The Power And Glory Of Africana Womanism

This is a very powerful article written by media theorist and writer, Brenda J. Verner, discussing the need for Africana Womanism in the face of feminist political agenda and subversive pressures from academia to force US Black Women away from their own heritage. I have not asked permission to reprint this, as Owl feels it is apart of the collective consciousness of Black people and not subject to the intellectual harassment of state authorized property definitions.

 

Over the last 25 years feminist architects have had free reign to present, virtually unchallenged, the feminist perspective. American media has presented feminist issues as if they border a new religious ideologue. Yet despite their quarter century campaign, and the cooperation of the most powerful mind-bending instrument on the planet, the overwhelming majority of American women (some surveys estimate as much as 75 to 80 percent) still reject the feminist label. America’s women seem to distinguish the difference between legitimate generic women’s issues and the feminist political agenda.

 

From the very beginning, African-American women’s response to feminism has been cultural womanism. One cannot deny the presence of black women who have come into contact with white feminists in the academy, politics, the arts and professional fields and have subsequently bought into the concept and promote the feminist ideologue; nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of rank-and-file black women have rejected the feminists’ identity and continue to do so.

 

Womanism reflects the cultural mindset of Africana women, a thought mechanism that comes out of centuries of struggle for dignity and self actualization, the way we view the world from inside Africana culture and the principles upon which we base our decision-making. I have named this thought mechanism Africana Womanism: Africana because we belong to the world diaspora of African people and Womanism because Africana women are members of families, communities and cultures that embrace men, women and children.

 

Africana Womanism in essence says: We love men. We like being women. We love children. We like being mothers. We value life. We have faith in God and the Bible. We want families and harmonious relationships. We are not at war with our men seeking money, power and influence through confrontation. Our history is unique. We are the inheritors of African-American women’s history, and as such we shall not redefine ourselves nor that history to meet some politically correct image of a popular culture movement, which demands the right to speak for and redefine the morals and mores of all racial, cultural and ethnic groups. Nor shall we allow the history to be “shanghied” to legitimatize the “global political agenda” of others. We reject the status of victim. Indeed, we are victors, Sisters in Charge of our own destiny. We are Africana culture-keepers: Our primary obligation is to the progress of our cultural way of life through the stability of family and the commitment to community.

 

The practice of cultural womanism is not limited to Africana women. Italian, Japanese, Hispanic, East Indian, Arab, Jewish women, etc., all utilize this approach to decision-making, and know the value of maintaining indigenous cultural autonomy. The rite of passing generation-to-generation knowledge free from outside manipulation, coersion or intimidation insures traditional integrity, which fosters a climate of cultural security. Traditional cultures should not be obligated to bow to redefinitions foisted upon them by elitist entities that gain their authority via the drive of well-organized “media hype.”

 

The community of racial experience, cultural folkways and bonds of female friendships have weaved African-American women into one of the most tightly knit groups of women in the world human family. Black women truly live out the creed of “sisterhood.” Where we refer to one another as “sister,” “girlfriend” or “sistergirl,” it is not just a casual use of language. Close friendships and networks of “girlfriends” are an integral part of understanding the process of socializations among Africana women. Learning how to get along with friends is an important part of establishing one’s place in the family, school and the community. The most notable byproduct of black women’s quest for self-actualization is our unrelenting loyalty to the special traditions surrounding family life. It is this fierce loyalty and the determination to maintain independent, indigenous, definitive authority, that prompts black women to resist outside influence, particularly those ideas that conflict with the traditional moral and spiritual base of African-American life. The collective mindset encourages women to look inward for the personal strength through a relationship with God.

 

Africana Womanism represents the rich heritage of African-American people-the ancestors of women who sacrificed immeasurably to birth this nation. Her stalwart allegiance and cultural identity may be likened unto a mighty oak tree, “planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth its fruit in its season,” whose roots go deep, whose breach is broad, that is able to withstand the changing seasons-she shall not be moved.

Would You Take A Bullet For Your Homie?

 

So often we get our principles confused with our public display of propriety. Where some stand alone in their displays of courage and loyaly, we often overlook their contributions to allow those that would never save us to save face. There is a grace to the proper word, and the forgiving glance;there is a more valued glory to the look that need not words to kindle eternal gratitude and a remembering heart. During our moments of breathing we can place an appraisal on expectations that far outweighs reasonable perfection given the default rules of such.

