I don’t identify with being called an African. I hold know ill feelings toward the embrace of such a rich and meaningful title, but I just don’t ‘feel’ it. To truly be African and know first hand how it feels, smells, and taste on a spiritual level and in my soul I’m sure would be an amazing thing, but that isn’t my reality. Why should I feel lost or empty for it? I don’t and never have. I embrace my misfortune of being an American in the skin I’m in and use it to empower the person I am and to treasure the strength of those who bleed to allow me to walk in any room with my head up.
I have yet to see Africa shed a tear for my condition, though I’ve heard some touching stories where there are some Africans that call us “The Taken Ones” that shall come home one day, but I can’t see that right now. When I meet Africans I enjoy the dialogue and seeing the different strenghts and struggles they have, because there is a kinship there. I appreciate them and their representation of their African culture, but I love what I am as well. Not what was or what’s to come, but what I am right now and hope to show more young men and women how to do that for themselves. It isn’t about integrating with “The Man”, but being able to look in the mirror and say all that I am and all that I get I deserve…the good or bad is on you.
I am growing everyday and live to accept all people for who they are. I respect people love and passions for what they believe and try not to judge them for the things that enforce positivity and their truth. I don’t see the Black man in America as some lost vessel floating adrift awaiting the hands of Motherland to pull him to safety/sanity. I see the Black man in America as symbol of the brilliance of resilience waiting to be claimed. There is a power in our condition that when put to task is and has meant freedom for people all over the world. We are truly are bearers of the scars that many others where saved from.
That is a very powerful concept to embrace. My forefathers where beaten to death (physically, mentally, spiritually), so that people all over the world could breath a little easier. Take it or leave it…It is a truth that I hold to heart. Black men can be promoted as the dirt of the earth, but from the dirt is soil and their is life. I choose to claim that possibility of life. Cultivating that soil and placing it in the proper conditions hopefully will one day bare the fruits of our collective labor.
If you can’t love you right now, then how can you treasure the past or truly value your future. Black in America is not a curse and it is not a gift…it is just a reality. Not loving who you are is a curse. Loving who you are is a gift…