"

A close look at events on the continent shows that, no African country is capable of tackling on its own its economic problems; not Nigeria, the most populous state in Africa or South Africa, the most eonomically developed. Whites come all the way from their lands to study our culture and take it back to make thousand of dollars in theor countries and I see this as a sale of culture. Africans have a rich and unique culture which makes them unique and thus we all need to portray it.

The western world, after making its ammunitions brings them to Africa and is able to coax some Africans to cause wars and thus the numerous wars on the continent today. But as President John F. Kennedy said, "mankind will have to put and end to wars or wars will put and end to mankind". I view this as the next colonilaisation of Africa but in a different form.

On the 28th of February 1968, Emperor Haile Sellasie of Ethiopia made this remark that "until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, there will continue to be wars". Yet a lot of Africans still hold strongly to tribalism. This has caused wars in places like Rwanda and Burundi in the past.

"All men are created equal and are endowed with certain inalienable rights such as life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" as declared by Thomas Jefferson, once President of the United States. Until blacks see themselves as equal to people of other races, they can never talk of being emancipated. Blacks can prove this by producing what the whites have produced being it scientists, doctors and what have you.

African are today bleaching their beautiful outer skin just to look like whites and this sickness has even grabbed some blackmen as well. The whites brought lesbianism and homosexuality to blacks at home and in the diaspora and unfortunately some blacks have practices these up to this day. This, we all know has led to the AIDS and other strange maladies on the continenet today. The whites after all this are viewed as masters by some blacks.

Until we all heed to Booker T Washington's advice that " let no man pull you so low as to make you hate him", we can never say we are fully emancipated. Most Africans are even afraid to keep their culture and do not even know their history and this makes it difficult for them to know where they are going. Black history need to be taught to enable black youth know the truth about themselves.

Until we emancipate ourselves from physical slavery(putting on only outfits from the western world),economic slavery(relying on the devilish IMF for survival),spiritual slavery and mental slavery can we talk of being emancipated. " The world has laughed at us and we've got to strike a blow" as Marcus Garvey said. Like Martin Luther King Jnr, all blacks should admit that, "the arc of the moral universe is long but bends towards justice".

As Marcus Garvey once again said "sometimes among people of ultra mental slackness are people of the black race who dream and see visions not in the sober practical way but as actuated by pure emotion, such a practice has led the race to no appreciable goal but on on the contrary has left us dumped in the gutter of practical life".

Until all blacks no matter where they come from believe that, they are Africans, we can never talk of emancipation. Ghana is n ot emancipated as far as corruption has got to the zenith. Ghana embraces all forms of policies by the International Monetary Fund(IMF) be they detrimental to its citizens or not. Ghanaians always imitate in their way of dressing and talking and all that you can think of.

The divestiture of Ghanaian firms into the hands of white entrepreneurs is a way of promoting neo-colonialism not forgetting the "LAFA" that is heard on local the television and local radio stations being used by the presenters.

At the moment because of the harsh economic conditions due to the high rate of corruption, most Ghanaian youth want to flee the country to Europe and the Americas just to get away from their own brothers and sisters who seem to be killing them with their deeds. The high rate of robbery and other forms of violence is purely due to mental slavery. We all need to keep our culture wherever we may find ourselves.

Finally, on the 6th of March 1957, the first President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwane Nkrumah made it clear that " the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked with the total liberation of the African continent" and unless Ghanaians see African Unity as very important for our development, emancipation should be forgotten.

The emancipation of black race will be possible if all blacks have the will to do so because as the French say, "vouloir, c'est pouvoir and as the spanish say "querer es poder". Yes where there is a will, ther is a way. Total emancipation is very important as mother Africa is in shambles as a res ult of the slavery and unwillingness of her children to keep to their roots and fight all sorts of imperialist innovations.

JULIAN ADOMAKO-GYIMAH
GREAT BRITAIN

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of Ghanaweb.
JULIAN ADOMAKO-GYIMAH GREAT BRITAIN