 

To be of service to any group of humans can be a daunting task. To be a comrade, a fighter alongside those that have chosen or have been enscripted in some sort of fashion to form the blocking hands and attacking fists, the sneaking eyes and encouraging tongue of a group, is a life of obligations and sacrifice. And yet, neither of these is the summit that is being a Friend of The People.

 

I rose from my slumbering angle half an hour ago with the thought of Malcolm and Martin wrestling for my Asylum, escuse me, Our Asylum’s attention like a teenage crooner outside his romantic interests second story window. I don’t believe in Harry Potter, but I do believe there is a vitality of personality in all things. The discomforts of war and warlike conditions often force us to choose which lifeforms will be respected as such. The feeding lioness and her hungry cubs are more objectifying than the Western educated chauvinist pig in a stripper’s den. The passing of wartime into peace can often afford us self-righteous creeds that don’t exactly match the objective realities they are supposedly designed to guide us through. That all being written, I don’t want to neglect Our Asylum any fruitful ventures of thought that I might have had to overlook in worse conditions, nor do I want to become a moralizing prick that has forgotten the ways of the walk.

 

How easy is it for us to call Omowale an ex-con(and all the stigmas that implies) that was a horrible father and possibly even more horrible husband? How easy is it for us to point at Dr. King, Jr. and call him a womanizer and unfaithful to Corretta’s bed? Now, how many of us reading(and writing) this piece can say they walked out of a prison and built Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam, taught Brother Louie how to be Minister Louis Farrakahn, won the respect and honor of revolutionaries of Fidel’s caliber, and inspired the Black Panther Party? How many can say they died being a Friend of the People? How many of us have our sock and t-shirt drawer organized let alone have organized a successful boycott of the one means of transportation within a citywide area for working Black women, organized a March on Washington before it was ever done and during a time when Whites would pull your wig back because of it? How many reading this(and writing this) have ever faced a dog down for more than selfish reasons? What about a water hose on full blast? Yeah, me neither…

 

Is this how we treat our friends? By backbiting them? Slandering them? Digging through crates and garbage cans for information to defame their character? Is this how we treat our friends? Is this how we want the people, especially our children, to treat Friends of the People? If we treat Friends of Ours that have taken bullets in front of their children, who else will be willing to sign up for that job? “Would you take a bullet for your homie?” Don’t you people know how to treat your friends? Did they brainwash that out of you, too? No, wonder why we don’t have any.

 

I would sincerely hope that we don’t afford our children the misconceptions of Western analysis and progress. That limb that you are about to chop off for the sake of a seeming “growth”–or as Marable might put it with his writing arse,unfreeze a “stage of development”– is the same limb you will need to hold on to if you fall. Better yet, who the hell is allowing you to cut branches from Our Afkan Tree any damn way? There is nothing perfect without perfection in a dynamic such as life. We Afkan have a serious reality to face and that is that we are a people. Sure, forced through the labors of a raped mother and murdered father, sold by our own family to the enemies of the house of Our ancestors–we still are all we know. I can only speak and mumble a few words of Akan, Kiswahili, and Yoruba. But I can walk through the hoods of any Afkan neighborhood nationwide and reach out to my own kind. With all of my legal issues and urban traumas, I can walk on any college campus and hold my own intellectually. Our good friend Malcolm taught us that. Although I don’t believe in a personal godhead, I know how to sup amongst the Baptists, and give a good word to the homeless and the poor. Our good friend Dr. King taught us that.

