Not black enough or ain't black enough, is about the most absolute convoluted regurgitated bulls--t to ever exit someone's mouth no matter who's saying it. Exactly what the heck is this intended to imply and for what purpose? What and who determines the authenticity of blackness and how it relates to the dark-skinned people of African-American descent or possibly even our African brothers and sisters?
Where on earth did this ridiculous and asinine notion come from? This insinuation or declaration that dark-skinned brothers and sisters not being black enough marks them as somehow being a flawed product and unacceptable in the so-called black community. It also denotes a certain level of disdain for those black folk who seek to move beyond the walls of economic decline and have a desire to become prosperous and successful people.
As if to say because they may not have experienced some form of urban struggle or oppression they are unable to relate to the plight of black people. Oh and by the way, what exactly is the plight of black people anyway? Because the only thing I see the majority of black people doing is criticizing and knocking down other black people. Especially those black people who are successful and don't fit the norm for what most have come to view as the "black person" . The black persons who have chosen to distance themselves from those elements of black society that depict nothing but negativity and failure.
You know those black folk that I'm referencing to. The unemployed and I don't want a job, collect my food stamps on welfare black person. The I don't need an education and uncivilized black person. The standing on the corner all day long 40 ounce drinking , weed smoking black person. The denied for credit, illiterate and unable to speak clearly needing sub-titles or interpreter to understand black person. The always looking for a handout, blame the white man for everything black person. The loud, disrespectful, angry, profanity uttering, low pants wearing and uncombed hair black person. The blinged out more than the car is worth, living with yo mama black person. The twerking, long nailed, tight-fitting skirt or leotard wearing behind all hang'in out, shaking yo head black person.
This is the picture painted by white America ( acted out by segments of black America ) as the known standard and any black person who does not ascribe to this description is not black or black enough. Wrong people..
Does the vernacular that one enunciates require a certain street or Ebonics verbiage in order to qualify as the expected and accepted sound of black? Oh, that can't be a black person because they don't talk like black people. There are far too many black people who have allowed themselves to be mind-washed into speaking a watered downed version of English and embrace a complete cannibalized form of articulating themselves. So much so that when they hear another Black/African-American who speaks with clarity and purpose that they will instantaneously shout ( Oh, he or she talks like a white person ). What the -----? Is this black enough for ya? Do we need to inject the use of profanity in almost every sentence to sound black enough?
I'd like to know what is the litmus test that legitimizes ones blackness or is there one? Must a person experience some degree of poverty or suffrage to be considered black enough? Must one have a certain urban swag or ghetto bop to be black enough? What or who is the poster child / prototype for blackness? Does one have to have been raised in the so-called hood or projects to be black enough? I just don't get it.
Is it because I decided that when I speak, I would articulate my words clearly in order to engage in a decent conversation that negates my blackness? Is it because I decided to educate myself so that I would at least be somewhat knowledgeable in various subjects that negates my blackness? Is it because I take enormous pride in my appearance, behavior as well as my demeanor that negates my blackness? Is it because I will not associate with those who do not aspire to improve their lives that negates my blackness? Is it because I don't frequent Popeyes and those other greasy fast food chains that negates my blackness? Is it because I choose to live where I don't have to be concerned with bullets flying through my windows that negates my blackness? If I don't want to hear loud chatter and bass thump'in rap ( so-called music ) up and down the street, does this negate my blackness? If I have no desire to associate with people who refer to themselves and others as ****** and dawgs does that negate my blackness? If I should decide to marry someone other than a black person, dine at different restaurants, listen to some jazz or classical music, maybe attend a Broadway show, have an appreciation for the arts and fine wines, read extensively, travel to different countries other than the Caribbean, does this negate my blackness and define me as being bourgeois. Who or what is the driving force behind all of this ignorant rhetoric? Since when did being black equate to being completely ignorant and uneducated?
Oh, that's right I forgot, this is what white America has brainwashed Africans into thinking and becoming during slavery and the years that followed The Emancipation Proclamation, The Thirteenth Amendment and The Reconstruction Period. This has flooded and washed out most of the independent thinking minds of black folks through a wave of oppression, discrimination, Jim Crow and black code laws.
Should it be acceptable for me to stay on the bottom rung and not aspire to climb my way up in order to be black enough? If I were to limit myself to that which offers me less in life would I not be committing a grave dis-service to myself as well as those who have invested their time and energy in me. Why should I want to live and associate with people who do nothing but denigrate themselves and others? Why should I be ostracized if I do not feel an obligation to lend a hand to someone who makes no effort to improve their lives?
