African-Americans a disgrace to the black race

As Black History Month closes, and African Americans in the United States (US) have celebrated and reflected on their role in that nation’s shaping, it would be everyone’s hope that they also took a good honest self-inventory on how they have become a far cry from their forefathers and mothers.

By Tendai Ruben Mbofana

One cannot help but be engulfed with a deep sense of shame on how today’s African-Americans have turned into a huge embarrassment for the black race, as they have become a people without direction, morals, and a sense of determinations — unlike those of the earlier ages.

As a black person myself, but from the mother continent of Africa, I see today’s African-Americans as a bunch of cry-babies, who have an excuse for every type of demented behaviour that they exhibit — hiding behind their supposed repression by the white majority.

Granted, we all do acknowledge that African-Americans have, ever since being dragged to the New World as slaves and until today, have been receiving the short and dirty end of the stick, but that is not an excuse for who they have turned out to be.

Is being oppressed, or not seeing much prospects for acceptance or opportunities, a valid enough excuse not to attend school — yet those schools are there — or for drug abuse, violence and gangsterism, promiscuity, and generally living below one’s potential?

As much as I understand the “Black Lives Matter” mantra — considering that an African-American is indeed most likely to be shot by police than a white person — but, without honest reflection, this cause is a lost one.

Quite, frankly, African-Americans are victims of their own failure to rise above the segregation and oppression they have been subjected to over the past centuries.

If they believe that the violent repression that they have suffered has turned them into violent people, then they only have themselves to blame when every police officer is jittery, around them and has a finger ready on the trigger.

It is no secret that one is more likely to be robbed or killed by an African-American than a white person, and that so-called black neighbourhoods are the most dangerous in the US.

I am also sure that African-Americans themselves acknowledge this fact, and if asked, they would admit that it was safer to walk in a White neighbourhood, especially at night.

According to some research I did, African-American women felt safer dating or marrying a Caucasian man than a fellow “brother”, as they were less likely to be violent, or to be involved in some sort of crime — especially gangsterism and drugs.

African-American children were more likely to grow up being raised by a single mother, as their black fathers would be absent — either, having absconded their duties, in prison for crimes they committed, or dead — usually, due to a life of crime.

Despite schools — no matter how “substandard” they may be — being present within reasonable distances, African-American children are more likely to drop out, or generally be a nuisance and downright problematic, leading to a higher probability of failure.

African-American children would rather spend their time with pants pulled down acting all tough, and generally preparing themselves to be criminals and losers.

If African-Americans want their lot to change, they can not expect White people to do it for them — it never happened, it is not happening, and it will never happen.

Today, what is needed is not another civil rights activist like Martin Luther King Jr, or a militant as Malcolm X, or another Rosa Parks.

These great heroes did their part for a particular period, and a particular purpose, in African-Americans history.

However, today, the biggest struggle for US blacks is not slavery, or segregation — but, a serious need for mindset change amongst the African-American community itself. They need to make up their minds on what they really want to achieve as a community.

What do they truly want?

There is nothing that African-Americans have gone through that we in Africa have not — but, we largely reacted differently. We were similarly, enslaved through colonialism, and subjected to the same violent, and dehumanising oppression and deprivation of world class education, quality health, economic opportunities and empowerment, suffrage, and were generally relegated to the fringes of human society.

However, did that get us down?

Did that turn us into violent drug addicts, who waste their time in some pity party, whilst dropping out of school and choosing a life of crime?

Did that turn us into unreliable husbands and fathers, who would not be there for our families?

On the contrary, Africans were so hungry for education — as we knew it was the key out of poverty — that even during the colonial times, we would walk, if not run, over 20km each day to and fro school.

From as young as 12 years old, my mother would run behind her father — who would be riding a bicycle carrying her boarding school luggage — for nearly 15km from her rural village to the nearest train station.

Even today, as most parts of our continent are still grossly underdeveloped, pupils as young as 12 years have to travel each day more than 10km to school.

We know the education systems in most parts of Africa leave a lot to be desired — as there are no books, and pupils learn under trees — even in rain — there are no qualified teachers, and some even have to cross flooded rivers in times of rain — but, such has not deterred us to crave for education.

That is why a huge number of Africans are highly educated today — not only that, but also value the importance of hard work and perseverance.

No wonder, when these Africans come to the US, they take up high positions, whilst African-Americans will be acting all tough and cool on the streets, shooting cocaine and each other!

We also have had it tough from the days of white colonialism to today — when we still have to survive under the most unlivable and inhospitable conditions — but, we always manage to stay relatively morally upright, determined to succeed, and persevering.