 

 

My socio-political hypocrisies, or Saul Alinsky’s “political schizophrenia”, provides me with enough good sense to know when to cover my friend’s nakedness while photographing the nakedness of my enemies for proper propaganda. My intellectual pursuits as an adult didn’t begin on the quad of academia, it began in the alleys of St. Louis where I was taught by a partner of sorts somewhat older than me that no matter the dispute, we agree with each other in public, and hash our disagreements out when we are alone. No matter how western my logic might unravel, I never forgot my Afkanese. And one thing the Afkan knows for sure, good friends are a damn struggle to find. So, Afkans, treat your friends good…

 

“They accuse us of what they themselves are guilty of. This is what the criminal always does. They’ll bomb you, then accuse you of bombing yourself. They’ll crush your skull, then accuse you of attacking him. This is what the racists have always done–the criminal, the one who has criminal processes developed to a science. Their practice is criminal action. And then use the press to make you victim–look like the victim is the criminal, and the criminal is the victim. This is how they do it.” – Malcolm X, Feb. 16, 1965

 

“There are all too many people who, in some great period of social change, fail to achieve the new mental outlooks that the new situation demands. There is nothing more tragic than to sleep through a revolution. There can be no gainsaying of the fact that a great revolution is taking place in our world today. It is a social revolution, sweeping away the old order of colonialism.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., June 1965

Critical Thinking and The Afkan Leadership

During my stay in Missouri Correctional Centers, I was introduced to the Brother Bob. Brother Bob was the first brother that ever got in my face and told me that I talked too much and that my talking would cause too many battles. At that time, I was the leading spokesman for the NOI study group in Eastern Central Missouri. Not that anyone should believe that meant much besides doing the work that others with more access should’ve been doing, but it was my life in my early 20s. What I learned mostly from the experience was how not to be used by the chain of command. And Brother Bob’s words would come on the back of a raid on my study group because of a speech given by the brother that would, in my mind, be my greatest educator even after a Bachelor’s degree.

 

What many of us fail to understand in situations such as belief of higher norms, and the like, is that someone is on Earth actually studying what power looks like in the not so considered supernatural sphere. what the more refined and well-read call ‘politics’ is often segregated in the minds of the “true believer” from that of their organization. At the age of 19, I met a brother that had killed a man in defense of a woman he was with while selling the newspaper of his religious organization. Now, I will be the first to admit, the brother detested my heartbeat. In his words, he didn’t understand anything that wasn’t hardcore;if it didn’t kill, he couldn’t understand it. And, this was who I was presented with as a guide and instructor. Yeah, my life…

 

So, I learned a lot about what it means to sacrifice your life for those that could care less. I saw the letters that Elijah Muhammad had written to the brother during the brothers life long stay in prison. I watched the brother’s movements, and I was “groomed” by two of his best students. I failed to understand what would make such a strong man become a victim to such vile detachment from a general that offered so much to the army. How does one deal with being taken for granted after providing the perfect example of what your teachings should look like in action? How do you sleep at night with such inconsideration gnawing at your conscience?

 

During my incarceration, I learned to hate Black organizations for this emotional control over their following. I would become a student in every school of thought that I was able to given my conditions. I sat and I watched the imams, the ministers, the preachers, and all of these religious pimps. And I kept wondering who became the first politician as we associate that term: the priest class or the royal family proper?

 

And as the academics lean more heavily on the usage of binary thinking, and holier than thou type terminology, it is getting more difficult for me to separate the modern day priest class of religious propagandist from those colleagues of theirs in the academic community. It is very telling that Al Sharpton during his campaign for president of the United States of America was assisted and guided by Cornell “Yes, Jay-Z I’ll Bow, Too” West. Brother Bob and I walked the yard one night as he was giving me a lesson about the Black people that lived on the Sun, and I brought up a speech that I had recently heard of Farrakhan’s. In the speech, an order was given to those inside the concentration camps to murder rapists. I asked Brother Bob how we were to respond. He looked at me like I was an idiot and stated,”It is very easy to talk about murder so many miles behind a podium.” And then he hit me in my chest really hard.

 

People that are close and personal do close and personal things. Everyone has to eat. Not all of us are going to be hunters. Not all of us are going to be gatherers. Many us of will have to find sponsors to assist us in our provision of necessity. Power tends to work in the same way as food. As a homeless man, I tend not to be too picky, but my particular palette with the help of my mother and Asylum Staff will pursue certain diets even though I could settle for lower quality, and in some instances, probably should. No matter what, you do what you want to do. The provision of power no matter what the objective circumstances dictate is still will power. If I want to be whatever, it is my choice. The sacrifices never change day to day for me.

