You know I got a bit of age on me, so I remember when NWA scared the bejesus outta the white establishment. When the FBI deemed them “dangerous” The freakin F.B.I !?
I remember when I was kicked out of the mall, because some of us in our group wore one pants leg up, like LL Cool J. It was considered a gangster-style and gang-like, hell, my high school banned it also. So, of course, we turned this fashion statement turned into a symbolic middle finger to the powers that wanted to control our freedoms.
We were in the midst of a cultural war and we won.
Yep… we won
The 80’s and 90’s saw innovation, creation, a whole lotta firsts such as: Black Entertainment Television and lexicons of speech that are still used today. African Americans were being recognized for their excellence, in everything from politics, to entertainment.
Then in 1991: Rodney King
I remember sitting with my mom and dad watching it on Television. My dad saying “yep, things are going to change now, they finally got it on camera.”
We marched, we fought, we separated. We wore symbolic clothing, coined phrases, “Its’ a black thing, you wouldn’t understand”
Our music, became an anthem, a movement. We pridefully walked down the street gawked at and admired for our strength and resilience. Yes, there were still persecutions, but we were bound in one voice, in one stance, and we created our own.
It just faded, like a tumbleweed blowing in the wind where we once held a mantel of greatness. Forgotten in the heart and minds of our age group and put in a museum so people can either remember when, or wish they were there.
In a way, I thought the world was better. I grew older, joined the Navy, had children of my own and used those stories for training, pride and backup when I needed to tell my children the plights, rights and triumphs of black people.
But the ugly head of history reared and away went simple stories and entered the new and horrific reminder of black lives in this country.
Now we live in an age of “Karens” “Black lives Matter” and see Video after Video of black men, women and families harassed and murdered. Huh!?
Candidates stating “You ain’t black, if you don’t vote for me!?” and we are saying…oookay!?
Did my generation fuck up somewhere?
We (African Americans) are conditioned to fight. Someone pushes us, we push back. We march because that’s what we know, we make videos and songs, because that’s what we know. We are back again in what we know. So its time to do what we know…Move!.
- 1920s saw the “New Negro Movement” not submitting to the practices and laws of Jim Crow
- 1970s saw the “Black Power Movement” which grew out of the civil rights movement
- 2000s: “black lives matter Movement” birthed from the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore
Each created from the strength of oppressions and designed to organize and fight. Movements using phrases that hurt us into mantra’s that empower us. But we can’t fight a new fight with old tactics. Its time to take the movement to a new level to meet our new world.
What If we just washed our hands of them,what would happen?
If we saw that we were not being represented and we just left, not marched not make new videos and hashtags that surely are making them (social media) money. If we disappeared from Tiktok, Twitter, Facebook. Closed our borders, built our walls, created our own platforms, fed into our community. What would that look like?
FEEDING THE MACHINE
“Everytime we do TikTok Power fists and complain about what was stolen, and demand our piece of their pie there is a little 1 percenter that claps his hands joyfully as we fill his pockets” unknown
(sidenote: I think china runs TicTok…but I digress)
We (African Americans) are in control of the narrative. Yep, Totally, we are told we are not but we definitely are. Think about it, we are the fodder for the news when they have nothing to say, we are the entertainment, we generate money every time something happens to us.
There is weakness in assimilation there is strength in unity
We constructed, created, flourished and like no other we are persecuted for our pride and tricked with a systematic mindset of assimilation.
I want us to stop trying to be a part of, thinking that we must be to be accepted and they must like us and want us to be considered successful.
Why do we feel we have to gain white empathy, or worthiness at the expense of being worthy of ourselves?
Do I have the answer?
We all have the answer, but why go down the robbithole. My thoughts and opionions come from a mother, a daughter, a girlfriend, a friend. They come from my heart and all that i have seen and I am worn from seeing the same thing but a different decade of pain.
Be the Change
I would tell my kids, “if someone doesn’t want you, then move on” What are we doing sticking around!!
I have hope for this generation, to dismantle the establishment. To say “NO…we wont go quietly into the night and feed the machine with our talents” If they only want to see themselves, then let them. Let them have everything they want, create a new. A new “black renaissance” Not a new Movement, a new move.