5 Step Program for Beginning Pan-Africanists and Afrocentrists
New to Pan-africanism? new to Afrocentricity? Well, you need a plan. start with these 5 simple steps to embracing your african identity more.
1 Starting reading.
Get a good book list of spiritual, political and cultural titles and began reading regularly. Share the contents with anyone that will listen, but if possible with those that share your interest. Start examining life through the theories and ideas presented in the books. Decide which ones make more sense and match your reality. Try to look for afrocentric and pan-african titles, but also read books that advance theories that you disagree with entirely - it important to be an informed advocate and balanced dissenter. As you learn more about your culture and become astute about politics and social theories - put them into practice.
2 Find an activist mentor.
Develop a friendship and working relationship with someone that is actively involved in grassroots efforts in your community. This may take some effort, as you will have to identify and able person and earn their trust. Volunteer to help them by sharing some skill set you have to their efforts. Learn the fundamentals of organizational structure, communication, program development and implementation. Try to get a mixture of experiences if possible. Work with mainstream (like nonprofits) and non-traditional organizations (like the national united black front or a more "revolutionary or pan-african org".
3 Find a spiritual mentor.
This person doesnt have to be a clergy, but they should be somebody with whom you can discuss spiritual matters from an african perspective. That is they have some knowledge of ethics, spirit and life from an african perspective. If someone like this is not available, go to the most open, and moral elder that you are comfortable with sharing. Work your way into it, but develop a frank and open relationship with this person. Share your desire for self, community, nation and world. Start to broaden your knowledge and perspective through listening, sharing and implementing their advice.
5 Develop a plan for Self Improvement.
Write down 5 positive and 5 negative things about yourself. Now underneath each positive write down 2 things you can do to increase this good trait. Underneath each negative one write down 3 things you can do to decrease this negative trait.As your knowledge of self increases, add, subtract and evaluate this list. Only create and use this list if you are determined to be entirely truthful and frank with yourself. This may be uncomfortable, but you must try to be as honest with yourself as possible.
Some indicators of Success:
- start to feel more comfortable expressing, wearing and living african culture. (religions, political affiliations, dress, etc)
- more educated and well read
- more practical experience through involvement
- ability to follow and lead.
- development of new friend base that is complementary to your efforts.
- develop relationships with elders that share your ideals (and this is especially important for adults. we need elders too!)
- comfortable with change
- ability to see yourself as you are.
- ability to see yourself as you can be.
- ability to plan and implement
- less anxiety associated with being different than others.