Should African(-Diasporan)s Embrace Marriage Equality?

The recent legalization of “gay” marriage in the United States has exacerbated a growing divide in the Black Conscious and Civil Rights communities over sexuality and gender issues.  Some say that homophilia (homosexuality) and transgenderism are non-African imports from West Asian (European) culture and have no place in the African(-Diasporan) community.  Others insist that it’s hypocritical to call for equality, rights, inclusion and justice for some but not others.  So, should African(-Diasporan)s embrace marriage equality?


Everybody else is doing it, so why can’t we?

African(-diasporan)s built the New World, and financed the Old World, and civilized Asia.  So we have the absolute right to marry according to our customs and traditions.

I can’t help who I love, I love women- why won’t people accept us?

I can’t help it, either- where are my rights?

I’m in committed relationships- just like any other couples.

All the justifications “they” use are just as valid for us, which means we have just as much right- no, more- in the countries we’ve sweat, bled and cried for.

Our similarities are greater than our differences

Polygyny might just be the one thing that can unite the spectrum of Pan-Africanists.  Whether you’re

  • Atheist,
  • Biblical (Catholic, Protestant, Jehovah’s Witness, etc.),
  • Indic (Hindu, Buddhist, Yogic, etc.),
  • Islamic (Five-Percenter, Moor, NOI, Orthodox, etc.),
  • Judaic (Hebrew, Israelite),
  • Kemetic/Ma’atic, or
  • Traditional (Candomblé, Vodun, Yoruba, etc.),

polygyny (multiple wives) is part of your heritage.

Modern Polygyny
Modern Polygyny
Biblical Polygyny
Indic Polygyny
Indic Polygyny
Hebrew/Israelite Polygyny
Hebrew/Israelite Polygyny
Islamic Polygyny
Islamic Polygyny
Kemetic Polygyny
Kemetic Polygyny
Traditional African Polygyny
Traditional African Polygyny

Balance and Reciprocity

Polygamy is part of the fabric of life all over Africa- north, south, east and west.

It’s not about sex- it’s about building.

Through polygamous marriages women in precolonial Africa often had greater personal autonomy. As new wives joined a compound, older ones could focus on their trading. And successful women traders, such as the Iyalodes in Yorubaland, had a lot of power. While autonomous female traders are traditionally linked to West Africa, studies have found a long history of women’s trading also in places such as among the Kikuyu in Kenya as well as groups in Uganda and Zambia. (knowledge of self)

Pan-Africanism is about families, the building blocks of societies and kingdoms.  It affirms men and women, masculinity and femininity, with equal emphasis.  Pan-African feminists must understand that there has to be a masculist discourse as well, or there is no balance.  Balance is ma’at.

He makes them all queens;  they all make him a king
He makes them all queens; they all make him a king

Why polygyny?  Why now?

Like you just read, balance.  “They” just made a major move to change us:  we must make an equal effort to assert our identity and heritage.  You do not choose your enemy’s tactics:  you counter them.  Now is the time to assert our values in every arena:  personal, daily lives, social media, legal status, everywhere.

Don’t respond with negative energy:  the Supreme Court of the United States just legalized same-sex marriage, everybody’s rainbowing their Facebook profile pic and posting pictures of 80-year-old men getting married in Texas.  You can’t stop or reverse that.  The worst thing you can do is respond with bigotry that’s only going to help the other side.

What you can do is…  you.  Assert yourself.  Develop arguments and talking points for African family values.  Come up with rebuttals to common arguments against those values (and share them here!).  Start up advocacy groups, the same ones that took same-sex promiscuity from pariah status to counterculture to mainstream in 40 years.  Best of all, practice what you preach:  get married and have kids!

…maybe not this many, though…

Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me…

What are they teaching, exactly?
What are they teaching, exactly?

Remember what-and who- it was that turned us against our family system then, because it’s the same thing turning you off from it now:

Of course, whatever autonomy polygamy afforded back then was subsumed by colonialism and the rise of puritanical missionary teaching. (knowledge of self)

Right now we have lots of missionaries:  feminists, social engineers, progressives, liberals, conservatives, lobbyists, Family Planning, welfare, music, TV, print media.  Ideologues and propagandists.  Systems and ideas that always put African(-diasporan)s last.

Our ancestors made and sustained us, and in doing so showed us the way to make and sustain life.

Whose call will you hearken?

The ancestors are calling
The ancestors are calling

How the Woman/Man Ratio Affects Sex, Facial Hair, and Politics

In the 1970s, a Harvard psychologist proposed that the ratio of men to women shapes culture and politics. Her theory predicts U.S. social trends for the next 25 years.

When the sex ratio is low (too many women), women are more slender; when women are in short supply, as was the case in the United States in the 1950s, women are more curvaceous, perhaps because they are trying to look the part of traditional wife and mother. Barber’s studies, which often look at patterns in 40 countries or more, have shown the power of the sex ratio in predicting such things as the rate of nonmarital births, the practice of polygyny, and even the likelihood that men will grow facial hair. The more men there are, he found, the more hair they grow to attract mates.

When there is an excess of available men—as was true during most of U.S. history because most immigrants are male—marriage is generally revered and values are conservative. When available women outnumber available men, women are set free of the home, and values shift toward liberalism. But a low sex ratio also lowers the living standards of women and causes turmoil in relationships, mainly because men typically have more power in society, which they tend to exercise crudely when there are extra women around.


Is Polygamy the Solution for Black Families?

Black men across the United States repeatedly state that monogamy is counter to their nature and that through marriage, women attempt to control and limit male sexuality. Other men say that polygamous unions would be a way to resolve the issue of high rate of single black women in the U.S., to ensure that children have fathers around, and to curtail cheating.

Surprisingly, there are growing numbers of African American women that agree with this position, and share their opinion that polygamous marriages should be made legal in the United States.

Is polygyny really a viable option for American black families and single black women, or is it nothing but a new pimp game women and the latest hustle?”

Listen to the Discussion…

Kola Nut & The Igbo Culture

Juju Films

Kola Nut & The Igbo Culture

There was a wealthy man in Okonkwo’s Village who had three huge barns, nine wives and thirty children. His name was Nwakobie, and he had taken the second highest title man could take in the clan. It was for this man that Okonkwo worked to earn his first seed yams. He took a pot of palm wine and a cock to Nwakobie. Two elderly neighbors were sent to present a kola-nut and an alligator pepper, which were passed round for all to see, and then the kola nut and alligator pepper were returned to him. We pray for life, children, a good harvest and happiness. You will have what is good for you and I will have what is good for me. Let the kite perch and the eagle perch too. If one says no to the other, let his wing break. – Chinua Achebe


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