Ain’t I Black?

I don’t know.

I have really grown in so many different directions over the past few years.(Looking at my stomach, seems like in more ways than one. Better start hitting that gym, again.)

But jokes aside, I’ve noticed a certain slant in my thinking these days that I’ve called others “sell out” and “elitist” for having in my younger thinking. (Well, after a quick scan, it wasn’t that long ago, but stay with me.) I’m still a supporter of the idea of separation, and I’m still hopeful about pan-Afrikan ideals beyond the superficial dashiki tossed over a polo shirt and a few KiSwahili terms tossed about. I just don’t want to be in this box any longer. Granted, I don’t play well with the other grown children, but I refuse to fall into these cultural identifiers that I have really never been into. I give enough credence to my hypermasculine childhood and whatever ghosts I’ll probably never shake that came from that. But where is the point in your life where conformity ends, you begin? You know what I’m talking about(I did it a damn gin!!)

I am not talking about behaving in ways that make you feel as though you have risen above the class standards either. I’m discussing complete idiosyncratic expressions without the 3000 behind it though. I can always come back to where I am from. I don’t even know if I want to though. Is that “selling out”? Why is it? I’m no bible thumper, I am partially atheist, but I think the quote from in the book Bible is fitting here,”There is no Prophet without honour except in his own country, and among his own relatives, and in his own home.”

Now, am I a “prophet”? I don’t fucking know. Is there a class I have to take to get certified for that? Oh, let me not offend the spiritualist before I curse out the “Goddess” again. Oh, and let me not offend my “black nationalist” brethren, I realize I don’t need the “white man’s” certification for everything. Everyone needs to exercise some experience building. Nothing insular is beautiful. Look at your heart. Not your damn “astral” heart!! I mean the one that is beating inside you. The one that is actually keeping you alive. The one that doesn’t need your “ego”, doesn’t need that “you”, or “I”, conscious functionality. You can’t. YOU CAN’T LOOK AT YOUR OWN HEART. It is insular. I lived like that.

Sometimes you have to explore new horizons. I’ll always be me. You know(GOT DAMN IT!!)? I’m like Jay-Z in some ways, I’ll probably never change. I’m at peace with that. But I’d like to get outside of the ideological and cultural paradigms that have kept me in prison long after I walked away from that hell you all call “paying dues to society”(What a fucking joke!!). But what makes those behaviors “black”? Everything I hate about myself, others call “acceptable”. My cousin seems to think my habits make me tough. He boasts about my past life as if that shit won me an oscar(Oh, fuck!! No, you dashiki by Ralph Lauren wearing fucker, I don’t think every white socially applauded construct is needed to make me feel confident…). And I often have to remind him, to one, fucking “grow up”(As in maturity, no one but the incredibly shrinking woman can grow down), and two, hell, that wasn’t me any damn way.

This culture of hypermasculinity. It is real. I beg those that argue with me to come down on 25th and State in E. St. Louis and take a walk with me. I am sure the experiment will prove my hypothesis.

We have lost that love for intellectualism. We want “Tupac with a degree”. Let me tell you something, “Tupac with a degree” is as broke as a car that only drives in reverse, and spent most of his time in college sleeping in the library hoping he could write five papers in one night. Don’t belittle the efforts of the scholar because undergrad wasn’t shit. That BA or BS doesn’t qualify much in my humble but highly passionate opinion. I walked in class and noticed those who didn’t say much, and those who were still high from the last night. I know how easy it is to “slide” through classes. I was doing 18 credit hours a semester, so I know who was in the library every night and every morning, and I know who was on the yard asking to see whose paper. Even at the university level many of us just don’t have a respect for learning.

Academic or not.

I was in a discussion with this doctor I really shouldn’t be lusting after, but sorry, intelligent women make my blood vessels run to the tip of my penis like black militants running to help a white girl out of her car in the sixties(alright, old joke, couldn’t help myself). The discussion surrounded her feelings about “street knowledge”. Now, she’s a sister that grew up in middle class US and didn’t do the “date a thug” thing, so her term “street knowledge” is in reference to black militant rhetoric. And I was sort of taken aback. I am not sure if she knows my history, and so I asked her, and her response was to the effect of, black people who accept any form of information without doing research have been pimped. Now after she said that I envisioned my tongue touching every nerve on the top of her clit for like five hours, but instead I simply agreed.

We got bonded. We got attached to the rhetorical. We figured out ways to survive without knowledge so long that it became a joke. I respect all the brothers and sisters who are coming to the US in pursuit of higher education. I fear that American Blacks will be thrust into a lower class permanence such as the “untouchables” of India. And that is why I have to get out of this damn box.

I’ve tried everything. I’ve seen it your way. I’ve done the “black” thing so long I’ve become a fucking parrot, YOU KNOW(alright, I can understand that)? How many people are there out there like me? How many children? Whose son is about to make the same insane choices I made trying to adapt to a culture that is insane to begin with? I didn’t go to college to become a musician, I went because I like making lights flash on this blinking box. Then I said, hey, I also like writing things on this blinking box. And now…I want to know how our brains started blinking, and how it blinks, and why it blinks.

Hell, I’ve done what most said I couldn’t my whole life, why can’t I? Ain’t that BLACK?