Are We Stupid?
I love reading about black people. I want to know everything I can about my people. When I read about the first accomplishments that I share with you on the blog, I am always amazed. I am especially amazed by events that take place before the Civil Rights Movement because I understand what it means to have been the first black to do anything that was recorded during that time.
I’m researching a novel that I hope to write, and a lot of the research has to do with slavery, the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation and of course forty acres and a mule. As I read books and web pages and old newspapers and whatever I can get my hands on I am brought to tears by the determination of my people. I am so proud to be black. I hope that I never shame my blackness. What has led me to this post is reading over and over about black people who struggled, pulled themselves up by the proverbial bootstraps and owned businesses, land, animals and even banks, but were robbed of these things not just by random people, but by the government.
Black people have been robbed, beaten, and stolen from only to follow up what they did the first time with something better. If one of our stores were stolen, we opened another one. If we lost all of our land, we bought some more. Was it easy? No. Did it hurt? Yes. Was it fair? No. All the while we were being called stupid, ignorant and lazy. Let’s think about that for a minute. Who worked from sun up to sun down? Who nursed whose babies? Who had to learn an unfamiliar language? Who was able to conduct a railroad that led to the freedom that was theirs, to begin with? Right.
We are not a stupid people. We are not a people to give up or give in. I don’t know where this attitude came from where we take what is given to us and call it enough. Slaves were not given anything, lose that thought. First of all, the mental conditioning that went on and the belief that slaves were taken care of is some bull. Have you seen the slave quarters? Google it or go to the library and look them up.
Our minds are so powerful until even seeing sometimes can’t bring about change, so it is imperative that we look in all directions for our blessings and that we take the blinders off. We are called lazy, stupid, inept, greedy, sex-crazed, liars, and any other negative thing that you can think of to keep our minds bent and bottomed out. We are in fact, none of these things. If ever there were a people in the United States of America who have worked hard to establish a place in the countries history, it is black people. I take nothing away from our Native American brothers and sisters and their struggles to keep what was rightfully theirs; this is not about them.
This is about understanding who we are as a people and living up to it.
This is about the ability to stop asking for permission to do things that we are well equipped to do.
This is about understanding why it is crucial to represent at all times.
In the movie Blindspotting, the manager of the halfway house tells Collin that he has been deemed a felon and that he will be considered as such until proven otherwise. And that he must prove otherwise at all times.
We cannot get away from the color of our skin, so being deemed black consists of a simple glance. What that carries with it depends on who is looking. We must not be ashamed of being smart or asking for fair wages for our work. We must remember who we are and where we come from at all times. Be the best black you, that you can be. Never be ashamed and never, ever stop representing.