Love of self is important

Black people need to learn to love who they are.

Lately I have been paying a lot of attention to the blacks I come in contact with, those born and raised in America, and something is always said that makes me question if these people truly know who they are, where they come from or what they come from.

Many blacks in America claim to be proud of who they are, but are they proud for the right reasons?

A lot of blacks, especially young black Americans, come across as if they are proud of being labeled as a “ghetto thug” or a “bad booty shaking b–“. These are derogatory terms, it is nothing to be proud of or boast about.

We should have more self-respect.

Africans were the first people on earth, they could tell what time it was by the setting of the sun and invented mathematics, astronomy and medicine.

We are the sons and daughters of the kings and queens of great civilizations like Hannibal and Nefertiti.

It is amazing how so many blacks that attend college, especially HBCUs, walk around claiming they are not African. What really amazes me is how so many dark-skinned, kinky-haired blacks make statements such as, “I’m not African,” or “I did not come from Africa,” when their African genes are so obvious.

How dumb and silly does that sound?

Just imagine a Japanese man talking to you and he makes the statement that his roots are not in Japan and he is not Japanese, though the Japanese physical characteristics are apparent. He does not want to have anything to do with Japan and will do everything in his power to be, and look like someone else. He even pokes fun at other Japanese people and questions Japanese people who are proud of their culture.

Doesn’t this mindset sound like a familiar group of people?

If this person makes a comment like that to me, I am truly going to think he is idiotic and hates himself, his culture and his homeland.

Just imagine what people of other races think when they hear black people make negative comments about themselves.

We do this so casually, not caring if anyone is listening to us degrade ourselves.

This is one of the many reasons why people mock and disrespect us.

Non-blacks know it is permissible to disrespect us because they know they can get away with it.

Most blacks do not recognize when they are being disrespected. When they do recognize it most will not become furious enough to correct it.

People of other races recognize that we, as a people, are confused, do not like our African heritage and have lost our true African identity.

Until we learn who we are and learn to love and respect ourselves we are not going to get sincere respect from the rest of the world.

Ashley Bates is a junior broadcast journalism student from Pensacola. She can be reached at