As I write this post, I think of an incident involving myself and two Blacks unknown to me. One day, as I was working on a project at a local business, two Blacks in loud whispers commented on my choice of hairstyle. They could not understand why I was faking the funk by wearing my hair in twists. Had they asked me they would have learned that I live a very active outdoor lifestyle and twists prevent my having to spend 2 to 4 hours at the beauty salon each week. However because I am not the darkest of Blacks or have the nappiest of hair textures I somehow did not have the right to wear my hair as I chose to do on that day.
The flip side of such an attack comes from within my family about the texture of my son's hair which is not bone straight. I find that I spend a great deal of time reminding my family members of the number of people in prison with straight hair. I also find myself having to remind my son every other day that it is not what is on top of your head that makes you but what you have in your head.
Given such actions on the part of those related to me it should be a no-brainer that I do my best to limit my son's exposure to such rhetoric. Because I impose such limits I have been called, "funny acting", "nigger hating nigger" and Republican. I am not anything of those things but I do not waste time defending myself against such attacks. I am too busy working to get young people to understand that having standards does not make you White or "preppy". Having standards make you a person who has standards. I have known several people of standard living in public housing.
I am known by my son's associates for being a strict parent. I am not strict; I just have a set of standards for my son and any child within my reach. Those standards exist for I see them as a way to help a child become a positive, happy, healthy, and productive member of society. Positive, happy, healthy, and productive people are required for evolution to take place in a society. At a recent Black History program, I had to remind a group of young Black males to be quiet during a performance. They all had a look of shock on their faces that I would dare say anything to them. I have been through too much and I have seen too much to remain quiet when I see young Blacks on the wrong path.
I see a few things that we can do, now, to allow us to achieve the level of success our innovative past suggests we should be living.
Teach our young to respect elders
Teach our young to show love for everyone
Teach our young to respect knowledge and learning
Teach our young to plan for the long-term
Teach our young how to work. ( Really we have young people who resent actual work!!)
Teach our young how to work through conflict without guns, drugs or alcohol
Teach our young to be active in the community and to not just give up their rights
Teach our young the rights they actually have in the United States
Until we do the above items we will remain stagnate. We can not sit back waiting for the government of this country, where we are a minority, to do for us what we should do for ourselves.
I hope Black History Month has been informative for you as it has been reflective for me. If I have offended any of my readers with this posting then I ask of those readers to first ask yourself why and secondly contact me as to why.
A few links of interest.
http://bit.ly/h2OD4Q Black African upset with Black Americans
http://abcn.ws/flaTJG Report on Blacks focus on skin tones
http://bit.ly/fsaqQ5 Message board posting about Blacks views on Black consumers