the activist in me (if only in mind) has been on mute waaaay too long for my liking.
crystal once told me about a brother back in the day who walked into a crowded restaurant
raised his fist in black power salute and shouted "AFRICA, MOTHERFUCKER!"
i so wish that had been me.
there was a time that would have been... but i've since allowed the cultural malaise that seriously
affects the region i live in to become my excuse for surrendering 'the cause' for hermitage,
seclusion and isolation. i accepted the fact that the people i create art and word for no longer
exist in this modern era... at least, not on the streets where we can share anger, joy or secrets
i live in a vacuum, i understand that... but why have i allowed a vacuum to live within me?
i used to joke that i had several split personalities living inside me: a prankster, but conscious.
a romanticist, but conscious. an elitist, but conscious. a villain, but conscious. a preacher, but
conscious. a politician, but conscious. a patriot, but conscious... a hustler, but conscious...
but somewhere along the way, i grew sick and tired of those who had become sick and tired of
being culturally responsible. folks who i thought would sing the blues with me forever began to
snap their fingers and dance a jig to showtunes i knew nothing about (metaphors for 'providing
a better roof over their heads than what previously been allotted to them) - - - i firmly undersood
that "PROGRESS" happens, i get that and deeply accept it... i expect it!
but how progressive is it if the action of doing so takes you away (against your will or by agreement)
from the philosophical positions on live and liberty you once so thoroughly delivered to anyone
who would listen?
if the progress that feeds your belly also purchases the hunger within your soul, then shouldnt the
reward for such also be of benefit to your mind and spirit? if a pound of steak feeds your conscious
questionings better than the rice and ramens did, then your questions about who you were as a person
wasnt about shit to begin with...
forgive me... ive been walking around my soapbox for so long, that i'd forgotten that it DOES actually
support my weight... at what age did fear of falling become inbred?
sigh... anyway... i'm not going to address all of my inner-issues all at once at this exact time. instead,
i'm going to post a link to the blog that got me riled up again, plus my reply to it below the link.
it's a good site... i'm adding the sister's link to my blogroll...
acts of faith
there are many facets to this issue, a major one being our focus on 'how we've progressed since slavery' - but 'progression' isnt the issue, it's 'power'. those who controlled power 100 years ago still control power today, it isnt as much about race as it is about society, wealth and privilege (issues which once included doctrines of racial superiority, but but now focus on primarily on class - where issues of race are embedded, but are easily side-stepped by those controlling media, business and education)
america has decided that its okay for its 'minorities' to openly protest, but what it prohibits is ORGANIZING because knowledge with a physical mass is a threat to structured power.
the poor, black and disfranchised can blog and post videos to their hearts' content while tangible knowledge is removed from our communities: black bookstores, black laundromats, black newspapers, black schools and any other independently owned black business or agency has vanished from our neighborhoods reducing the influence they could have on our younger (and older!) generations.
african americans today have more access to education and financial ability than we have at any other time in our past... as a whole, we are the wealthiest segment of black people on earth - even our poverty levels far exceed the annual incomes of black folks anywhere else on the planet. we have freedom, but we no longer have cultural independence - an aspect lost as we assimilated into 'the melting pot'.
the system that once shunned us now controls how we view and celebrate black history; there are no longer any newspapers thrust into our hands detailing our status in america, we must now stumble upon it online to be linked to and debated about but STILL online. where do we go to meet outside of our homes to discuss who we are and what we want? the huffington post can write an online editorial and then have someone physically address someone else face-to-face for comment or rebuttal
while those who are disenfranchised take their outrage to facebook or blogger.
avatars have replaced activists, which suits the holders of power (white or black) just fine.
in this day and age of black presidents and oscar winners, million dollar athletes and talk-show hosts, we have PROGRESSED about as far as being powerless will allow us.
now, its up to some of us to take a few steps back,
see what worked and what hasnt and then formulate a way to put knowledge into action.
this wont alleviate all our social ills, but it will definitely give us a better landing place to start from when discussions of who we are as a people rage out of control only to be worked out in resolution centers we do not own or operate.