On this series of posts, I will give you my understanding of Self-Hatred.. I may quote and paraphrase the words of some people who have read more than I. My intention is to say this as honestly, bluntly and as inappropriately-appropriate as I can, because, the concept of Self Hatred is one that is complex, and causes a lot of us to be defensive.
DISCLAIMER: I kindly ask that as you read this (and those that follow it); you get out of
your feelings and understand what I am saying before you decide that I am being judgmental of anyone (which, I may and probably will be. Just try not to think of it that way). While you read this, I ask that you also do your best to refrain from trying to “understand where I’m coming from” just read and go do your own research.
Now I begin.
1. What is Self Hatred? To me, it means exactly what the name suggests: intense dislike of one’s Self. And what is “Self”? The essence of my being; all the qualities, characteristics [and maybe behaviors] which constitute my being. To hate my Self means to dislike the life that nature intended for me, to kill off diversity by deciding to mimic the actions and qualities of a being which I consider much better, and superior to my Self.
2. Why is it important to acknowledge this concept, and how does one identify it? The importance is simple, to acknowledge self hatred is to acknowledge all the reason for it, as well as the institutions, activities and global powers which encourage it. To identify it, well.. I don’t have that quite right. Briefly I will say, if you find yourself at any time and place speaking negatively about your background, culture and values, you may be expressing self hatred.
I don’t mean speaking “negatively” as in calling out the unfair principles of one’s culture, or speaking out against the double standards of one’s society. No. I mean speaking badly e.g. about your African print dress and deciding that it is unprofessional (shouldn’t “professional” be determined by how you engage customers and workmates, or how well you do your work?), or deciding that one is a “useless and dependent” woman for choosing to be a stay-at-home mum even though according to [said] culture she is praised for doing so. That is the self hatred I speak of. The kind where we refuse to acknowledge the greatness and power in our past and heritage and decide that the culture of another (continental) society is so much better than ours.
In the following articles I will write about how self hatred has affected the African individual; the family; as well as the black-on-black relation across the globe.