In my last article, I told you that it is time to forgive those who have harmed us. I spoke not only of this generation, but the generations that lead to this generation. That’s a lot of work. It is challenging work. It is also rewarding work. But be aware that it is still work nonetheless.

Learning to forgive others is preparation for the much tougher job of forgiving yourself! Forgiving others puts you in a forgiving mode. Forgiving others gives you a much stronger insight into the mechanics of reviewing a situation to pinpoint what it is that you want to forgive (i.e., release). After you’ve done that enough, you will be enabled to look at yourself and look for those things in you that you want to forgive.

One of the things to forgive within yourself is the fact that you actually believed what white society was telling you about yourself and Black people in general. They convinced the world (us included) that we’re lazy, not very smart, prone to criminality and over-sexed.

They saw the brilliant inventors, doctors, lawyers, authors and philosophers as exceptions to the rule who should not be included in the pool of all the other Black people. They were so good at convincing us that we were inferior that we took it into our minds and accepted that falsehood as being correct!

Whenever we encounter someone in our midst who is trying to get ahead, we accuse that person of trying “to be white” and we ridicule them and isolate them. By committing such acts, we are working against our own best interests. Basically, we are committing racial suicide by discouraging those who can lift us out of this pit of racism.
We need to throw that kind of thinking into the garbage, release the fear and denial of success and forgive ourselves for being self-defeating.

When we were presented with products created for us by Black entrepreneurs, to our credit we supported those entrepreneurs. Then when white marketers saw how much money there was to be made by copying our products, we deserted our own entrepreneurs to support the giant corporations who were robbing us. We claim that we did it because the white manufactured products were better. Actually they weren’t. They were just made by white people and we’ve been brainwashed into believing that if it is white-made then it is automatically better. As a result, our business ventures suffered from lack of our support and the white companies take our money and laugh all the way to the bank, which is never in our neighborhood.

We need to see that kind of thinking for what it really is – brainwashing! Let us cast off the blinders of propaganda and brainwashing. Let us see ourselves for the beautiful, powerful people we really are. Let us forgive ourselves for being naïve and stupid. Remember the phrase in the Lord’s Prayer:


Surprisingly, there are a number of similarities between Black people and alcoholics. Most alcoholics have a deep—almost pathological—sense of justice. So do we. If they are wronged (this often means that they did not get what they wanted), or even conjure up the notion that they might have been wronged, they find full justification to express anger or harbor resentment. So do we. Our anger and resentment is usually against “Mr. Charlie” or honkies or any other slang phrase describing members of white society.
It seems that it is almost a duty to carry a justified resentment. Otherwise, those who have wronged us would get off scot-free. And that wouldn't be right, would it? So, we waste our energy judging others and living under the illusion that we are punishing those unfair, racist whites.

Actually, we are only punishing ourselves. Resentment is a reliving of the offense that injured us in the first place. We perceive that we are punishing the white people for their wrong when, in fact, we are simply willing ourselves to feel the hurt again, and again, and again. Resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die!

So, in compliance with those falsehoods, we shut down and give up our ambitions, our dreams and our abilities to overcome any obstacle. When we do that we can be justified in being victims of the oppressive racist society. That is not to say racism isn’t real. It is! But we need to stop giving them such power over our minds and helping them beat us. Let it go! Forgive yourself for falling into that trap. Throw off that blanket of deception and stand up to claim the power that we all know deep inside is ours to have.

We assuredly agree that many, if not most, Black people know guilt, shame, remorse and self-loathing to excess. They don’t realize that they are drinking the white supremacist Kool-Aid and taking over the job of beating up on themselves – this is called self-flagellation. It is a practice we can no longer afford.

We must get rid of these misconceptions about ourselves before we can truly see the perfection of the Creator within ourselves. We must learn to see ourselves as we are intended to be. We must learn to look into the mirror and smile at the child of God emerging from the slime we have allowed ourselves to be pushed into. We must learn to look at ourselves and not look away in shame. We must learn to look at ourselves and instead see that beautiful individualized expression of God that each of us is and say, “I love you!”

Forgive yourself! Forgive yourself! Forgive yourself!

Author's Bio: 

Rev. Andrew L. Bozeman is an ordained minister working to bring mental and spiritual empowerment to people-of-color around the world. He is currently focused on the total revitalization of Bayview Hunters Point, a multi-racial, multi-cultural population in the Southeaster corner of San Francisco, California. He founded Bozeman Development Group ( as a way to continue his ministry in the merging of spiritual empowerment and economic development. Bozeman Development Group is an African American publishing and production company dedicated to the spiritual, psychological and economic elevation of the more than 40 million African Americans living in the United States of America. This objective will be accomplished by creating and marketing products designed to support African Americans in eliminating the negative effects of racism, elevating self-esteem, generating entrepreneurial endeavors, building and promoting African American commercial centers, rebuilding African American communities, revitalizing the African American economy and improving their quality of life. The products of the Bozeman Development Group consist of books (printed and electronic), magazines (printed and electronic), live seminars, workshops, expositions and entertainment events, online blogs, video tutorials, inspirational, informative and uplifting films and videos, internet radio and TV programming.