THE VOICE OF ROOTENCIAL IN THE BLACK
HISTORY FUTURE MONTH – SPAIN
How many of us can pinpoint three events in African history and discuss how they affect us in the diaspora – beyond the era of colonisation and slavery? How many of us can explain the actions and impact of three important figures from recent black history – beyond the United States?
How many of us can talk about our origins comprehensively and with confidence?
These questions reflect the position of ROOTENCIAL on Black History Month, which we see as the perfect opportunity to celebrate and reflect the value of our history as Africans and Afro-descendants, recognise ourselves, empower ourselves, and focus on a joint vision of success for the future and future generations. However, at ROOTENCIAL we also praise black history every day.
While we recognise the importance of putting this systematically silenced part of history into perspective, we believe it is necessary to celebrate not just Black History Month, but also Black Future Month (a term coined by Kanye West). A reaffirmation as a community towards the future, towards a new horizon where Africa and its communities will be recognized for its authentic potential and will rise to a position of greater influence and esteem on the world stage.
A new era for Africa. Where sustainable development, equity, the welfare state, tradition, culture, ethnic diversity, and prosperity will be strengthened and guaranteed through continued cooperation between those based on the continent and their myriad sons and daughters spread across the globe.
This realignment of vision for our history and identity can have a positive impact both internally and externally:
Internally, Black Future Month is an opportunity to:
HEAL AND EMPOWER OUR SELF-IMAGE
This is the perfect time to stop portraying Africa in such a negative light when there are so many positive things in such abundance, with so much to offer.
By understanding and remembering our history while setting a course towards a brighter and better-informed future, our well-being as a community will be enriched by a clearer sense of our history and belonging.
REMEMBER THE VALUE OF OUR CONTRIBUTIONS
Our contributions add value to our communities but also societies around the world. Celebrate the talent, triumphs, and advances we have mad despite the challenges – and the passion and inspiration that define our community.
Let’s talk about our natural wealth, our biodiversity, our scientists, writers, artists, athletes, entrepreneurs, leaders, and thinkers. About the strength of the African woman and how their genes live on and manifest in today and tomorrow’s generations, and about the wisdom of our ancestors. All of which combined reflect the huge potential existing in Africa and its communities.
PROMOTE OUR LEADERSHIP CAPACITY
We have all the skills and resources to lead – to manage and enrich ourselves, our land, and our cultural heritage. To achieve this, we champion excellence and cooperation.
Externally, this form of commemoration and future-oriented celebration supports:
EDUCATING AND GENERATING KNOWLEDGE
By creating and promoting commemorative moments of reflection, we give diverse people the opportunity to understand important nuance and build knowledge.
STRENGTHENING THE UNION
Our interconnectivity is undeniable. We all need to get on track and align objectives to promote equity, peace, and sustainable progress. To succeed, we must be able to harness our unity as a form of collective strength.
RAISING THE GLOBAL PROFILE – OF SPAIN, IN THIS CASE
Spain’s lack of social integration and limited recognition of black history may be perceived as ‘backwards’ by more progressive global powers and foreign countries. Celebrating black history and future can reinforce the impartiality and justice of Spain’s institutional structures.
In Europe, about 1.64% of the population is of African descent. In Spain, less than 3% are African or Afro-descendant. While we are a minority group, our representation is still important.
The global landscape is shifting towards a new paradigm where all ethnic groups, origins and cultures coexist and support each other to secure their common interests as a global community. A celebration of black history and future is only a first step towards the capacity for unification and identity awareness of Spain and Europe – and towards a shared vision in which diversity and the stories it generates are recognised as a point of strength.
At ROOTENCIAL, we celebrate the future of Africa. We dream of a future United States of Africa, characterised by the union of countries and communities, while celebrating our diversity and working hand-in-hand with African diaspora communities across the planet.
*Data from 2020 – https://es.statista.com/estadisticas/509822/extranjeros-residentes-en-espana-originarios-de-paises-africanos/
Written by: Esther Mbomio Lagar | ROOTENCIAL