Sunday, February 10, 2013
The Creation of the Negro (Necro) - Origin of the term
The Creation of the Negro (Necro) - Origin of the term
“Negro” is a very interesting word because, first of all, it comes form a Greek origin meaning something that is dead. Negro comes from the same origin as “necro” and “nekro.” In Greek there is no difference between these words. Some wise and devious white scholar knew what he was saying when he decided to call black people Negro (or necro). If the originator of this concept had been using the Latin or Spanish origin, as is often suggested, he would have called himself blanco, which means white. He did not call himself blanco; he called himself “white” and he called black people Negro, likely meaning necro. There is a semantic message hidden in this word and it seems that it might lie in its Greek origin intending to describe the Black person as a “dead substance.” The manifestation of the distorted African self found in the characteristics of the “Negro” is something that stands as a barrier to the real expression and real essence of the African person. The “necro” refers to a mentally, socially and culturally dead person.
One of the ways that human beings are able to maintain a conception of themselves and maintain their mental life is through the maintenance of certain self-affirming institutions. People, therefore, have spiritual celebrations, rituals, memorials, museums, books, monuments and all kinds of things to reaffirm their group definition. They constantly reaffirm and celebrate what this inner core is all about. Europeans and all mentally alive people do it.
People of Western Culture repeatedly reaffirm the inner core of themselves as distinct individuals motivated by this sexual and aggressive drive that we discussed above. Their major holidays and monuments either commemorate a war or celebrate a day of significance by either symbolic or actual celebration of these carnal animal drives. The noblest of all their holidays – Christmas – is notorious for its drunkenness, high death rate, and adulterous office parties. Even Thanksgiving is commonly depicted showing a Pilgrim with a musket in hand. America and Europe celebrate their violent tendencies and the heroism of effective killers in their history. The independence of America is commemorated by celebrating the American Revolution. Fireworks, dramatize “the rockets’ red flare and the bombs bursting in air.”
Such institutions reaffirm the basic mentality of the Caucasian. This stands in contrast to the preponderance of religious monuments and holidays found throughout the Asiatic and African world. We assume that such a warlike disposition is the basic nature of all people. It is important to understand that the Black American and other Blacks around the world have been subjected to the Caucasian institutions and their mentality. This subjugation accounts for most of the similarities between Western and African/Asiatic cultures in this respect. Indigenous people around the world find their highest celebrations to be of qualities of beauty and power in nature and in the celebration of spiritually accomplished human beings.
The slavery experience destroyed the Black Americans’ institutions; therefore, we lost those mechanisms for reaffirming this inner core of who and what we are. The disposition has remained, however. In any of those cultural forms that were adjudged innocuous and left intact, we can see evidence of that inner self-seeking expression. The prominence of traditional religious patterns despite the imposed images and concepts of European Christianity reflects the African person’s preoccupation and desire for the Divine.
The social life reflected in the song and dance of black culture show a yearning for togetherness instead of individuality, which is the prevailing ethos of the Western mentality. Surprisingly these African patterns have been maintained by the inert “Negro” (necro) who could only imitate and react but had lost the power to initiate. The activities of the real inner life were always limited because of the absence of cultural activities to stimulate the inner life of the African person. The real self-remained encapsulated in the “Negro” disposition that could only imitate the European American patterns that fed it. The real African self was made to seem as unnatural to Black people, as did our black skin; even when his latent disposition surfaced, the inert Negro attempted to counteract it.
The slavery experience was destructive to the historical identity of African people. The repeated separation of mothers and children and the loss of language, culture, and natural religion worked to depose the real African self. Another process that occurred in quieting the influence of the African self is similar to the hypnosis or trance induction that comes from hyper-stimulation. This means that if you put people under enough physiological stress, at the same time removing from them vehicles by which they can transcend those physical stresses, then those people are left psychologically vulnerable and exposed.
The slavery trauma was obviously such a hyper stimulating event. If you were suddenly exposed to excessively loud music and flashing lights, the hyper stimulation would soon dull your sensitivities until you entered a trance-like state. Excessive pain has been shown to result in coma or shock. Physiological psychologists have been able to show that hyper stimulation leads to hypnosis or a trancelike state. Such a trance-like state makes a person thoroughly suggestible to whatever kind of input happens to be present. The result is that the person is only able to react. The Negro has been a ble only to react. The Negro adopts the issues and behaviors fed to him by the world of his captors. Hypnotized by the trauma of slavery and the horrors of his neo-slavery experience, he is only able to react rather than being able to act in terms of his self-survival mechanism.
It is awareness of the inner self that makes people operate in their own self-interest. It is awareness and consciousness of this inner and extended self that transcends the individual ego. It is this inner being that reaches back to the very African essence of us that energizes and motivates the African person with self-preservative and self-maintaining activities. This “Negro” fabrication has made African people self-destructive. It has, in fact, made us contradict the realities of who we are. Black people have become much more interested in the survival of those enemy forces acting against us than we are in the survival of ourselves. Too often, we find ourselves much more oriented towards the physical and philosophical maintenance of an alien people than we are committed to the affirmation and expression of our true self. Because the authentic “Original Man” has been hypnotized by hyper stimulation, the Negro manifestation becomes thoroughly manipulable, conditionable, and responds directly to whatever input happens to come in from without.
From the paper “African Roots of Black Personality” (1979), Concepts of African Personality, Akbar Papers in
African Psychology, pp. 99-104