Admittedly, Africa has its violent hotspots, however, these are largely geopolitical matters that we also seriously need to sort out ourselves — but, as communities, and individuals, we have managed to hold our own.

We understand how a vicious cycle of poverty, drugs, violence and crime would leave us in a trap — thus, we will do our best not involve ourselves in such.

Similarly, African-Americans need to know that the only key to their success and emancipation is with themselves.

It is not with some “Black Lives Matter” mantra — going around the streets demanding not to be shot by the police — but, for African-Americans to start by taking themselves seriously for a change.

Yes, clamouring for one’s human rights is very important — I should know, as a social justice activist — but, we do not hide our irresponsible behaviour, and lack of accountability under a shroud of activism.

We are very clear on what are our rights, and what are our responsibilities — these need to balance.

Start by choosing to have a sense of self-respect and value, embracing education, and choose a straight honest life free of gangsterism, drugs and violence.

Even if it may appear as if there are no career prospects for black people, no matter how educated, they should learn from us Africans — we have learnt to survive, without the need for crime.

We have become innovative in our self-empowerment ventures, in the midst of poverty and oppression, such that we manage to eke out a decent livelihood.
That is why, when we come to the US, we also manage to convert that business innovativeness, which we would have learnt in the midst of nothing, into very successful enterprises.

I do not have to rob my neighbour just because I am struggling.

Therefore, as African-Americans come out of Black History Month, it is time that they stopped blaming everyone around them for their own shameful behaviour, and acknowledged that the change they seek will largely come from themselves through a mindset change — and not from White House!



  1. Well done Tendai… Makorokoto for your article on “our brothers”, African Americans 👍

  2. True to the bone. African-Americans seem to be proud of bad behaviour and they potray it as strength, most of them potray good deeds as a sign of weakness…and then their preferred language (lets not go there)….oh my God have mercy upon them so they can change.

  3. Your article is not about facts. It is denigrating an entire group of people several millions strong. You have chosen to focus on the negative things which are found in every country.Have you every research the contributions in science and medicine and other things that American blacks have given to the world. You need to look at the larger issues before you start to criticize.

    1. Excellent, very well written. Keep up the good work!

    2. motherf.cker!!kkkkkkk.havaite vaye.zvaanyora ndizvo!

  4. The article has strong points but arguably one-sided and therefore can be dismissed as a mere personal opinion. The author failed or neglected to find the causes of African-American behavior which on face value seem retrogressive, destructive and self-afflicting. I draw the author’s attention to his own assertion when he said, “there are no career prospects for black people, no matter how educated.” That is the answer to the black man’s queer but fairly understandable behavior. When all the pathways to self-actualization have been blocked, deliberately or otherwise a seemingly intelligent, industrious and well-meaning individual is reduced to shame. Actually Africans should be very angry about how our brothers and sisters are being treated in America since that glorious day in 1865 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the black man a free man. However as fate would have it, the president was assassinated shortly afterwards by the white system and the many things which were promised to black people there were scrapped. Even after Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr and Malcom X and other civil rights leaders’ heroic acts the white man has not repented. He has reduced the black person to nothing and it is that anger, bitterness which is main cause of crime. Look at South Africa for example black people are paid less, stay in shacks and are likely to be stopped at a road block than their white counterparts. How do you expect a person who is earning a meager R3000.00 to drive a vehicle with no mechanical faults? So it is segregation which cause poverty which in turn cause crime.

  5. kabius kekedu

    Good article. Some decades ago at the University of Zimbabwe I made a case like this writer has presented in a class that was doing Afro-American literature and was roasted by the whole class and the lecturer. I treated begrudgingly. There is general a tendency of not being critical enough when reflecting on the doings of our brothers and sisters in the US. They have serious arrears with regard to basic human behaviour. When I had an opportunity of living with them for some months in Harlem and other parts of America, I discovered that a significant number of Afro-American are hostile to Blacks hailing from Africa the reason being that “Your sold us”. Its unfortunate.

  6. I think this article should find its way into other publishing houses on this continent. This cannot just be a Newsday article surely. Well done Sir!

  7. Ngondi Kamupinya

    There is one “Chimurenga” who often comes to Zim to celebrate our so-called Freedom(Independence) dressed like a scare-crow.He does not fight for his freedom in the USA, but emulates a non existant freedom in Zim.

    1. Dhodha remumuganga

      He even changed his name to Coltrane Chimurenga

  8. Pfuurayi Vamwevatongewo

    Facts remain facts, no matter what. To confirm my concurrence with the author, I can refer anyone to the DStv station “Trace”, and just observe what a disgrace the so-called artistes and dancers to their black music do with their bodies. If anyone supports such portrayal of culture as progressive, then that person is obviously not normal. And I pity some Africans who may want to mimic such in their respective cultures. South Africans take note!!!

