Intellect and the identity of colour in the 21st century

September 28, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

Jamel Shabazz



Ogunniyi Abayomi

As the black race, we are observed to be individuals of vigour and strength over the mental capability to study and succeed in our intellectual endeavours.

The stereotypical belief of the the black race is eluded on the conception of burgling and addiction over unnecessary acts, viewing the race as individuals of violent conduct.

Do we value our beauty when we are sold for luxury over the cheap penny? The total absurdity is directly insulting when a higher percentage of our younger generation are generally involved in activities that decay the morality of our people that is necessary for societal building.

The rise of intellectual black society is generally against the misconstrued admonition of an uncivilised race. The society who no longer observe them as uncivilised rather view them as elite and against the eradication of uneducated genres of individuals.

Black society has produced great writers, activists, scientists, politicians and various individuals contributing to the intellectual development of society, yet we are discarded because of our colour, visible in various parts of European society. These people are rather observed and perceived as a threat which envisages danger to their lives and property, clearly evident in the killing of el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X), Martin Luther King and Ken Saro Wiwa over intellectual radicalism and the struggle to fight for their rights.

We are either termed African writers, politicians or poets, despite our achievements and contributions to the development of the Western world. The literary and political world does not exclude this fact, whereas we fight against the exploitation of other colours using the tools and intellectual rigours necessary to overcome our struggle.

We should not be defined by the colour of our skin, by the works we produced or feats achieved. This is the only truth we failed to admit and accept its magnitude of the reality it raises into our consciousness.

I have asked this question in several ways and manners when I see my fellow black man in the news for negative reasons. The story of a single achievement of the black man is excluded from our national dailies, which imposes the identity of an underrated intellectual ability of the black race.

The answer, as opposed to glaring, is faint, but in its ideology of who we actually are, we have built an identity that cannot be surpassed or surfaced; here I remember James Baldwin and Professor Wole Soyinka. Likewise, should we forget the contribution and how well they might have struggle.

I ask again in respect to the controversial awareness of colour before contributing to the intellectual endeavour of a state. The oratory prowess of Kwame Nkrumah and Barack Obama should not be forgotten as a society.

Is our work determined by our colour?










Ogunniyi Abayomi

Ogunniyi Abayomi was born July 11, 1991 in the city of Lagos, where he resides. A poet and essayist whose works have been published in various journals.


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