 

So, what makes a pimp? A pimp is a person that exploits psychological weakness. Namely, the psychological weakness of belonging and the vulnerabilities pursuant. How pretty are you? How handsome are you? “I can make you more attractive than you already are. My God has made the most specific formula of attractiveness available to all that believe. Now, belief is simple. But, the true blessings come to those that work. See, belief is nothing without action.” And we see this particular line of thought being remixed in various ways throughout most of the Black organizations I’ve been apart of. We tend to believe in a totem pole of attributes. This is greatly advanced in a capitalistic society where you have a material surplus economy. The “I have more or better toys than you” type of thinking. I’ve been told by those that are qualified as genius that I’m a genius. Where are my genius toys at? It works. Invidious comparisons make us think and respond.

 

How important are you? Think about every element of that question. How do you answer that? This is where the gun comes out and you find your Self in front of a judge and nobody from your organization has even accepted a call from you. If the story is controlled by any entity but your Self, get ready for the worst. The pimps in whatever uniform will make sure the purpose of your existence is to fulfill their honor. I watched a Farrakhan video one time where the dude invites these white folks and academic types on the stage, right? And they aren’t apart of the NOI. Now, the rank and file is on the floor making sure if someone decides to pull a trigger, they will be there to either go to the morgue or sit in Cook County until the state of Illinois grabs them. The brothers on the floor are told that he has a dinner meeting with those on the stage, and that they aren’t invited. You know? Like in corporate America, some have to be the niggaz, while the masters tend to figuring out what the niggaz will do next week. This immediately sets up the hegemonic totem and desire to climb. If you didn’t pack your bags and flush your bow tie down the toilet then, then this is the life you’ve accepted.

 

I was taught by a fairly prolific and studious brother that if you hate something, you want no parts of it. That means you will wear a potato sack made by the Chinese instead of an Italian suit if you are against descendants of Europe. If you are truly against a particular system, then you don’t support it by having your niggas walk alongside Bentleys, correct? You don’t use the methodology of oppressors on your people if you say that you are supposedly healing them from their oppression. That’s like a nigga breaking a woman that once was tied to another brother. “That nigga ain’t treat you like I do, did he? You ain’t never had this type shit with him, huh?” But you still pimping.

 

Jim Jones used to keep his niggas and whores busy. I saw this one clip of Jim Jones being protected by the FOI. That was some eye opening imagery there, let me tell you. But, that is how it works. If you are in the rank and file of one army, you are in the rank and file of every army. A nigga is everybody’s nigga. Don’t you see those Arabs, Indians, and Chinese liquor stores, food stores, and hair supply stores throughout your local Black urban environ? A whore is everybody’s whore. If you don’t have the will to break and be free from your belief that a man could be god over you, then you will not be freed by the many gods that walk amongst us. Including my Self and my Asylum. As much as I love Imhotep, we don’t do the pyramid scheme in this camp. We like Kaba’s. Even and square dealing. I have enough trouble keeping a job let alone being worried to death about how my minister thinks I’m submitting to his will. I don’t have the emotional wherewithal any longer. My nerves won’t allow me to let you put my belief system and my financial well being in your plan book. I can’t do it. It is difficult enough to be politically correct around people that despise my funky drawers without having to give someone free reign over what I will think about spooks and goblins. Especially when the only thing that makes them more important than me is the spooks and goblins, coupled with the power everyone else in the cult is giving away.

 

What makes you less important than the person that says they are the spokesman for a damn goblin? Why do you have to take so much abuse for your belief in the man that represents the goblin in order to feel important? What does that say about your Self-image and self-esteem that you don’t have enough sense and brain power to investigate for your Self and build a rapport for your Self with this goblin? Will your belief in the person that says they speak for your Goblins place you in a prison? Will you take orders from Arabs in the name of your Goblin as the spokesperson walks away with a briefcase full of money into that Bentley you helped pay for? Will you allow a book written by people that brought you not only the genocide of Carthage but the slaughter of thousands of their own babies to convince you that Goblins have cursed you and your skin? I know, them goblins bad. I spent a few years short of a decade fighting for goblins until I realized the goblins are going to have to goblin up and fight their own battles like I did.

 

Don’t let anybody make you into an idiot.