  9. THis Article Is B.S and that someone went into their fridge after not knowing who invented it. then drove their car, and stopped at a traffic light not knowing who invented it, then maybe had a heart surgery not knowing that in was an african american who first did that.then that person gets on his phone and sends a text, which bounces via satellite not knowing blacks were involved in space programe.

    i could go on for days.
    please don;t think what you see on t.v is how African Americans live.looks like divide and conquer is still alive and we still falling for it.

    shame on u

  10. by the way Zim Is one of the most corrupt countries on this earth. if thats not a crime i dont know what is. glass houses.

  11. Coon, if your not a Black person that is native to America then don’t speak on Black Americans in this way. Maybe I should do an article on why you decided to come here to get your life together. Because Africa is in pathetic condition. How would you like a Black American to write an article on how sorry Africa is and how African and Caribbean Blacks come here and pilfer off the work Black American ancestors did. We did the work for you to be able to beat your sorry chest. And we got you civil rights and affirmative action, Black slave labor and equity is what built this country not immigrants. So, shut the f**k up about descendants of slaves!

  12. Africa has had its fair share of struggles, we still are struggling. but we cant hide the fact that Black-American the majority of them have let themselves and us who look up to them down. at every given opportunity most have chosen the short end of the stick, black on black crime, drugs, fathers absent. all these the writers is alluding to. you didnt choose to go to America, but your forefathers sweated and died for that country. from far of, the conclusion to reach is you still see yourselves as victims, and that mentality is the one that will destroy you. An article on us Africa, we will be the first to tell you everything about our weaknesses and strengths, to say yes things are not good, to look you in the eye and say we can do better, we want to do better but until then we will chip at the old block one brick at a time. can African Americans say the same thing.

  13. and the continued name tagging of “Black Americans” as ‘African American’ should stop. whites came from Europe i have never heard them called European Americans, that tagging is a way of victimizing other races. a polite way of telling them you dont belong, all of them dont even know anything about Africa or where their forefathers were taken and as such they are just as American as the white who came from Europe

  14. I strongly disagree. Your ‘essay’ sounds like the ‘arrogant,’ ‘contemptable,’ and ‘ignorant,’ assessment that many immigrants of African and Asian countries judge as they look down their noses at us. There are huge numbers of African-Americans who have taught through the generations their children the importance of spirituality, leading a religious life, discipline, morality, education and success. Through the history of this country we have survived as a people challengeing the racism and stigmas that the white, non-white and yes even the immigrant black peoples have thrown in our ways. Who the hell are you — a non-African American — to make such judgements? I am a pure African-American. I do not have Caribbean, or African ‘recent, immigrant ancestors.’ I am done with ‘older’ blacks who disparage “the black lives matter” movement — comparing it with the 60’s civil rights revolution. That was a different time, era — mainly organized and carried out in the southern states. Black Lives Matter is continental U.S.A. wide. These black women who founded/organized BLM come from shocking backgrounds in which their fathers, husbands, brothers and most of the black males is their inner-city neighborhoods were jailed, imprisoned, raped, tortured and killed by parasitical, sociopathic police. Maybe you (and the’critics’above who agree with you) should read the 2 books, “Nasty Women – Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America” and “When they call you a Terrorist – A BLM memoir.” To get a better idea of what ‘we poor victom blacks’ are up against — and why we continue to fight. I’m a single mom (never married, completed M.S. in education). 2 of my black friends are divorced women from 2 black men. These women are highly educated and struggled to raise their children. Plus, 2 more black friends (of mine) – one twice divorced to white men. The other twice divorced to two more white men. No, in reply to your assertion that ‘American black women are encouraged to marry white men for a successful marriage’ – is a stereotype. In addition, many white women (college educated included) are unmarried. Where are you getting these myths – That most black youth carry on with saggy pants, all single black moms are poor/uneducated? There are unfortunate, poverty stricken, college dropouts, etc. people in all ethnicities. Remember, when Trump said ‘Africa is filled with ‘sh–t holed countries. The media plays up on rampant crime/violence/breakins and rape committed by black men in South Africa. Ritualistic dismemberment of black childen by native Africans, forced female genital mutilations, tribe on tribe genocides, terrorist bombings, and more in Africa. Hurts when the Asians treat immigrant (educated) Africans like trash in China and India. European/U.S.A. and Canadian countries (in most cases) treat African refugees worse then other refugees (because the world press plays up Africa’s issues). African Americans survived through hellish conditions. We know our history, obstacles and future. Many of us are successful survivors, a lot of us will perish. Non-African-Americans — you don’t know our story. You haven’t lived it. Deal with your problems. The U.S.A. is the most powerful militarily, richest country in the world. But, spiritually, it is the lowest.

