The Birth Of Ignorance
Believe it or not there is still a lot of confusion about why the African American race takes so much offense to the laws of America and the reason why those decisions that seem to predominately affect us. I know most people do not find history interesting or significant, but if you think this then more than likely you are a major part of the social issues surrounding race in America today. For the purpose of this blog entry I'm not going to go as far back as slavery, but I will go close to the beginning of the 20th century. Have you heard of Mandingo? The Invisibility of the Black Man? What about The Uncle Tom? One of those should at least give you a tingly feeling of some familiarity. These are all infamous caricatures of Black men that have shaped the way society views the entire Black race. Stepin Fetchit was the first Black millionaire and he became famous for playing roles that depicted Black men as being lazy and incompetent. The Uncle Tom was a book written about and enslaved family, in particular the character named Uncle Tom. In the book, Tom is a well mannered, Christian slave that did everything that was asked of him except tell on the Black women who ran away from the plantation because the slave owner was sexually abusing them. The slave owner whipped him to death. This book was very popular, but when there was a Broadway play created around the book the Uncle Tom character was anything but loyal to his race. He was portrayed as a Black man that would do anything to stay in the good graces of white people. Not only was this different than the book, it helped and unsubstantiated the notion that Blacks were okay with being depreciated. That means that there are multiple generations that did not read the book and assumes the play is the summary of the book. Mandingo is a term that has sexualized Black men for the pleasure of the white male ego. It also validated lies perpetuated that Black men were so beastly that they raped women, especially white women. Yet white women will never admit that their husbands were sleeping with and raping the "help" when she did not satisfy her man. These are the lies your grandparents and great grandparents either told you or didn't and if they didn't, more than likely it's tied to shameful and/or traumatizing experiences for them.
Being that the social environment was not getting any better we saw a rise in political aware music from artists like Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, and Mahalia Jackson. Nina did a little more than sing, she actually refused to pay taxes in protest of the Vietnam war. Bob Dylan was a Caucasian man that was brave enough to use his platform to call attention to the fact that words and actions weren't aligning. Mahalia did something similar with her music, but instead she focused on the religious portion of people and life. This was important because of how we were taught that we were heathens because we were not Christians. I'm sure that was never told or taught to you either.
Lastly, I urge all Black Americans to start entertaining the idea of leaving America. Despite how other countries are portrayed to us here in America, life outside of America isn't that bad. As a matter of fact there are a lot of prominent and influential Blacks that left America when they got the chance. Nina Simone, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, and Tina Turner just to name a few. Do you want to know the common reason why? To quote Tina Turner in a interview with Larry King, "I am more successful in Europe than America". Larry was shocked because people with a large amount of American pride seem to really believe America is as good as it gets and that is not true. The safe space an unfamiliar place can provide is uncanny and you wouldn't believe it if you don't experience it. America is no different than a third world or communist country in the way it treats people. We have our international news censored just like in other countries, if not more. The only way a person can get out from under the illusion of unity the United States claims is by being brave enough to explore. Humanity is only on the decline in America.
I appreciate you taking the time to read this entry! Please feel free to share. Peace & blessings y'all!