 

Three punches to the chest…

Beginner’s Notes About “The Black Thing”

There seems to be an on-going discussion that I find slightly disturbing. It sort of correlates with what I discussed in the “Q4” post about the term “nigger”. There seems to be a growing belief that just being black is going to create some black nation, or black pride. Without vision a people perish. The problem is that people may not know exactly what thoughts have been put out there.

 

Black Pride is having pride in being an American Black. Sure it can extend to others of either the Diaspora or the continent of Africa, but truthfully, it really is an American Black sentiment. Black pride is a sense of ethnic identity and strength in an environment that is oppressive towards Blacks. It is a sense of oneness with others based on a historical oppression, and it is a psychological remedy for the assassination of the positive image of Black People conjured up by the likes of Thomas Jefferson, D.W. Griffith, and Theodore Roosevelt. The list of personalities that have presented American Blacks as less than human, or have presented whites as superior to Blacks is a lengthy one. Black pride works to give the American Black a sense of collective accomplishment and an understanding of national community within the ranks of their ethnicity.

 

Black Nationality is the desire for American Blacks to have their own country in the same manner as the Jews have been given the land of Israel. Many Black Nationalists over the course of time have concentrated their visions on the southern states. Black Nationalists believe that American Blacks need not only their own schools, but they need their own systems of economics and governance. Usually, the more rational line of thinking is not an anti-white, or even anti-European line of thought, just more so about self-determination for a group of people who have never had that ability without terrorism.

 

Pan-Afrikanism is the belief and the practice that communicates an affinity between all members of the Diaspora and all the members of the countries of Afrika. Of the three it is the most inclusive. It espouses a political agenda that unites Afrika and establishes ties to those throughout the Diaspora.

 

I have my own criticisms of each of these patterns of thought, and I exercise the right to take from each what is best for me, and what I deem appropriate for the times. This is simply a blog post, and as such, the content here is simply a synopsis. I would ask that those reading this research and discuss with those of like mines the similarities and differences of each. I would also be willing to extend any names or books for anyone so concerned to read.

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?

Why Do You Know What You Know?(Strike Three)

what exactly are the effects of thought on the community?
what is the effect of the CENTURIES of negative thought on the Black community?
What is the true the brain washing and what is the cheap one?
If you force a group of people under pressure of maiming, rape, and death to call themselves sub-human…for CENTURIES, how does it affect the working mind on the quantaum physics around themselves? The world is a choice. What we choose to see is an amalgation of social percepts, biological necessities, personal experience, and programming. If a people are taught that they must work to achieve the life they were born to live, then those who see this as a truth, or accept it, will only see jobs as a means to survival. A group of people who have been told that they are sub-human, and live in sub-human conditions, and have to commit acts of violence in order to achieve minimal levels of material existence will have a difficult time looking past this.

How can one who is beset by such illusions begin to see past every level of these false perceptions?

In my experiences with low self-esteem and detrimental self-image, I have learned that the self-consciousness needs a jarring. The type of experience that forces the awareness to realize potentials in a manifested manner. The tool that was used in during the United States slavery system was extremely empirical. The media as a tool for socialization is most powerful in the use of images whether visual or audual. The social climate that comes with economic stratifaction after slavery creates a pattern where those that live the most comfortably being white promotes these images in a very influential way. The societal percerpt that the American Black must work twice as hard to achieve half the success creates apathy. The very society in which we live communicates to the consciousness an idea that we are trying hard enough. The dichotomy created by those chosen to be leaders of the American Black people further impinges on the self-image. When you have rich American Blacks communicating from a position of assimilation instead of acculturation from the locus of American black culture, the idea that “white is right” is further pressed on the collective psyche. The needed jarring has to be more than a black president that has no foundation in the American black experience. What we see in the media interpretation of the activities of the masters of american black culture is reprehensible materialism, glamorized rhetoric of criminal behavior, and a subtle denigration of the intellectual and working class. All of this points to a need for expressed power.

