For the past three or four weeks, my Pastor has incorporated a poem into his online sermon. This was the one that he highlighted today in his message that he wanted to entitle “A Negro Mind”. He actually titled it “A Working Mind”, if you would care to hear it.
As a writer and poet, and totally agreeing with my Pastor for a change, I have some thoughts.
I represent the race of people in America called Black. We have been called by many names in this country, but Black is the name that I prefer. We Black people represent the side of America that America has never been willing to own up to…the side that tramples entire races of human beings for its own convenience and sense of supremacy. We are living proof of their inhumanity, a testament of how brutal one race can be to another.
We are America’s Dark Side.
For generations, we Black people have been made to feel bad about who we are. America’s media would have the world believe that we are animalistic, oversexed, drugged-up savages who need to be put into a docile place designated by the Great White Savior. We were taught that everything dark was ugly, and everything natural about us needed to be devalued or changed to resemble to White Supremacist Paradigm. That racist mentality has fed every system in this country, from housing to Hollywood. It’s bad enough that Caucasians tout this mentality. It is worse to hear it from the mouths of other Black people, and I have.
This is how we got here, in Trump’s America. The Negroes who lived before us had pride and dignity, even in the face of prejudice and racism. They sat, and boycotted, and marched, and VOTED, and fought for their freedom. The Negroes changed their world and handed the baton to a generation of African-Americans. And what did we do with it? We got complacent and rested on their laurels. We thought that the race was no longer necessary, so we dropped the baton and allowed our next generation to twerk and take selfies of their tramp-stamps on Instagram.
It will take much work for us to rise to the level of the Negroes before us.
I am ready for that work, because I am not ashamed to be Black. My people were kings and queens before America was ever born. America has done everything that it could to keep Black and Brown heads bowed in subjection. It did not work then, and it will not work now. America will once again learn that it cannot keep us down for long. We are too proud to stay bowed. I want to live to see the generations after me embrace that pride again.
Everything dark does not have to be ugly.