If you were struck with amnesia tonight while you slept, tomorrow would be the first day of your life.
You’d wake up not knowing whom you were, what you were or what you were supposed to be doing.
You’d have to start all over.
You’d probably spend several hours in self-reflection, checking our your surroundings and getting into your body then, if you had awaken alone, you might head off in search of somebody that could tell you something, anything about yourself.
Similarly, when the ancestors for the bulk of American Blacks arrived on these shores, what we endured was a sort of forced amnesia.
Our countries of origin were deliberately beaten out of our heads and since we didn’t even get to keep our names, we became pretty much who we were told we were.
This probably makes us more American than anybody—including and especially Native Americans.
We don’t know anything but America. Most Native Americans, if they have any sense at all, don’t even really believe in America. Their pride alone forces them to see these very United States as a rogue nation at best.
Still, I’m pretty sure most of you have heard some loony Black brother or sister going on and on about how he or she is “African”.
The immediate contradiction is, of course, that they’re doing all this talking in English.
And while, true, some of them might be wearing Dashikis, Kufis, Ankhs and have changed their names to Zamunda, they’re still putting on that show right here on this continent.
Of course, most of us sympathize with these deranged Afrocentric kooks. We have amnesia too.
And we know that, like them, our inherited tendencies probably give away our true origin sometimes.
We probably even occasional (and in some cases, more than occasionally) feel odd here.
Like maybe we’re not supposed to be here.
Or at least, like we’re not supposed to stay.
And I guess that’s where the amnesia analogy really comes into play.
Because let’s say that after having lost your memory and having started all over, your memory began to return.
What you did next would probably depend on which you liked more: your past life or your present one.
And which do you like more, African-Americans: the Africa you barely know or the America you know all too well?