The first steps that I took to improve my outlook on my inner world, was to gain power. Power is simply the ability to do. The work of developing my vocabulary came as a bolster of confidence as well as an actual tool of influence. This was very necessary growth stage i that it built my circle of influence. The mind is still the ruler of the world. Those who are able to work well within the collective mind are able to build with those of various levels of economy. The negation of such in the american black culture with respect to things such as popular culture is extremely dangerous. We must always remember that the American Black was a criminal if they could read. The very act of learning how to read was punishable by the laws of the land. couple this with the price tag of a degree from a reputable institution of higher learning among the group of people with the highest percentage of people living below the poverty line. Multiply that with a culture that considers their intellegent members as weak and ineffectual, and undesirable sexually without any other social skill set. An equation such as that will yield a social group that deems athleticism and entertainment as the highest sources of survival. In a collective that is moving further and further away from social interactions via technological achievements this can only continue to prevent that people from the level of image making necessary for an overall change of mindset.

What occurs is the promotion of the same type of mindset that was produced during slavery. The uneducated, unenlightened, sexual, work horse. Does this describe anyone you know? The extension of the slave mentality throughout history will only produce the same history. Albeit, there were tremendous stories of heroic accomplishments during slavery, we realize that those few great minds couldn’t reverse the overall social practice of slavery. No matter how many slave revolts, and unconnected acts of rebellion, the lack of a sophisticated philosophy of self-awareness across the slave population yeilded nothing in the likes of freedom. Although the story of Haiti is a tragic one, we realize that the story of the American Black is just as tragic if not more so in the mirror of obident docility. A people that will kill and pimp one another before those that continue to sanction them is a more depressing tale than those who have fought and died through lack of support from a bigger and more economically viable motherland.

This brings up another dimension.

The American Black is an extension of the Afrikan culture by necessity. A rich scholarship of Afrikan culture was developed by the afrocentrist to give a bolster to the collective self-esteem of the American Black. The idea was to show the American Black that the histroy of the people’s housed in melanin enriched skin was that of civilization definers. The great stories of kings and queens were injected into the foklore of the peoples, demonstrated by the wearing of “Nefertiti heads” during the more politically conscious stages of the people’s popular culture. Unfortuanetly, that connection to the motherland was similar to a child that takes on the last name of an absentee father in hopes to build a healthy identity. Yet, that nominal act does make the father spend time with the child, nor provide that child with a well-being. The western power structure is such that even after the American Revolution the ties with Europe are only more strengthen with the immigrants of Italy and Ireland and all over Europe coming to the land where they are socially above at least one group of people by default. The connection between the US and Great Britan(and thus Europe in totale) is that of the father and his son. A rebellious child that seeks to be independent and grows into its own, and yet can always ask for a loan or to borrow a gun or two when needed from the parent. The western baby-sitting of Israel is a telling tale. What the Jews were able to ask for from Britian and the western powers in the state of Israel, the American Black should be able to ask for from the nations of which they were sold from.

I will close this post on that note, and continue at a later date…

Groupthink Interpretions and Other Slick, Hip, and Cool Concepts…

I was always around some extremely urbane and hip type person. Once I was able to fend for myself well enough outside of the borders of the kingdom provided for me by my parents, I was a cohort to a brother who fit the description well. He would always tell me, “Now, I don’t have to like you to love you, but I do like you…”

I was reminded of this tonight. And although it can sting, I think it is only proper for to be able to seperate the two, and even more important for anyone to be able to candidly express it. Whether it be that I like you, but don’t love you;or that I love you, but don’t exactly like you, or to be exact, like the behaviors you display. I do believe that American Black suffer from the inability to accept one another unless we fit this jello mold of activities. As though, in order to love me, you have to like everything that I do. How often have I seen family members stand up together against neighborhood threats, and yet, not one of them actually liked the other’s habits and idiosyncracies.

Often enough I realize that my style doesn’t reflect the stereotype, nor should I chose it to. I don’t like everything “Black”. I do love my “Black people”, but that doesn’t mean I have to like everything that we do. I think that is a very fine point that we often have difficulty addressing. And seriously, why should you trust me just because I laugh at all of your jokes? Why should you trust me because I “yes!” or “amen” all of your affirmations? Have American Blacks lost the ability to be critical? Are we so overwhelmed by groupthink that everything that we do must be compliant to the group norm? Can I not like skinny jeans, but understand that is only one form of dress in this vast world of various styles and fashions? Can I think that Erykah Badu was possibly aroused in some way while walking naked in Dallas, Texas without being labeled some derogatory term?

Can I reserve the right to not like everything that most American Blacks like?

