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Friday, August 20, 2010

What Happened To Black Pride?

What happened to Black Pride?

I’m still trying to figure it out. When did it become okay for a black man to call himself a nigger? When did it become okay to for a black woman to refer to herself as a bitch and a whore? When did black men stop loving black women? When did Black women stop loving Black men? When did Black stop being beautiful?

I don’t know, somewhere between the O.J. Simpson trial, the Million Man March, and Barack Obama getting elected as President, African-Americans lost their sense of direction. Worse, African-Americans lost their sense of community and unity. Black America, once a proud group of strong independent people, are now lost confused individuals trying to figure out who they are and where they want to go.

The self-image of Black America is in shambles. African-Americans no longer take pride in being Black. Brothers and Sisters no longer want to see black movies, read black literature, or study black art anymore. When African-Americans look at their reflections in the mirror these days, they no longer see intelligence, beauty, grace, courage and character inside themselves like their forefathers did. That’s now considered “Acting White”. Instead, being black is viewed by many now as something hideous, something ugly, something to hide in shame.

As brothers and sisters turn their back on their history and their culture, an identity crisis is forming within the African-American community. In a mad quest to redefine “Black” brothers and sisters are trying on new caricatured identities made up by White Corporate America. Prison culture, street culture, Thug culture, gangsta culture, Hip-hop culture, intellectualism, Poverty culture, and hedonistic sexual culture are competing to supplant the traditional progressive African-American identity and putting the Black community at a cross roads. In all these individual faces it’s hard to tell who is the real “Black”? What is truly “Black”? No one really knows anymore, and no one can figure it out.

All I know is that as a result of all this confusion Black people don’t take pride in being Black anymore. It’s tragic that young brothers and sisters don’t see being African American as something positive in an age of Black college graduates, multiple African-American Oscar winners, African-American CEOs, African-American executives and an African-American President. When I see the shameful behavior most African-Americans participate in these days it deeply saddens me to see how much the Black community has regressed in the face of so much progress. Among the masses in the Black community it’s like the clock has turned back to the Jim Crow period. Instead of working towards a way to uplift the race like protecting and preserving African-American institutions for the next generation, African-Americans celebrate and glamorize the worst behaviors such as committing crimes, African-American entertainers and athletes embarrassing themselves, or people participating in degrading acts equal to Jim Crow stereotypes. It’s like Coon is the new Black.

Sadly many brothers and sisters these days are taking their freedom for granted in this age. In their complacency they don’t understand how valuable the opportunities we’ve fought for and continue to struggle to achieve are. Maybe if they were aware of how many people died and sacrificed to establish those freedoms they have, they’d appreciate the privileges they waste.

It hurts my heart to watch as the most independent and affluent generation of African-Americans in history throw away chances people even twenty years ago would kill for. Every day I read about how young black men and women throw away opportunities at High School, college, multimillion dollar sports contracts, and well-paid jobs to become prisoners, criminals, and glorified prostitutes. How brothers and sisters who achieve financial success squander their riches on riotous living instead of using that capital to developing their resources into wealth. How little brothers and sisters value their lives and the lives of each other that they continue to murder each other over sneakers, jewelry and just for a look. Because Black people don’t love being black and value themselves as human beings they can’t appreciate how blessed we all are to live in this era.

In 2010 African-Americans have all the materials to build the black America into one of the most powerful institutions in the United States. Unfortunately, because African-Americans don’t see Black as beautiful they can’t come together as a community. Without a sense of self, a love of self and an understanding of self, brothers and sisters continue to wander aimlessly without direction and without focus. If the blind, lost and confused continue heading down this self-destructive road, I have a feeling that the entire Black community is going to wind up in a ditch.

So I ask again: What happened to Black Pride?


  1. Shawn, it hurts so much to say it, but your blog is right onn the button. I'm going to ask you to blog on my website on this same subject as soon as hits for my excerpts to Dying on the Edge cool. I see a lot of this apathy in many AA's being totally uninerested in the history of Haitian slaves freeing themselves thru us of Voodoo and drums. I wrote about this in Dying on the Edge. So you see it affects us on many levels. I weep bitter tears for us. Apparently the beast of bigotry that is self imposed it eating us alive. Sad!

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