There is a guy who played with hot wheels and tonka trunks during his childhood. He only had a couple and had to trade other children for theirs in order to possess more. He spent a considerable amount of time playing “that’s my car” while growing up. He didn’t study Neitchze like myself, or ponder the ideas of Elijah Muhammad like me, but he studied the make and model of all of the lines of Mustang and Impala. He can tell you which types of exhaust pipes you should purchase, just as fast I can tell you which speech a particular quote of Malcolm came from.
And when I went out and got a degree, he went to work and bought a real car. He put as much work into that car as I have put into this blog and my literary career. He put those big rims on his car, like I’m putting all of these big thoughts into your head. That guy is one of my best friends.
My interests don’t have to be the interests of every member of the black race. That should not be a consideration, actually. The customs and cultures of every people on the face of the earth at some point converge the material. Is the Mexican any less a contributor to his community because he has mastered the art of car design? Is the white guy who has been practicing his pitch since he was in the backyard throwing wiffle balls at his father’s hands any less a contributor to his race because he plays baseball?
My “blackness” is not a limit, it is not a “scope”. There is no range of expression. I am black. The apple is an apple because it is. We as a people who have been forced to unite under very trying conditions should still not be forced to have to act and like the same things. As a political group, sure, there are things that I expect…being able to dance isn’t one of them. Sorry.
There is this dichotomy within the American Black community that has to be addressed. My background doesn’t infringe on my foreground, the universe is the greatest artist and writer. My story is perfect for the universe. My degree, my educated-ness doesn’t stop me from walking through the projects and my family waving at me.
Sure, I can write in syncopated seconds, and enunciate every syllable with a crispness that would make Frederick Douglas proud. I can also cook crack and bring it back with at least a two third measure extra on it. Now what?
My political ties to the Black peoples of the US do not infringe my habits, or hobbies. I define Black. I add to and take from that definition by my presence and activity. I create the new paradigms that others will CHOOSE to conform to. I borrow from other cultures what I feel like, and remix them with a Mile Davis cut, and give them to you in my Malcolm X voice.
I am Black by social conditions, I am ME by universal law.