Paul Obinna was born in 1959 of Igbo (Nigerian) and English (British) parentage in Preston, U.K. To better understand the historical relationship between these African & European worlds he designed the Lineage Timeline displaying a 9,000-year continuum to expand the viewer’s comprehension of both histories, past the contentious periods of Arab & European Colonization & Slavery and History. This information is vital to what Paul terms ‘The Lineage Interface’ in any work place where this extended sense of history is used to lay the foundation of becoming fully “P.C.,” meaning Personal Confidence and Professional Competence.
Anti-Black Consciousness: The Twin Pillars of Consciousness process, developed by Dr. Molefi Asante, puts forward that although a consciousness towards victory exists in our society which promotes wealth, abundance and success, a consciousness towards oppression also exists and works to associate notions of inferiority, disease, poverty, failure & misery with blackness.
Reflecting on his own upbringing, Paul noted how such internalised feelings of Black inferiority were common amongst many of his Black peers. He asked us to think critically about how such a consciousness is still reproduced in our media and in narratives that surround Black political campaigns and how a knowledge of history must be used to counteract this and build self confidence in Black communities.
Becoming Professionally Competent and Personally Confident: Building on the Twin Pillars of Consciousness process Paul reflected on a demarcation exercise he carried out at the University of Warwick which revealed an internalised anti-Blackness that affected the Black members of staff. Reflecting on his work in prisons as well as his work with the University of Warwick staff,
Paul noted this pervasive feeling of inferiority must be seen in conjunction with wider professional practice whereby a lack of self confidence acts to impede professional competence. In this way, Paul notes that these two aspects of professional competence and personal confidence are inseparable, as such we must work as a community to develop methods to build personal confidence through the study of history and knowledge of self.
Lineage Timeline ‐ Education as Fundamental: Tying in these notions of consciousness andbuildingprofessionalcompetenceandpersonalconfidencePaulendedhispresentation by noting the fundamental importance of education and knowledge of history for building self confidence within our communities. With the Lineage Timeline, an interactive map of world history that goes beyond a view of Black history beginning with slavery, he invites us to think practically about how our understanding of history affects our understanding of the world, our place in it and where our place ought to be