“If we cannot nurture our children, all is lost. Black males are in trouble. The exact thing is going to the south side of Chicago.”
This was stated by Dr Raymond Winbush, a psychologist, who is also director of The Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University, at Baltimore, Maryland, with reference to Trinidad and Tobago’s current 200 murders in 2014, the vast majority being African males.
Winbush was speaking during a lecture on “Endangered Black Men: Who Is Pulling The Trigger?” hosted by the Emancipation Support Committee (ESC) to commemorate the launch of the Kwame Ture Memorial Lecture Series at Central Bank Auditorium, Port of Spain, on Sunday.
Among those present were Tracy Wilson, director of Education and Research, elder Equino Moyo, who performed the libation, poet Derron Sandy who performed “Bareback Blacks” and Francisca Browne-Wilson, co-ordinator of Administration, Finance and Human Relations, ESC Secretariat.
Poet Pearl Eintou Springer, a member of the ESC, was also present.
Winbush also said young black males have to see themselves in the core curriculum since they were constantly bombarded with images of white supremacy which caused them to view themselves as inferior.
The images of white supremacy were manifest in golliwog and gangsta dolls and magazine covers like Vogue 2008 issue which featured basketballer Le Bron and model Gisele, he said.
Borrowing a quote from author Neely Fuller Jr, Winbush said: “If you don’t understand white supremacy (racism), what it is and how it works—everything else you think you understand will only confuse you.”
He added: “Trinidad gave us Nicki Minaj (artiste). She is just as confused. Just because you are wealthy and famous does not mean you are not confused. She is confused about racism. So is Jay-Z (rapper). He is very confused.”
Winbush said white supremacy works when “there is a move to inject the violence into our brains. We put that in the face of our children at a young age”.
He added: “There are hundreds of images of how Africans have been portrayed over the 600 years. It was done to make us feel inferior. And if you started hating yourself you would hate everybody that looks like you. Although eight per cent of the world’s population are whites, we tend to think of the world as being a white world.”
Winbush said it was important to counteract the white supremacy by teaching Africans about their history and culture.
He said: “Teach culture before a core curriculum. Knowledge is important. Teaching our children about us is of critical importance. Challenge the education system. If you just teach them black history, they would soon find themselves in the curriculum.
“Take care of the culture. It is only by knowledge we will set ourselves free. Banish the sense that we can’t do anything. Empower ourselves and do what is right.”
He added: “Bussa led a slave rebellion in Barbados Black History. Anchor the children. Knowledge is important and teaching our children about us is critical for the black folk. It is important to teach black children is what is white supremacy, if you want to raise a healthy child.”
During a visit to the Louvre, France, Winbush said he was awestruck by the amount of security surrounding the “Mona Lisa”, which was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci during the Renaissance. He felt Africans should emulate the whites.
He said: “Look at the ‘Mona Lisa’. That’s how white folks take care of their culture.
“The thing about black history is it should be celebrated every day of the year. You have it in November. They should have white history month for 30 days and black history month for the rest of the year. Spend about 30 minutes a day on African culture,” he said.