Saturday, June 25, 2011

50 Means Reset

50 means reset; means reflecting on your past lessons, making way for even more blessings and affirming your personal mission. I write books for and about marginalized youth. I also say what needs to be said, even when it causes some to question my seat at the Family table. Because it's our tendency to avoid the obvious that I want to examine. Our collective experience as people of african descent who still suffer from the on-going holocaust of americanization has undoubtedly caused us to be victimized. Yet many of us find ourselves stuck in victim mode, unable to move beyond our rage. Those of you who know me personally have watched me deal with the rage. You've celebrated my growth when my wings allowed me to think beyond my resentments and been patient with me when the bars of anger imprison me each time one of our haters cuts my flight.

50 also means noticing your physical transformations...

I used to be very angry at European Americans for their privileges due to insitutional racism. but anger is like cancer. It eats at your spirit and stifles your creativity. It's a delicate, often times difficult process to avoid terminal dis-ease while still being conscious of what's going on around you politically. But I know 'whites' who treat me like fam and Blacks who could care less about pan african solidarity or my personal welfare. That fact alone forces me to close my eyes when I really want to see someone and focus instead on intentions and energy. At this point I'm less interested in reacting to our haters and more invested in our work as a pschologically damaged people still recovering from post-slavery syndrome.

Part of my agitation was the fact that 'white' people get to simply be. This is their collective luxury; never having to think about their skin color. They simply get up in the morning and start their day. We, on the other hand, have the burden of constantly being reminded that we're guests in our own home from subtle to blatant messages. But this is the challenge that I'm offering myself and you. To learn how to simply be; to be judged by our intentions and not by other's insecurities or superiority complex, which brings me back to my initial call. And that's for us to do more self-reflecting and face accountability when we play a role in our own demise.

We want our President to come up with an agenda that will address our issues (unemployment, miseducation, crime in our neighborhoods, generational poverty, affordable healthcare, political representation and urban development, as opposed to gentrification). but are we addressing our contradictions? (job unpreparedness, expecting teachers to raise our children for us,

Our 'no snitching' policy when it comes to calling out those who we know are terrorizing our hood,

The disrespecting of our girls and women, predatory mindset,
hair and skin shade politics,

Aspiring to parenthood but not marriage, making bad choices in mates, allowing fear to rule us,

Mental illness,
avoiding constructive criticism, preferring down low behavior over reality). I'm just sayin...

I believe in a higher power. I've seen too many unexplained events happen in my first 50 years to think it's just me doing the driving. Much less, the writing. I believe I did the right thing when I quit my doctoral program to instead keep my voice and write books that motivate, educate and hopefully inspire, rather than fulfilling somebody else's definition of success. And I believe I came through my mother to meet my father.

I also believe there's a silent war going on between Black people and niggaz (sorry, uncle). Same war going on between shirt ties and ankhs, wigs and nat'rals, gays and men who have sex with men; between those of us who are religious and those who are more spiritual, those of us who style social consciousness and those of us who live it. but no matter our differences, it's still us. It's still all good, as we try to redefine what it means and looks like to be an American or find our way back to African.I love our youth, especially when they find it safe to smile. There's a part in the book I'm working on where I tell our sons that I want more from them; that I want them to want more from themselves. And I want their parents to do the same. So if you're still with me then come go with me. Education. Revolution. Change starts with us.

Thank you for reading.

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