Do we have to be “building” everytime we discuss something other than Kobe and Lebron? Does it have to be a “cypher”? Can we not slap fives at every well articulated point? Can I not be trying to “white/european/western” if I call it a “dialectical synthesis”? If I don’t rhyme or say something that we have been saying since the 1930s, can I please avoid ridicule? I’m not saying I love you any less…I just don’t always like doing everything we always do…

Can I avoid being labeled a sexist or a “little boy” if I don’t think Queens were all that moral? I mean, will you avoid my glances even more when we pass by on the streets if I remind you that Queens had concubines for their sexual enjoyment? [REITERATION: PURE SEXUAL ENJOYMENT]. So, if I call you Queen…I might be calling you a loaded term that may or may not represent you well. And for that matter, maybe I ought to think about who I call King. I mean, were ALL the kings noble? Were ALL the kings of great stature? I mean, is it alright for me to dislike some of the kings? Maybe I don’t agree with them. Maybe I think Hannibal should have made a left instead of a right. Maybe I think he was too haughty. Will I be lashed out against? Will I have to qualify all my statements with,”In all due respect”, or “not to disrespect the elder”?

I am an American Black because I was born in a global war that was lost, nobody made me one, and I’d like to keep it like that. I would like to reserve the right to act and carry myself the way I choose to based on my experiences, instincts, and the judgments that develop from them when allowed. I refuse to be bound by a culture that considers dance and sport more important that math and reason. I refuse to be bound by a culture that considers Jordans and Polos more important than being able to recite Wright or Jomo Kenyatta. But those are my likes, and we all have our very own. I still love you…but I’m learning to like you…give me time…as I work to give your space to learn me…

My After Thoughts On HCR…Before

When the votes had been tallied, and the results had finally came in. After John McCain had given his speech, and the, at that time, president elect, “catted” his way to the bullet proof shield in Chicago, my first reaction was to let everyone know that he wasn’t black like us. I still hold on to that fact, and I am often forced to stand on that position. And I will. I also will stand on my position that the Health Care Reform package is a good thing for those that are in need of it.

During my darker hours I was smart enough to find ways to get government assistance. Not quite as much as Wells Fargo & Co.(they got $25,000,000,000), or State Street Corp.(They got $2,000,000,000), but I suppose I got enough for my purposes at the time. I used to walk past the Health Care for Kids center and witness the single mothers who’s children may be in need of check ups for school, illnesses and sicknesses that occur in the process of developing strong immune systems that can’t always be alleviated through healthy diets. I understood the means and the methods of holding one’s government accountable. After passing by so many homeless veterans waiting on the VA, I understood also the need for patience, and self-determination.

I can tell you that those who worked out deals with the government out of the offices of JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of New York Mellon Corp., and Regions Financial Corp. aren’t complaining about what they didn’t have before, or what conspiracies the government has concocted. They are trying to get more money.

I am not to happy that the mandate has passed, I would have opted for the public option. I am, however, glad that some may leave dead end jobs that were held only because of insurance prices, may now take heart, and become entrpreneurs. I am also pleased that more students seeking higher education will be able to take advantage of the $36 billion promised in the reconciliation bill through the Pell Grant. More than that, I’m hoping to negotiate some of my own personal college debt away!

What is ‘Politics’? (part 2)

I wanted to revisit this particular topic, in lieu of the Health Care debate, and my belief that many in the American Black community are still blind to a full and comprehensive understanding. Due to my own ignorances, and constant need for edification, I will take counsel with my elders on these topics. Hopefully you will be blessed with understanding from our discussion…

Brother George, many people have been discussing fascism as though it doesn’t exist in this society. I really need some help and describing this particular ideological as it shows itself in practice…

“We will never have a complete definition of fascism, because it is in constant motion, showing a new face to fit any particular set of problems that arise to threaten the predominance of the traditionalist, capitalist ruling class. But if one were forced for the sake of clarity to define it in a word simple enough for all to understand, that word would be “reform.” We can make our definition more precise by adding the word “economic.” “Economic reform” comes very close to a working definition of fascist motive forces.”

Alright! Alright. Hold on, though sir. Could further explain it in terms that might give me an example, or how it works in everyday dealings?

