Letter: “The Black South African’s Struggle, Identity Foreclosure” – Menzi Shange

Letter: “The Black South African’s Struggle, Identity Foreclosure” – Menzi Shange
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Letter by: Menzi Solomon Shange | Facebook


The African of Sub-Saharan descent is observed to have an identity crisis. The African American is shown to have a similar quandary portrayed in the film “Black is, Black Ain’t” by Director Marlon Riggs.


Mr. Menzi Solomon Shange | Facebook

The trauma of Nguni population migration, separation from ancestral homes, tribal wars, clan conflict, colonialism, and a revolving door of oppressive and reckless black leaders have left him in a perpetual state of identity foreclosure. According to many black historians, this has caused Cultural Trauma: and formation of an African Blocked Identity.


He has no ancestral land in central/north Africa to claim his own, he has no land in his adopted location in Southern Africa, he has no country he may call his home, he perpetuates denial and victimhood, and his descendants are said to not have a legacy because of it. This is called a Blocked Identity.


This is a self-imposed blocking of the truth of his history, origins, and reasons for his current condition. This condition is sustained by a perpetuation of tribal myth, a self-punishing of sorts, and a continuing moral dilemma and guilt that comes with the acceptance of new cultural norms, new technology and intimidating modern concepts.


Those who are ‘liberated’ in the true African sense have embraced these modern concepts, and have created a unique, robust and honest African identity. Those who remain mired in the African Blocked Identity seem to regress and turn to extremism, always blaming others for their inability to heal from their Cultural Trauma.


The African Blocked Identity has led many down a long torturous path to mis-truth, mis-trust, mis-education, and sadly, many sprawling attempts to fabricate history in lieu of embracing the truth that is there.


Confirmation of this is the vehement denial by black South Africans to the KhoiSan’s legitimate claim as South Africa’s true indigenous inhabitants. This is a clear validation of the identity crisis that has set hold in black South Africa.


All this confusion now has a name, and black South Africans who are struggling with their identity, can feel confident in their realization that owning land will not heal their Cultural Trauma, especially when the land belongs to someone else.


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