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Who Taught You to Hate You? By Mae Catherine Godhigh

It’s not through healing that you will love yourself. It’s through loving yourself, that you will heal.”

I’m parked on my patio. As I reach for my sweet tea, I sing the lyrics to Buffalo Soldier with Bob Marley. Summer days are drawing to a close. Memories carry me back to the hot summer days in Mississippi. Regret is mixed with realization. I realize my grandchildren will never experience sipping cool water from my great-grandmother’s well. Summers spent in the ‘Sip was my apex.

My grandmother’s well was located in her backyard. It produced the best tasting, life-giving water! On her dining room table sat an antique silver pitcher. I loved to watch her pour ice-cold water from that pitcher. Nothing compares to that natural experience. Her well was healthy and refreshing.

Humanity will spend its lives drinking from all types of wells. We drink from political, academic, love, hate and religious wells. How often do we pause to examine the well we are drinking from? Is the well healthy or poisoned?

Modern Day Willie Lynch”

For many African Americans, the jury is still out regarding the Willie Lynch Syndrome. The Willie Lynch Letter refers to a 1712 speech given by a white Jamaican slave owner named William Lynch. In his letter, he instructs Virginia slave owners how to control their slaves through psychological and divisive manipulation. He instructs the owners to begin pitting slaves against each other; Mother against daughter, Father against son, field slave against the big house slave, and light-skinned against the dark-skinned.

He encourages the slaveowners to dismantle any bonds of love and unity to replace them with hate and division. Thus, the term “lynching” is derived from his name.

The introduction of self-hate principles is a current conflict within our African American communities. The numbers of black-on-black violence can be linked to generational trauma and self-hate. So, the question remains who taught you to hate you?

A lot was invested into creating the image of the “no good black man.” Do your research! The colonization and legislation of black minds continues to erode our communities. How dare a writer like me upset that perception? Willie Lynch is nothing more than weaponized PR. It’s been used against us for centuries and the backlash proves it.

Enslaved African Americans were taught the color black represented darkness, magic, death, evil and despair. Black skin was a curse, natural hair was “unkempt” hair, the black doll was ugly, the Black Panthers were evil and troublemakers. The black cat brought bad luck. The truth is the color black represents the queen of colors-─ authority, positivity, sophistication, restraint and power!

The cosmetic industry rakes in billions because of the self-hate disease. We were taught to hate our melanin, broad noses, lips, buttocks and hair.

Slavery was taught as the beginning of our history, which is a proven lie. We were taught “savage tutorials” about Black, Haitian and Indigenous people because they practiced “evil religions.” Egyptology discredits the great Pharaohs and Queens of Africa by maintaining they were nonblack.

How do we dismantle this vicious cycle? We must teach all of our truth. Partial Truth is still a whole lie.

Teaching needs to occur in the early childhood years and throughout the adult life span. It is the parent/guardian’s and educator’s responsibility to bring awareness to the greatness and contributions of African Americans.

We must teach our children to ALWAYS examine the well. The water may be poison.

It might be a good time to stop reading this article. Go get a mirror and ask yourself, who taught you to hate you?