Black Americans, today, are the single most powerful, most connected diasporan Africans on earth.
Implying, if we black people were a people like all others, Black Americans, today, are to Africa what the Asian Americans and American Jews are to their Asian and Israel homelands respectively. But even more.
With a population of 46+ million, Black Americans are nine times the number of Chinese Americans, and ten times the number of Indian Americans. Black Americans are also six times the number of American Jews whose population is said to be 7.6 million, and are nearly 18 times the number of Korean Americans.
Not just a population:
Black Americans aren’t simply an elite diasporan African community by population, but also cashwise.
The annual spending power of Black Americans is said to have hit the $1 trillion mark in 2013, while that of Asian Americans (i.e. Chinese Americans, Korean Americans, Indian Americans, Taiwanese Americans, Japanese Americans, Singaporean Americans etc) all combined, only reached the same mark in 2018.
In 2022, the spending power of Black Americans was $1.6 trillion according to CNBC, while that of Asian Americans (all of them combined), is only projected to reach the same mark in 2024, according to Forbes.
When compared with other black populations, Black Americans are far ahead of every black community anywhere on earth. According to one economist, “if Black America was a country in Africa they would be the most prosperous nation in Africa by almost every single metric”. A spending power of $1.6 trillion is also 47 times the total ODA that Africa as a whole received from the OECD’s 32 member countries in 2022.
Putting their finances aside:
The soft power alone, i.e., the networks and connections, or the power and influence (aka the leverage) that Black Americans collectively possess as the most elite diasporan black community on earth, isn’t possessed by any other black population anywhere. This makes Black Americans the flagship diasporan black community representing not just our homeland Africa, but also blackness as a whole, in the west.
The potential to transform blackness as a whole, and to turn our homeland Africa into our own China:
As the biggest, most powerful diasporan African community on earth, Black Americans are presently the people with the most leverage to bring about transformational change for blackness as a whole, and the potential to even turn our homeland Africa into our own China i.e. a China for the global black community.
Of all the diasporan black communities on earth today, Black Americans are currently the people with the most potential to bring about such change, if only they worked together with their black peers globally.
The leverage that Black Americans currently possess as the most elite diasporan African community on earth, that leverage is only potent and/or resonant only when used in a place like Africa, not in the west.
In other words, the power and influence that Black Americans collectively have right now, can only bring about transformational change for blackness as a whole, and can only create more flexibility and more freedom of choice for Black Americans themselves, only when used in a place like Africa, not in the west.
Because, truth be told, even if we black people were to finally build our own China or our own Europe (which should be our main goal), a black China or a black Europe can only be in Africa, not in the west.
Even the Asian diaspora for example, who have been the main force behind the rapid rise of places like South Korea, China etc, if they had instead chosen to use their wherewithal, or their leverage, to build castles in the west, rather than helping their homelands become the world-class economies they are today, the Asians as a whole, both those back home and in the diaspora, would be considered a failure.
In addition, the Asians as a whole, today, would still have no single poverty-free SECOND home of their own that their people across the world can turn to, if they needed one. Luckily, because of their culture of working together, and their passion for their places of origin, these people currently have a whole host of world-class economies that their people globally can use as a second home anytime, if they needed one.
All other humans already understand this:
Even those people in the west (the American Jews, the Asian Americans, the British Asians etc) who are at least living a more dignified life than we black people, these people, all of them have first and foremost acknowledged who they truly are (i.e., what their true origin is), and have first and foremost established very inalienable ties with their people, and their places of origin, before comfortably sitting in the west.
Even from a moral point of view:
Respect comes only from self-respect. If you can’t view your own people (or your homeland) as being worthwhile, which can only be shown from your willingness to work together with your people (and your homeland), then nobody else is going to view your people (and you yourself) as being worthwhile either.
The only way we black people as a whole can earn true black dignity, is by becoming a people who very easily work together, and a people who even have our homeland Africa at heart, like all other humans do.
And for Black Americans in particular, being the most powerful disaporan African community on earth, their leverage can only translate into transformational change for blackness as a whole, only when they are seamlessly engaged with their black peers across the world, and their homeland Africa, the same way the Asian Americans, the American Jews etc are with their peers across the globe, and their homelands.
Just for context:
The Asian diaspora has been the main reason behind many of the world-class economies in Asia today. But in America, Black Americans alone have a buying power that is single-handedly bigger than that of all Asian Americans combined. This represents a huge potential for transforming our homeland Africa, and blackness as a whole, if Black Americans worked together with their black peers in Africa & globally.
Continental diasporan Africans themselves, i.e., those Africans born on the continent but living abroad, are already doing what they can to change our homeland. According to the UN, total remittances from continental diasporan Africans “reached $100B in 2022, surpassing the funds received through Official Development Assistance (ODA) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)”, of which FDI is mostly Asian.
And since most continental diasporan africans come from very impoverished backgrounds, most of the remittances they send back home only go towards subsistence for their families, not real investments per se. By every measure, Black Americans, being the only black community on earth that has both the highest GDP, and the most leverage, are the people capable of bringing true BLACK investments in Africa.
For now though, these are only wishes:
One thing I can say is: we black people as a whole, have remained a people who are each on their own, and a people who simply do not believe in working together to better our lot, unlike all other people. But, as far as our disconnect is concerned, Black Americans are probably the people who are at the top of their game.
Of all the humans who are on earth today, I can’t think of another group of humans that has gone to great lengths to distance themselves from their people & their homeland, the same way Black Americans have.
And yes, I am saying this as an African who has never even been outside of Africa. But the disconnect that exists between we black people today, is so deep that one doesn’t even need to first travel, to get a clue.
