Structural Elements of Black Culture – Part 3

African culture serves as a means for establishing and maintaining unity.

NOTE: This is Part 3 of a 12-part series that defines the core elements of Black culture.

Black culture reinforces man’s need to actualize your oneness with God. To do so requires adopting the correct mindset about what and why you are. There is a set of false self-images that build our character. This human self-image is how most people view themselves. 

For instance, we harbor images in the form of egotism which values the way our bodies look, the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the houses we live in, the number of academic degrees we’ve obtained, etc. Of course, there’s no harm in wanting the good things life has to offer, but if any of those attributes add value to you, it is taking you away from identifying with God.

You are born with the duty and responsibility to become the vessel of God in the world, so you have a duty to construct an image for God to come into the world. The divine self-image must replace the human self-image because being human is the cause of poverty, hunger, oppression, racism, sexism, destruction of the environment, etc. Humans also believe that it’s natural to give into emotions—fear, anger, annoyance, irritability, worry, lust, cravings, sensual inclinations, etc. Essentially, humans are, by default, imperfect and unnatural constructs.

The fundamental premise of African culture is that you’re made in the likeness of God. What God looks like is a way of life where you’re doing things because it is the truth, not because you like it or don’t like it. It is a spiritual challenge to ignore your likes and dislikes. When you do so, you gain a fantastic amount of control over your life.

God is omnipresent means that, in every moment of your life, God is witnessing the thoughts and emotions that you accept and the actions that you take. Imagine if God was constantly guiding and directing your thoughts and actions. Would your life be improved?

You’re always guided by what’s true. Conscience is where God rests on Its throne within you. Your conscience is the part of you that always reveals the truth to you. God directs you through your conscience which is the judge and monitor of living truth. You must practice being still so you can hear the voice of God within you. 

You were made peaceful by nature. Your ability to be at peace isn’t dependent upon anything the human mind values. Nonetheless, we often allow ourselves to let our peace be dependent on something: “Once I get married, I’ll be happy” or “When I go on vacation, that’s when I’ll enjoy myself.”

When you’re not at peace, the mind throws up all kinds of foolish thoughts, especially about how you perceive yourself and others. We define ourselves according to a set of personality characteristics. Yet, if you’re striving to become more God-like, would you limit your expressions and interactions with others to a particular persona, character or temperament?

It is wrong thinking to believe that something or someone is against you because you need challenges in your life to cultivate your divinity. People and events are not against you because if you can remain at peace, then nothing can be against you. There are no enemies, no problems, no insurmountable circumstances, no strife, no tension, no drama, etc.

There is an inner drive felt universally to come together for security, companionship, enjoyment, to achieve goals, etc. All humans are hardwired to gather with others – it’s part of the survival mechanism. However, the coming together of people is a major source of tension. Problems arise when dealing with others where there is a perceived threat to our survival. Over time, we accumulate a distrust of others which leads to selfishness, a major source of disunity.

Lack of unity expresses itself in many ways including emotionalism, hostility, belief in the incorrigibility of people, and belief that people or situations are against you. Disunity is opposition and creates poor health, social problems, personal conflicts, family strife, etc.

Success in life depends on your ability to unify with the events and people in your life. You must replace divisive ideas and emotions that impede the realization of oneness with others because all emotions other than peace are not your nature. Only peace and love are the expressions of your divinity.

Everything you say and do should reflect the natural desire to express happiness which can only come from a state of peace. Peace is the master goal of Black culture. Where there’s peace, there’s prosperity, love, harmony, productivity, etc. Where there’s stress (the opposite of peace), there’s war, aggression, greed, poverty, sexism, racism, etc.

Despite countless ways Westerners have sought to divide us, we haven’t lost our cultural connection. Throughout the African Diaspora, we refer to one another as “brother” and “sister.” We express our kinship through our collective struggle against oppression and White supremacy. Raising our fist in protest represents the power of oneness. Moreover, we seek to establish peace and harmony by forgiving the transgressors.  

Black culture reinforces the need to get along with one another. Our culture contains a sense of responsibility and love for others above one’s own needs. “I am because we are” is our sacred anthem. This is precisely the attitude and behavior of divine beings and a central theme of what unifies us. Black people are more than skin tones when we strive to sit on God’s throne.


  • Kofi Adebayo

    Kofi Adebayo began his search for truth 40 years ago while majoring in philosophy in college. Even as a child, Kofi realized the world subsists on a web of intricate lies promulgated primarily by "intelligent" political, business, and religious leaders. He began with many years of independent study of African history, culture, and religion. Even after decades of discovery, Kofi believes he has only taken a sip from a wellspring of Black thought and achievement.