African American people are trying, as much as possible, to connect with the spiritual and social perspective of their ancestors. There is a significance in connecting with their heritage, and this is, for many, something that has enabled them to prosper in American. Take, for instance, Karen Phillips, wife of Charles Phillips, Infor CEO, who is proud of her heritage and has studied it to a great extent. She is also using her current position to encourage more African Americans to achieve similar things.
The Importance of Ethnic Pride
A number of African American sociological experts and leaders believe they understand the root of the social problems within their ethnic group. One of the issues that comes up again and again is a lack of ethnic pride. There is no unity between African Americans, or at least there wasn’t until the Black Lives Matter movement came forward. However, even this movement doesn’t seem to focus sufficiently on heritage.
With a recent study completed by a number of prominent African American scientists and experts, focusing on mental health, this may all change, however. The study claims that boys, in particular, can benefit very strongly of having more ethnic pride. It showed that ethnic pride and self-esteem are two separate issues and, while there is a strong focus on young people building self-esteem, there is a lack of building ethnic pride. What the study also showed was that those who did focus on ethnic pride were much less likely to suffer from depression.
The reality is that African Americans are the least unified and prosperous of all ethnicities in this country. They are also the only ethnicity who does link back to their indigenous culture. Yet this culture is part of the black nature, which means that people do not live according to their nature and become dysfunctional. The ‘American way of life’ is unachievable if there isn’t at least a basic understanding of one’s own culture.
Now that this study has been complete, however, African American community leaders, teachers, scholars, and national leaders should be able to encourage others to learn about their indigenous spiritual philosophies, traditions, and cultures. They should not be afraid to speak of this, or to worry that they alienated other ethnic groups.
People like Karen Phillips, and many other African American leaders, know and understand that they are descendants of mighty and great people. They do not see themselves as minorities, nor do they see themselves as helpless people who are there but for the grace of the charity of others. They know their history is the oldest in the world, with African being the birthplace of human life. Everything, including religion, medicine, astronomy, science, and mathematics, is rooted in Africa. This is something to be proud of, and it should be celebrated. And in so doing, African Americans will finally have a chance to be united and to become the best that they can be in this country as well.