I’m no know-it-all. Some of you may think I am acting like a guy who knows all the answers; I don’t.
But since this is MY blog, I’m going to give you the answers…
I have long said that the main weapon being used to hold back the Black Community is the Black Community itself. I may seem like I am overgeneralizing by making “the Black Man” synonymous with the Black “community”–and that’s because I consider the Black Man to be the keeper of the key to our success. Without summarizing this whole series (yes, this is going to be a series) with one statement–the Black community will prosper when the Black Man becomes a MAN and makes us prosperous–I want to give the details explaining why the Black Community (and thus the Black Man) is being held back.
If we as a people can embrace this philosophical solution, I believe that this community as a whole will be elevated to the status we rightfully deserve to hold.
I welcome skeptics, critics, comments and questions.
- We have too many “Momma’s Boys”. This is perhaps the biggest problem we face. The man is the head of the household, the nurturer, the leader, the provider, the teacher, the guide, the protector, and the sacrificial lamb of the community. If any of these roles is not filled, the whole process of having a community/family/people are out of balance and miscombobulated. I consider any man who does not fill each and every role enthusiastically to be less than a man, and therefore a “Momma’s Boy”. And boy do I know this one well. I live in California–the Mecca of the Momma’s Boy.
- Not enough spiritual foundation in our families. To find a family that is centered around worship and faith is often a rarity. We use to be a people who walked by faith, and the churches were the center of our communities. Today–in the Black community–the center of the community is the shopping center/mall, the club, or Facebook. We like to look good, we like to be consumers, have the nicest cars, the best-dressed parents, get the degrees, the big houses, the six figure jobs–and church is for hard times and celebrations. Hell, if it weren’t for cheap weddings, high funeral home costs, and HOLIDAYS, most of us would never set foot in a church. It’s so bad, that when you find a spiritually grounded teenager you think it’s an amazing thing! As if it is only a small percentage of our community who are truly faithful to the religion they claim. Wait, it is….
- We aspire to be second-class peasants. We are an entertainment generation, and we will subject our children to be raised by music and media in the effort to pursue more “stuff”. Yes, our juvenile courts are full of the best-dressed, most affluent, wannabe gangstas ever. These courts are not full of kids selling drugs to feed their kids. They are full of kids who want to act like gangsters. They are suburbanite children who wish they were from the “hood”. Why is it that our parents want to act rich, but the kids want to act poor? It’s so bad, that we look at educated, articulate, well-mannered men as “square”, and then we say that our less educated, rough-mannered men have an “edge” and therefore more attactive. And what happened to the gangsta rap generation of the 90s? Well, some finished college and got jobs and are now raising middle-class thugs and hoes. Others are the single moms and dads who are raising lower-class thugs and hoes. Someone once said that I am hiding my children from the streets by keeping them in the mosque. You’re damned right. Some people just don’t get it; we have everything we need to elevate ourselves, but most of us would just rather stay in the ghetto.
- We floss too damned much. That’s right. While some of us want to be from the “streets”, the rest of us only care about acquiring more and more “stuff”. When the Jena-6 were about to go to prison, the Black community could have shut that thing down. But where were you? What did you do? Wait… what the hell do you mean “who are the Jena-6”? Exactly my point. We don’t fight for causes, but we sure as hell fight to keep our houses. And our $700 car notes. And our jobs. No outrage for black kids losing their scholarships mid-college career in Massachussetts, but I bet you’re hella pist about gas prices! Do you know why the police pull shit with the Black driver that he won’t pull with the White driver? Why don’t Black cops whip White ass during traffic stops? Because (1) they know the white community won’t stand for that crap, and (2) they know the Black community will. But try to close the mall. Or shut down Black Culture Day at the State Fair. Or blow a freaking basketball game. Oh, we know where to place our priorities, don’t we?