  15. Brother Mbofana I appreciate your article about African Americans being a disgrace. I too find the way they are being portrayed in the media as criminal, gangsters, and prostitutes as highly offensive. The entertainers they have are some o
    The entertainers they’ve produced have been some of the worse role models for Black People.
    I agree with you brother Mbofana. That’s why I decided to live America with my wife and four children and return to Africa.
    My wife is a graduate for Sidwell High School and A&T University. She graduated with honors on a tennis scholarship. I’m an Entrepreneur who left college early to pursue a career in the fashion industry and real estate.
    It hard to really understand the oppressive nature of being an African American without living in America. I would equate it to someone who lives in tropical paradise not understanding the environmental impacts of freezing weather and snow.
    I remember being a young adult in America when the America and the European Union imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe. I saw television news reports demonizing Robert Mugabe and Zimbabwean citizens. I refuse to accept their narrative, I knew who was truly at fault. During the 1980’s and 1990’s African Americans placed pressure on the US government to impose sanctions on Apartheid South Africa.
    Ronald Regan and the US government did not find the need to sanction South Africa until they received that pressure. But they hurriedly sought to sanction an African nation who decided to act in response to empty promises that the UK and the United Stiates did not fulfill.
    I’ve watch non African demean African people my entire life. But I knew who was behind the negative portrayal of our people. It’s always been other people.
    It’s disheartening that their slander campaigns have be powerful enough to convince you to believe that’s who we really are. You’ve defined an entire group of your people based on social programming owned and designed by another group of people.
    I don’t think it is wise for us a people to compare our responses to a shared struggle. In fighting makes easy the job of an enemy.
    I love you brother. I wish you well. Please get to know 100 African Americans personally before you condemn us publicly. Words can either build or destroy. You enjoy the privilege of living in Tropical Paradise. Please consider investing the power of your pen into a plan on how to rescue you people from the frozen waste lands in which we reside. We need you love. We need your compassion. We need you knowledge, We need your language, We need your culture.
    We need your understanding.
    Love me before you judge me. Reach to me before you preach to me. Walk my mile before you crack a smile. Live where I’m livin’ and experience my condition before you make a decision and share your opinion.
    Chat Conversation End
    Type a message…

  16. I would like to add that much of the success of blacks in American, are coming primarily from Nigerian immigrants and other African immigrants. They are not coming from black-Americans, but from real African-Americans.

  17. I’m late reading this article. It’s rubbish. What he is saying about African-Americans is the same thing people say about Africans especially the ones in underdeveloped countries its disgraceful that he would demonize an entire population of people.

  18. This article is full of biased and racist sweeping generalisations. Alarmingly, it sounds very similar to the attitudes that were expressed by “Rhodesians” about black Zimbabweans. I know I’m probably being naïve and idealistic, but I’d like to think that those who have experienced racial oppression would at least have developed some level of self-awareness so as not to perpetuate the same victimisation onto others.

  19. Very sad article. But I guess this is to be expected from those who probably descend from those who sold my ancestors to whites. I seriously hope this pitiful white-identified, anti-Black way of thinking is not the norm in Africa (although dealing with some of the absolutely pathetic Africans that come into America spouting this kind of garbage, I might have to conclude that it is). What have Black Americans done to you for you to write such hurtful nonsense? This has to be for the approval of your white daddy, as there is no other constructive reason for this article at all that I can logically see. It’s no wonder the whites came in and divided the continent up and colonized it (aside from Ethiopia) with such ease. At least with African Americans, we were kidnapped and sold to a completely unfamiliar place (probably by your corrupt ancestors). The whites came into places where Africans had already lived for thousands of years and promptly set up shop and took control of and exploited the resources easily and the Africans had to fight for control of places where they had already lived for centuries. There are places in Africa where whites are less than 10% of the population while controlling 90% or better of the wealth. Who is the real disgrace?

  20. The article was a load of rubbish because it was simply based on how black Americans are potrayed by the media and the writer also chose to focus on only negativstuff in the black American community. Zimbabwe has high levels of corruption, human rights abuses, poor infrastructural development, economic meltdown….the list goes on and on. Zimbabweans can also qualify to be a disgrace to the black people because they took the country from the white men only to run the economy into the toilet.How disgraceful is that. Zimbabweans should look at themselves in the mirror before pointing fingers at others because the country is in a terrible shape as compared to what it was under white man’s rule.

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