“Such a definition may serve to clarify things even though it leaves a great deal unexplained. Each economic reform that perpetuates ruling-class hegemony has to be disguised as a positive gain for the upthrusting masses. disguise enters as a third stage of the emergence and development of the fascist state.”

Break it down for me a little more, OG….

“The modern industrial fascist state has found it essential to disguise the opulence of its ruling-class leisure existence by providing the lower classes with a mass consumer’s flea market of its own. To allow a sizable portion of the “new state” to participate in this flea market, the ruling class has established currency controls and minimum wage laws that mask the true nature of modern fascism.”

OH SYHT!!! My fault, sir, but that was profound! Alright, let me reiterate for my own comprehension. The ruling-elite, those with power of money to control the governing representatives that have been elected by the lower classes, need to create the illusion of “freedom” to hide their pimping and parading, they allow the lower classes to spend their hard earned money on consumables and the like. But they have created ways to limit the amount of money made, products with planned obsolescence, and use race as a means to keep the competitive edge off certain sectors of the middle class…

I want to thank you for speaking with me, my brother…I love you…rest in revolt…

Concessions, Applause, and Book Plugs…The Black Agenda Conference…

Nothing makes my day better than spending it in the neighborhoods of the black community, listening to arguments about Jay-z, and brothers from St. Louis reminiscing about how the bloods and crips first came here. The height of the day was hearing brothers discuss the murder of Hitman-T at eighteen, and his body being expunged from the ground, and left on his mother’s doorsteps. Yeah, great way to start your day off on a positive note.

So, once I returned home, I was excited to read my e-mail (we might as well just start calling it g-mail…it is coming) and my DMs (Direct (Private) Messages from my twitter account), and find a set of videos left by a good brother of mine, and a sister asking me to watch The Black Agenda that was recorded early today. From listening to old gang bangers, to listening to older black politicians and academics. Yeah, my life, right?

The theme was “We Count”, and Tavis Smiley was sitting at a round table(enough of the subtle gestures already guys…) with the likes of Rev. Jesse l. Jackson, sr., Minister Louis Farrakhan, Michael Eric Dyson, Cornel West, Angela Glover Blackwell, Michael Fuantroy, Dr. Julianne Malveaux. They were affectionately referred to as Tavis smiley and the Panelist…I thought they were going to dim the lights, and drop a few highlights on them while the music began to play…instead, Tavis asked everyone to hold and pray. Thank you. I didn’t know if Michael Phleger would be able to hold a note. Oh, yeah, Michael Phleger was the one who gave the invocation, yeah, the white Michael Phleger gave the invocation for the Black Agenda…yeah.

It was hosted by Wayne Watson president of Chicago state university(affectionately known as CSU…Geez, guys…who’s writing this stuff…), and before the marquee guests appeared he asked the students to participate in the 2010 census. Now why would he bring that up? When have you ever heard someone talk about the census? He states that participation in the census will help the federal government allocate funds to the black community…

I was so glad that Jesse L. Jackson was the one to make the comments about the moral center, and the black agenda being the moral agenda…I’m not going to say it…well…maybe the good Christian monogamous brother believes he is Abraham…

The gist or the overall theme of the conference and much of all the panelists’ discussion was that the American Black Agenda was the American agenda. I ultimately understood the dialogue, and was glad the dialectic was pronounced. However, I also would like to state that every time American Blacks attempt to depend on the state of White America to heed their call, nothing but concessions amount from the talks. This is still planet earth, and rule number one among the living seems to be the need to demand power, and not ask for it. The hope of better treatment for the millions of American Blacks in this country from millionaires is very strange to me. And ultimately, those who say let your work show, I’m in the belly, and I have been here for the most of my life, and I have never seen you.

I see the gangster discussing how they have shot people and how the organizations of young men in the streets of St. Louis has grown. I hear the pain of the brothers and sisters when referencing work and jobs. I hear them when they talk about the various prisons across the state of Missouri, and how one can avoid the traps. I believe they have taught me more about the black agenda than those who live comfortably working at such institutions as Prince George University, Georgetown, and Princeton, Bennett College for women. I have no compunctions with them discussing moral codes because they also discuss their moral dilemmas. I trust them. And because they see me striving for this degree, while living among them, they trust me as well.