Dr Michael Afolayan responds to No. 657:
I think Omoyele Sowore's article is an eye-opener. It points to one critical issue: A lack of tangible cultural correspondence between the peoples of Africa and its Diaspora is real. Sad as it may sound, this problem is more pervasive between Africans and the peoples of African descent than is the case among any other racial or ethnic groups in the Americas. For instance, American Jews hold Jews from Israel as their brothers and sisters and vice versa. They lean on each other for a cultural continuum that had carried them through many generations of tempestuous experience in America. They do not see each other as enemies. Indeed, if that had not been the case, the State of Israel would probably never have come into existence. Asian Americans and Asians from Asian homelands often work together to achieve common goals and defeat common enemies. The economic formidability of several Asian groups in North America is a testimony to the success of this valuable confraternity between their homelands and their American world.
In the case of Africans and Africans in the Diaspora, reverse is always the case. We seem to be estranged distant relatives, often of more adversarial relationship than a cohesive one. Africans are cynical of African Americans; African Americans are suspicious of Africans. No wonder why in spite of their contributions to the growth and development of America, and its active presence in the Americas for almost half a millennium, the Black race has nothing to show for its own economic, cultural or political independence or relevance.

African leaders are culpable. Perhaps apart from the late African leader Kwame Nkrumah, and the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, most African leaders are completely oblivious of the salient roles that African Americans could play in the economic and cultural authentication of the continent. On the other hand, African American leaders, ranging from Louis Farrakhan, Carol Moseley Braun, to Jesse Jackson, Collin Powell, etc., have made many derogatory remarks or supported policies that clearly worked against the interest of their natal home, Africa.

Equally more dangerous are attitudes of Africans to African Americans. When adult Nigerians in America use terribly ethnocentric pseudonyms like "Akata," or "Ajereke," both of which I will not translate here for the sake of civility, to refer to African Americans, I think we expose our shameless disregard to the umbilical cord of our natural history; and we would have no conscience when we cry at the sound of the "N" word when it is being used in America to put down the dignity of African Americans. They say "when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers." Apparently, the many generations of not getting our act together has taken its toll. Children of Africans and African Americans have picked up the black smoke signal of a lack of solidarity and have taken it on grounds higher than their parents', taking up arms against each other. May be, finally, before cannibalizing each other, it's time for a serious dialogue.