Most Africans even have no idea what a Black American is:
All across Africa, today, even in the remotest areas, there are lots of non-black people (in particular Indians, Chinese) who have harmoniously co-existed alongside Africa’s rural poor, and who have been running everything from the smallest grocery stores, to the biggest sugarcane plantations, for decades.
Even here in my region of Busoga, in eastern Uganda, at least 99% of all supermarkets are owned and directly run by Indians. In Jinja, for instance, Busoga’s biggest city, every supermarket belongs to an Indian. In short, most Africans have seen all other people (the whites, the Indians etc) countless times.
The one thing ordinary Africans do not know? How a Black American looks like. I explain this here.
Today, only those Africans who are well-read, well-traveled, or those who consume western culture, are the ones who know Black Americans. The majority of Africans simply have no idea what a Black American looks like. All because of the way Black Americans have distanced themselves from their homeland Africa.
Africans DO NOT even dislike Black Americans:
On several online forums, I have even read comments by Black Americans suggesting that Africans somehow dislike Black Americans. But on this, I must issue an immediate disclaimer right away, and make it very clear that most people here in Africa simply have no idea what a Black American looks like.
To date, the only thing I have read about Africans disliking Black Americans, and vice-versa, is Black Americans themselves saying they do not like Nigerians, because Nigerians are somehow “loud” or so. Outside of this, you will never, ever hear a single African, in Africa, saying they dislike Black Americans.
In fact, the idea that Black Americans think Africans hate them, is something most Africans only first learn about online, or after traveling to the west, and coming into contact with Black Americans. And many Africans are indeed very shocked the first time they hear about it, as one African explains here.
Africans and Black Americans are NATURALLY one people:
If Africans can harmoniously co-exist with the Indians, the Chinese, and many other non-black people for decades, there is no way they can’t co-exist with a Black American. Remember also, thousands of Black Americans have moved to Africa recently, and none of them has said they didn’t fit in with Africans.
After moving to Africa, some Black Americans have even said, “this is where I should be”. Others have said “I love it here, I would much rather be here than in the US” This should be enough to make Black Americans understand that the whole idea that Africans dislike them, is only guided by self-absorption.
But this is only background noise:
The official position of Black Americans as a group, with the exception of those who have now moved to Africa, is that they either have no single connection to Africa whatsoever, or that Africans somehow dislike them, and that they shouldn’t be working together with their black peers from Africa on anything.
Unbeknownst to Black Americans is:
Allover Africa, most Africans who are exposed to western culture (via western music, movies etc), grow up idolizing Black Americans and admiring to be like them in all ways. You will never, ever hear a single person anywhere in Africa, saying they don’t like Black Americans. Never. It is only after traveling to the west, that most Africans learn for the very first time, that Black Americans believe Africans dislike them.
This all means: the things that make us view each other as rivals, are very trial, and are only guided by self absorption. To me, these things shouldn’t stop us from understanding that the rest of the world views blackness [and black indignity] as one inseparable thing, or from understanding that our cause is the same, and that we should be working together to transform our lot, like all other people have done.
And just to be clear:
Although some Black Americans have now moved to Africa and are very happy with their decision, working together to change blackness, or working together to transform our homeland Africa, isn’t necessarily about changing one’s country of residence (especially for those blacks who don’t like this).
It is simply about understanding that our cause is the same, and accordingly, working together to transform our entire lot, and working together to make our homeland Africa a place we are all happy to call home, no matter where on earth you live. It is what all other humans have historically done.
Some Black Americans have a little consciousness:
Over the years, a handful of Black Americans have shown that they actually understand who they are; what their true origin is, and that they, too, should be working together with those of us on the continent.
For example in 2013, one Black American named Jerome Almon said, “the African Diaspora outside of America has done a great job in helping the continent, it is time for us to do our part.” Mr. Almon was calling on Black Americans to start investing $100 billion in Africa annually. He added, “we already spend $1 trillion+ and get nothing for it. With this plan, we get everything for it, and a place to call home”.
Still, those Black Americans who think (and feel) like Mr. Almon, are the fewest. The default position of Black Americans as a whole, is to keep theit homeland Africa at a distance, to the fullest extent possible.
A message to all Black Americans:
In the eyes of other people, we black people globally, are the same failed, same indignified humans.
Our inability to work together, is the only thing that matters in the eyes of other people, and is the main reason blackness has remained the symbol of world poverty & human misery. And until we black people realize this, and become a people like all others, blackness is forever going to be everyone’s laughter.
What good does it serve to shun each other, or to shun our homeland, when the same indignity we black people are facing today, is exactly what awaits us another 400 years ahead if we don’t work together? Or what good does it serve to shun each other, when the rest of the world despises all of blackness equally?
Even those German Jews who have lived in Germany for 1700 years, are still very seamlessly engaged with their Jewish homeland, and their Jewish peers across the world, and have never said they no longer have any connection with their people. It is what all other humans do. Why not us blacks, humanity’s poorest?
Respect comes only from self-respect. If you can’t view your own people (and your homeland) as being worthwhile, which can only be shown from your willingness to work together with your people (and your homeland), then nobody else is going to view your people (and you yourself) as being worthwhile either.
That is exactly how white people, for example, have managed to earn what we call white privilege. To me, the thing we black people call white privilege, is simply the willingness of white people to view each single one of their people as worthwhile, and a willingness to seamlessly work together with each other.
If we black people worked together the same way, we, too, would not only change our lot, but also, we would even have our own black privilege. Like white privilege, black privilege simply means our ability to easily work together with our black peers allover the globe, the same way whites & all other humans do.