This commentary is being guided today by the sounds of Marvin Gaye. Inner City Blues is the background--and my mind is spinning. When this song was being played in the 70's; young Black people were militant. Rising fists in the air. Big Afros--perfect symmetry--were worn like crowns. Black women walked with a pride and dignity--mimicking, at least in their minds, they walked like their female ancestors. Black beauty. Unapologetic...and free from contamination. Music always filled the air. Motown, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, Curtis Mayfield...their voices, strong, smooth, reflective, demanding, pleading, loving, caring, various words, but the inference was the same: They loved their people. Nobody was walking around calling themselves "mixed." Hell no! They referred to African prefaces of Nubian, Black gods, Soul Brothers, Soul Sistas--never to be confused as wanting to be anything other. They owned their Blackness--they were connected to the Motherland in spirit--without apology. Life began in the Congo. Africa birthed man. And whitey got the hell back. Black men walked like panthers--serious bops and almost appeared to glide. There is nothing on earth as pleasing to sight as a well dressed, educated and God-fearing Black man.
Where are they now? What happened to my people? I don't recognize them anymore. Black women wear fake hair--fake nails--but want a real man? Black men and women, started dating and marrying white people and now have become strange--even to their Black mothers. Who are these imposters? They would never have been tolerated. Holding their noses up at Black couples, as if this is some strange occurrence. Communities back in the day would have shunned these interlopers and dared them to reenter. Where are all the Black people? I keep looking but all I keep finding are "others." This is what many are calling themselves because of the knowledge of a white ancestor, who...more than likely raped their great-great-great grandmother, held her captive, and sold her man away...teaching her that as long as he controlled her body, she'd never be allowed to be a respectable woman. And her man? He was sold far away...but sometimes, these men were allowed to impregnate the slave women, keeping the slave master's inventory full. Their wealth denied. Dignity was not allowed.
Why are Black people trying to be white? They lie to themselves and pretend they are not. "Hey, I get Ebony and Essence and I just filled out a subscription to Black Enterprise." But your Blackness is just a mask. When no one is looking, you eat quiche, drink Merlot wine and cook macaroni with Brie instead of sharp cheddar, like Big Mama used to do.
Lord Have Mercy! Help them escape from this false image and learn the languages of all the African tribes. Look up into the sky and like in roots Roots--observe the only thing greater than yourself.
Get lifted Black people and stop living the white man's lies. A mirror can only reflect what's in front of it, thus, how then can you be Black and proud with fake blond wigs and phony blue eyes?
Find yourselves in your history and walk with dignity and pride.
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