Being Black in America has different meanings for different people—especially Black people in particular. The varied perspectives are a direct result of our enslavement in this country and the strides we have made to endure its rippling racist after effects on this continent.
During my journey I have found that for most Europeans or Caucasians being Black is limited to what they learn through media that’s often saturated with propaganda and stereotypes or discover in passing. Recently, I have heard everything from “I am not Black, I am American” to “I represent the new Black.” Some Black people sincerely have a love for Africa, their sun kissed skin, coiled hair and robust history. Additionally, for some of us, family support, education, and financial privileges have helped to find a successful place in America.
On the other hand, some Black people assimilate, doing everything (sometimes subconsciously) to change their appearance so that it’s more European than African with hopes of avoiding oppression. They are embarrassed by Africa and what they think it represents to the world. Further, conformation is usually necessary in order to meet professional European expectations in the work place. Surprisingly, some of us don’t seem to have a problem at all. Is it because ignorance is bliss? Let’s consider these two questions.
(1) First, is it possible to proudly be both Black and American? W.E.B Dubois acknowledges the reality of the struggle when he coined the term double consciousness to define the inner conflict experienced by subordinated groups in an oppressive society.
(2) Secondly, does new Black suggest there is an old Black that needs an upgrade? In this twenty-first century is there a right and wrong way to be Black in America? What’s the right perspective?
The videos below share their authentic truth:
Dylan’s Authentic Truth:
Serena’s Authentic Truth:
Akon’s Authentic Truth:
Chris Rock’s Authentic Truth:
Eddie Murphy’s Authentic Truth:
My authentic thought:
My eyes are wide open. Actually, my vision is clearer now than it has ever been in my life. Walking in denial about the struggles that come along with being Black in America does not change anything. Just because a person does not acknowledge the struggle or believe the struggle exists does not mean it’s not so. However, as frustrating as circumstances become at times, I recognize I must be patient and compassionate with my Black brothers and sisters. The behavior that results from our present state in America is not entirely our fault. Racism is systematic. The oppression comes at us incessantly from many directions and our response to the oppression manifests in myriad of ways.
Therefore, we have a personal responsibility to do what we can to find peace. It is also important to look inward to get to know self and do what we can to evolve in spite of it all.
When the courage comes look backward at history. Then you can understand what is going on around you and know how to navigate the way forward with determination and power.
In love and peace,
Authentic thoughts are thoughts that are genuine and sincerely expressed. Authentic thoughts reverberate with other authentic individuals so they have an irresistible urge to ponder and or respectfully respond from their own unique perspective.
Express your own authentic thoughts: