By Athi Mongezeleli Joja
It’s so bizarre that people are so proudly South African and anti black American when, in actual fact, their pride in their so called African culture was reintroduced to them by our brothers in the States and the Caribbean when the first black intellectuals like Pixley Ka Seme went to the States and came back talking about Africa for Africans, when Marcus Garvey was a household name, when in the 1920’s racist communists and missionaries didn’t want anything to do with African culture from their servants if it didn’t serve their agenda and when in the 1930’s and 1940’s influences from the Harlem Renaissance changed the nature of literary, theatrical and musical landscape in South Africa.
America was the first place that recorded the jazz that entered the Cape, then Queenstown – which became the city of big bands.
In the 1950’s even thugs modeled themselves as black Americans. What would Lewis Nkosi be without James Baldwin? What would Black Consciousness be without Albert Cleage (The Black Messiah) or without Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, or even Stokely Carmichael and James Cone of the 1970’s.
The entire Pan-Africanist movement and later the Afrocentrist movement was influenced by many key American and Caribbean gurus and this played a significant role in reconnecting the continent with itself.
In the 1980’s and the 1990’s there was a deep influence from rock and RnB, which of course came in the late 1960’s with Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, James Brown and the “I’m black and I’m proud” movement.
In the 1990’s Kwaito and House music were written America all over them. Even the dress code (Chuck Taylors a.k.a All Stars) is what we call kasi style today. We, rap and hip hop culture people, will know this more.
I don’t even want to talk about the present and how largely influenced by America it is.
So, all proudly South African people must shut the fuck up.