BLACK OUT?

No. Black IN.

-sigh-
What's ril-ly good my people (when I say MY people, I mean GOD'S people do not get
it twisted.)?

We've been slacking.

Our blog has gone weeks without a post.
In both of our defenses, we've been battling demons.
Yet that does not excuse our obligation to our love, alwaysRil.

It's February.
2nd month of the year.
Shortest month of the year.
Still, the very month nationally honored as BLACK HISTORY MONTH.
It's a time to remember, recollect, & rejoice.
Most of our readers are African American (a term that gives me shivers) college
students.
I, Ric, know most of you personally and I am intrigued by your
wisdom and brilliance.
However, when is the last time you stopped in the middle of
your campus and thought, just 50 or so short years ago,
it would've been IMPOSSIBLE for me to be here?

It seems generic to say it now, but we've come so far.
From the field workers, to sharecroppers, from marching in
the streets, to building dreams on the corners.
We've come a long way my people, a MIGHTY long way.

With this being said, it saddens me deeply that so few
of us, including myself, are so quick to attend a (singular)
black history program and consider it enough.
Enough?!
ENOUGH?!!!
People were viciously attacked by dogs, yet we're doing enough.
Families woke up to burning crosses in their lawn, but we're doing enough.

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-My eyes are watering as I stroke each key.-
We
are
NOT
doing
enough.

It makes me smile though, to see so many of my peers
succeeding in life. Their drive, courage, and determination
are ALL qualities of the very people who paved the way for us.
My friends, it is our month.
Let us rejoice.

And if March gets here, and you find yourself still celebrating,
then by all means, continue.
Don't settle.
Don't ever think its ENOUGH.
Do more than ENOUGH.
Take it upon yourself to be the change you want to see in this world.

I hope I don't lose any readers by saying any of this,
but if you disagree with the TRUTH, then you were reading
the wrong blog in the first place.

We, my people, are the EMBODIMENT of the very thing those people died for.

See, I believe people read the word "die" and take it as an ordinary word.
BUT, if one stopped and really thought about the meaning of this one syllable
idiom, it would humble them.

When one dies, he ceases to exist.
His breathing is stopped.
His life is no more.
Those people D-I-E-D.
They did not wake up the next day.
They did not enjoy the fruit of their labor.
They marched, protested, and demonstrated KNOWING that
they may be killed, ALL for US.
All for us to be able to enjoy the same rights as others.
Its not like these people had no lives.
They were husbands, wives, children, aunts, and uncles.
They were preachers, deacons, teachers, and friends.
Yet, they exhibited the utmost form of selflessness by
sacrificing their lives for you and I.

I've heard students say "Black History Month is getting old".
Old? Old?!
The arrogance that some of today's society displays is utterly disgusting.
It is unimaginable for them NOT to be living in "Wayne's World",
attending public school with white people, and fathering/birthing
at LEAST one child before the age of 20.

I am not trying to lecture.
I am not trying to make anyone feel uncomfortable,
but this needs to be said.
Not by someone older, but by someone of our generation.
It has to start with us.
I am SICK & Tired of our youth & their notion of what it
is to be black.

Being black is not the RIGHT to call each other NIGGA.
Being black is not being able to exclusively listen to rap.
Being black is not bragging on welfare.
Being black is not blaming everything on white people.

-sigh-

-takes a sip of water-

My people, we have GOT to redefine WHAT it means to be black.

I took the liberty of asking a few people what it means to be black to them.
Enjoy.

Zakiya says:
To me, being a young lady of African American race is an honor. I have the gift of rhythm, dance, and natural beauty. My cultural background has a huge influence on my life. My ancestors are of the Swahili tribe of Kenya. People of the Swahili tribe are known for their music and dance styles and techniques. Knowing that explains to me my love for dance and music, and why I am well at it. Being Black has taught me to take pride in myself. To carry myself with dignity and respect. Living in this society where Blacks are still looked down on, has taught me to be strong. Being Black to me means I have the God-given privilege to be someone in life. Being Black to me means I am a child of the original people of the world. Being Black to me means I have the honor of carrying on my ancestors customs as a dancer, singer, and an all around individual. Being Black means that I am, I can, and I will. That’s what being an African American, Black, Negro child…means to me…Zakiya Jale├Ęs Nakoa Anyaso Bookert.

Brittany says:


What it means to be black is an ongoing manifestation of profound truth. And tomorrow I may have learned something even deeper. Our roots are so vast. But for now, I say that being black means being born with odds against you, limitations before you, a nation that isn't catered for your needs. It means persevering. It means giving this world something so soulful, it cannot be found anywhere else. "Swag," grace, strength--that's us. Being black is remembering that the world's first, most glorious, richest civilization is that of Africa. Black is not about being gangstas and pimps, bitches and hoes, but about being Kings and Queens, Dreamers and Pros. It's about being proud of who we are, where we've come, what we've become and what we will ultimately be because people have spent their entire history tellin' us what we're not and what we can't be.

It may seem like these are things just ANYBODY could say, but we have a story unlike anything else on this earth.


_____________________________________________________

AlwaysRil started celebrating late.
So, with all due respect, we will ,
more than likely, continue our
Black History Pieces throughout next month.

We've got treats in store.
Jackson Harlem
&
T. Hearn.

Hmph. Two men you should have known
a year ago.
Extraordinary & Black.
That's all we'll say about them.
For Now.

Do us a favor though, tell us what it means to be black
to you.

Until Next time,

alwaysRIL.

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