- We don’t understand the power of the Black Dollar. This should actually count as two thing holding us back. I could write a book on how the Black Dollar could change the world. First, we don’t give a damn where we spend it. Tommy Hilnigger says he doesn’t like the fact that Black people wear his clothes. According to him, you all cheapen it’s value. But I guarantee that half the niggas wearing his stuff know this already. We just don’t give a damn. If we wielded the power of the Black Dollar the way we should–we would run this motha. Secondly, we don’t allow the Black Dollar to do somersaults in our community. Bottom line, as soon as we make a dollar, it leaves our community. Try this experiment: Take a full week and don’t spend not one dollar with anyone not Black. If you can’t find a Black-owned gas station, then find one with a Black cashier. You’ll have to do homework though. But I guarantee one thing: 99.9999% of the Black people reading this blog won’t do it. Not for a week. You see, there is a reason why ole Willie Bobo got something right with segregation… the Black Business prospered under Jim Crow. But now that we are supposedly “free”, the Black owned business doesn’t stand a chance. You don’t understand the power of the Black Dollar.
- Our kids are the dumbest kids around. Real quick! Where did smothered chicken come from? If you answered “slavery”, I should slap you. Slavery didn’t invent soul food. This food came here from West Africa. If you must know, smothered chicken is known as “Brown Chicken Stew”. And the sauce? Brown sauce, aka “gravy”. How about collard greens, fried okra, and the ever-famous Soul Dish #1: Fried Chicken. Yes, all from West Africa. My point is this. We have very little interest as a people about educating ourselves. We do not teach our kids who their great grandparents are. We don’t tell them that Africa has modern cities that rival NYC, that Christianity was darn near born in Africa. We have a history and a culture that predates anything in Europe and it damn sure predates slavery. If the only thing our kids know about themselves is slavery and Jim Crow, how can he be proud of himself? We don’t educate our kids because many of us did not educate ourselves. And I’m not talking about your business major in college. I’m referring to your knowledge of yourself, your knowledge of the world, your knowledge of the journey you came from and the one your kids will take. It’s so much more than what the establishment will teach you in school. Hint: if YOU educated your children, your relationship to them would be a lot better than it is now, and you will be preparing them for how they will educate their kids.
- We don’t marry. The “baby’s momma” and “baby’s daddy” is all too commonplace in our community. When was the last time you saw a Black married couple under age 25? Wait, I hope you didn’t just say, “that’s too young!” because it’s not. See, we discourage marriage in our community: You’re not old enough. No rush. Wait until you make more money, buy a home, blah blah blah. All the while we aren’t telling our kids to abstain from sex. So what happens? We end up with young adults screwing each other’s brains out while feeling no sense of responsiblity or obligation to each other or their children. We accept the guy impregnating our daughters and failing to marry them. We accept our daughters giving birth to a bastard. (Did that offend you? Good. Do something about it) Our kids are not valuing family–because YOU don’t value family. You seem to think “family” refers only to kin and baby daddy/baby mama is something on the side. Yet that “on the side” happens to be very important to your children… unless you make them unimportant. And there, we end up with the first part of this point: We don’t marry.
- We are still waiting on Jesus. Calm down, folks. I’m not referring to the Son of Mary–the one who will return on the Day of Judgment. I am talking about the White man on the picture in your kitchens. Yes, you all worship white men. You pray to him. You blame him when stuff goes wrong. You ask him to make things right. You call him “God”. I mean, how else can I explain it? You are grown men, blaming your misfortune on another man! Where I come from, only God makes those decisions, and only God can free you. Only God can save you. And only God can make it alright. But when things aren’t going well, who are you tasking with the duty to level the playing field? Hint: You aren’t going on your hands and knees and asking God to pull you out of this slump… You go to the “man” at the welfare office to have him feed your children. And he will feed them, but only if their father is not around (read #7). You go to the picket lines and ask him to give you 40 acres and a mule. (How are you going to ask a man who has messed you over, time and time again, to “make it right”? Do you really think he will?) You aren’t ready to solve your own problems, so you try to get the system to fix it. You aren’t taking these things into your own hands, you’re looking for Mr. Ofay, Willie Bobo, aka “the man” to solve your problems. And look no further than your scriptures: God frees. Put your faith in God, and then tie your own camel (see #2 again). Don’t expect your enemy to do it.
So there you have it folks. And you have just been told what we will discuss in the next 8 articles. Read it, ponder over it, and we’ll rap about it next time. Thanks for visiting my blog.