in ,

The Spirit of Genesis

The Spirit of The Beginning

There are more than 2 billion people in this world who will tell you, ‘I am Black’. Some say this with more conviction than others. But what, pray tell does that actually mean? What is a black person and what is it that defines this individual or this group?

Asia, in so many ways, is virgin territory. What Asian societies are shaping up to be has never been seen in recent human memory. Each Asian society has a heavy reliance on technology. They look to their future and, in general nearly disregard their past. The ethnic foundations of each country are very homogenous. What about the millions of people, living and working in Asian countries, who exist outside of the ethnic norms of that country? Everyday, more and more people who are different are being born in countries that have no established ways of dealing with people who are different.

We are all having to learn how to live with these new dynamics at the same time that they are coming about. For black people, because we are still something of a mystery to this part of the world, it’s almost as if we get to reinvent ourselves. We get the chance, in the contemplative sense, to study ourselves, to learn ourselves, to discover from whence we came and to cleanse ourselves of the mistakes of the past.

After all that is said and done, one question boldly makes itself heard: Who are we in Asia? Black people who live in and or come from Asia, cannot be the black people of anywhere else in the world. We must be our own, unique entity. This entity is, in stages, coming into existence at this very moment.

The spirit of self-actualization is what sparked the discussion above. Jackson Nguyen took the last name of his wife who is Vietnamese. He was born in The Congo. He moved to Vietnam from Switzerland, where he was raised to live and work with his wife. Like so many Africans in this part of the world, he brought with him a spirit of bravery and adventure as he jumped into his new life in Asia. He threw caution to the wind and went after opportunity.

He sat down to talk with A.s. Turner for BlackAsiaMagazine. They are both in Ho Chi Minh city in the south of this very rich country.

For me, this conversation carried a bit of a sad undertone. It left a kind of emptiness with me which I hope, one day will be filled with pride. What makes us black is, firstly, that we have a common phenotype or a common look. Apart from that, what binds us together as a group is the discrimination we face. What binds us together, is that all of us, the world over, do not have a state we can call home; even in black countries, there is no place where the black man and the black woman rule. What binds us together, is that to one degree or another, our minds and our hearts are infected with self-hatred and self-doubt.

Now, some of us see this as a situation too hopeless to change. While some of us meet this situation with the fervent spirit of hard work. We see exactly where the cracks are that need to be filled in. After we jot down these markers…what else is there? A group bound together by hardships can never excel. As soon as even some of the members of the group begin to do better, the glue holding them together begins to dissolve.

So what else is there? If there is any light at the end of the tunnel, it is the idea that, here, we have the chance to create the values and the endeavors which define us a the group that we are turning into. What came of this interview, was that for black people in Asia to forge a group, that group must be structured around group economics. At least for now, the entrepreneurial spirit has to be our foundation.

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings