First of all I would like to thank everyone that showed up for our 1st community blog meeting - TRIBAL DIASPORA. It was a huge success and we look forward to even more stimulating conversation at our September blog meeting - LEGACY SYNDROME.
We are now entering the meat of our Afrimerican Vibes discussions and I believe this topic - LEGACY SYNDROME, must be covered now as it will lay the foundation for the many future discussions we will have. Ironically, using the word 'foundation' is not too far from the truth in regards to contemporary African Culture and legacy. Legacy and its effects are the TRUE foundation of contemporary African culture. Everything flows from the simple concept of being part of a line of individuals who make up the pillars of our community that pass on our 'best' to the next generation.
Kindly notice that I referenced passing on the 'best' to the next generation, what is this 'best' I am referring to? While most people view inheritance as passing on of material wealth, land and tangible items, in essence, that is just a fraction of what is truly passed on. Everything from traditions, customs, norms, genes , family name and societal stature are taken into account when plotting the path inheritance is considered.
Obviously, inheritance and family are indistinguishable in this context, but more importantly, the effect and influence inheritance plays on marriage , education , wealth management, health and family name seems to be the strongest cultural legacy one can leave behind. Its is important to remember that in African culture and especially from the African perspective , marriage is about the family and is viewed in a multi-generational context.
The couple marrying today is just the latest iteration of the many couples that married before them. Its a common saying that when a couples wed its really the families that are wedding. Two separate family lines are joining with the combined legacy and inheritance forming a possibly formidable accumulation of prestige, power and wealth. Its similar to the popular TV show 'Game of Thrones' and everyone is working to join houses and be heir to the iron throne ultimately increasing prestige, power and influence as well as wealth and lands.
The lack of inheritance culture and legacy in the diaspora is a key reason to the many ills that plague the diaspora community. Without the culture of handing down ones achievements, prestige as well as family name, wealth and status, so many pivotal cornerstones of African culture are not realized. There are too many to list in this blog but here are a few to digest and we shall take on these topics as we progress through Afrimerican vibes blog meetings.
- Marriage is not valued as much in the diaspora as there is not an emphasis of joining of legacy. Parents are less protective ( not as selective) of who their children wish to wed because the union is viewed as a product of ONLY love between the 2 individuals. Marriage is less prevalent and do not last as long in the diaspora.
- Education is a key component of culture to pass down to your children as it solidifies the social and economic stature of the family through the generations. In my culture, I would be a failure to my kids and be less of a man, if I did not ensure that they at least both my children got a Bachelors degree from college in a strong degree like engineering , law or medicine. African children are more likely to have strong degrees and be more educated than their diasporan counterparts.
- Wealth is not protected in the diaspora, as today's profits are enjoyed only by the living generations. The best protection of multi-generational wealth is to train the children to be able to take over the family business or be able to manage the family accumulated wealth, once the parents are no longer able to. A good example of this lack of protection is the false narrative that is rampant in the African American diaspora community. This false narrative is that once your child turns 18, he or she is 'grown' and is supposed to leave the house and fend for themselves. If you are planning to pass on the multi-generational wealth accumulated over centuries, believe me, you will ensure that your child is in your supervision (to a reasonable extent) until he or she is truly capable of managing the family affairs. If that turns out to be 35 years old, so be it. I believe it is government that has instilled this false narrative and this 'lie' is destructive to legacy building.
- Health issues are another critical determinant in inheritance in African culture. Questions are usually asked about the health of the couples to be wed and the family health in general. Are there any sicklers (people with sickle cell anemia), alcoholics or people with mental health issues in the family? What is their blood genome/ type? This is asked to avoid giving birth to sickle cell babies. When you are thinking multi-generational, you must account for the health factors because health is wealth.
- Family name, tradition , norms and social status are just as important. If your father is revered by his mates, the same treatment will be afforded you unless you prove yourself not worthy of your fathers or family 'good' name. The customs and traditions must be passed down in order to continue the way of life that has afforded the society such success. Of course this works in the opposite way as well. No tradition, culture or societal status being handed down means every subsequent generation will start from scratch. They will start from the beginning as if there was no family before them. As if they simply materialized from thin air. While they will be simultaneously competing against trust fund babies who are born with centuries of wealth and stature supporting them. How can we win when we are competing against people who have been deceased for centuries?
As you can see this topic is extremely vast and especially complex. We all know that culture is handed down and as much culture that can be handed down between each generation the better life is. It is a multi-generational game of 'Chinese whispers', with culture diluting, adapting and evolving with each passing generation. When I look at Boston with its construction industry run by the Irish or Italians, I see legacy. When I see the huge buildings and beautiful land in Chestnut Hill and all over Boston for a matter of fact, I see legacy. When I see the North end with its Italian restaurants or the Boston Celtics or the Catholic Churches and many monuments, I see legacy.
Since 1665, Boston has been accumulating legacy so where is ours? This cultural , spiritual and physical vacuum is the lone cause of our LEGACY SYNDROME here in the diaspora and the effects of the cultural deficiency cause the many breakdowns in our family, business and spiritual life. We are usually blamed for being defective or deviant inherently, this is clearly not true as our African ancestors exemplify the best of mankind and our African diaspora ancestors triumphed despite experiencing the atrocities they did not sign up for, people looking at the symptoms as the diagnosis of our problems as African diaspora only exacerbates our LEGACY SYNDROME...
We need the cure!!!
Our Culture cure... our way of life...our salvation...