Here's a very familiar ring, Man, now that they are successful, they're not doing anything to help the black community. My question is, what is the black community doing to help its people and to keep the community from being destroyed by the ignorant and unlawful acts of others? I guess people just don't realize that some black folk will never amount to anything just like people in any other ethnic group. However as is always the case, people are so quick to criticize and pull that quilt trip card and claim we all need to work together. I want to know what exactly are they contributing to this so-called plight of black people? I was always taught that you should strive to be the best and that sacrifice is inevitable in order to realize your goals. You see, just because a person has attained some measure of success doesn't mean they have to give something back. That is a choice. Most people were probably trying to convince them that they wouldn't make it anyhow. Man, you just wasting your time.. Then once you do make it, they are the first to call you a sell out...There is no conceivable way that you can go back to that and expect to remain successful.. Heck no...But now you're not black enough....
Most black people waste too much precious time and energy engaged in matters of insignificance. These black people will point the finger of blame at others for the unfortunate or dire circumstances in their lives. They expect others to become the custodians and educators of their children and hold them entirely responsible for their success or failures, when in fact it is they who are the ones who have fallen short. But as we all know it is much easier to assign blame than it is to accept it and continue crying that same old tired nonsense, nobody really cares about black people.
Black people are the first to say he don't do noth'in for black people as well as whites who want to stir up some controversy......
President Obama ain't do noth'in for black folks and he ain't black enough. You see, here again we have black folk knocking the first African-American POTUS ( true African descendant of a Kenyan father by the way ) and calling him a sell out. These are the folks who might have expected him to be their black Messiah. People need to wake the heck up man and realize that one man can not change your situation especially if you aren't doing anything to help change it. What is it that you expected of him? Oh, to create more job opportunities for black people or improve the educational system. If you don't instruct your children to stay in school to acquire an education, what can he do? The jobs that are available require you to have a certain level of education, experience or skill set. How many black people actually qualify for the types of employment available in the job market today? Most can only perform menial labor or fill positions of servitude and whose to blame for that? We are in a new age of technology and business which demands a high degree of education and competency. Oh that's right, I forgot, black folk aren't capable of this...
Bill Cosby became a sell out when he and Dr. Alvin Poissant toured the U.S. and spoke about those black folk who are uneducated, speak poorly and have no concept of personal hygiene. I recall Sammy Davis Jr. being called a sell out because he married white as did Sidney Poitier. Harry Belafonte who championed the cause for equality and civil rights wasn't black enough because he was from the Caribbean. Cassius Clay ( Muhammed Ali ) was criticized because he was considered too boisterous ( a loud mouth and uppity black) that could cause trouble for black folk. Black folk wanted to keep their distance from him. Malcolm X was labeled a sell-out because on his pilgrimage to Mecca he realized that Muslims came in all skin colors and changed his views about white people. He was assassinated a short time afterwards by his own people because of his opposition to the teachings of Elijah Mohammed. Today both Malcolm and Ali are highly venerated and considered great men of African-American history....
Diane Carroll, Diana Ross, Leona Horne, Josephine Baker, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Adam Clayton Powell, Julian Bond, Martin Luther King Jr. (yeah that's right) blacks called M.L.K. Jr. a sellout and said that he wasn't black enough too because he advocated a policy of turn the other cheek and peaceful resistance. Levar Burton (who played Kunta Kinte in Roots ) because he is educated and articulates himself extremely well and is nothing in reality like the rebellious slave he portrayed in the film. The great Jack Johnson because he dated white women, Smokey Robinson because of his skin pigmentation, Jackie Robinson because he played on a white team and didn't rebel against those who launched racists epithets at him. O.J. Simpson because he dated white women and was the clean-cut image of blacks and the face of the Hertz TV commercials and the list goes on. None of these folks were considered black enough at one time or another...We can even look at current day Russell Wilson ( quarter-back of the Seattle Seahawks ) being labeled not black enough by some of his own team mates. Just plain stupidity and ignorance........
Who are the real sell-outs? Would that not be the black person who has accepted their place in society as one of subservience? What about the ones that sell drugs to their brothers and sisters? How about the ones that always complain and refuses to challenge those that seek to keep them in a submissive role? What about the ones who father numerous black children and do nothing whatsoever to assist in their growth? How about the one that sells promises of a white skinned blue-eyed Messiah and God who will deliver them into the pearly white gates of heaven while they live in the lap of luxury and opulence.... Are these the folks that are considered black enough? I'm just asking???
There are a lot of Black people among us who are very fickle minded and confused. There appears to be a complete dysfunction and disconnect with identity. They don't know who the hell they are, who they wanna be or where they come from.. Today we have our younger generation identifying with the rappers who sell them on this image of gangsterism and the thug life. What the heck is that? Gangster and thug life. I mean you have got to be completely absent of individuality and self-awareness to embrace such buffoonery and ignorance. Or how about this one, we come from kings and queens. Really? But oh, let us explore and entertain this notion for a moment. Let's suppose that we are the descendants of great African kings and queens who ruled ancient empires and civilizations, were they not extremely well-educated and carried themselves with dignity, self-respect, valued principle, structure and law? Wouldn't the enormous responsibility of ruling and sustaining these empires require people of a high mental and spiritual fortitude? With that being the case should we not all aspire to be like them because they most definitely have to be considered black enough....Right? But did they not also practice slavery?.... But that's ok, we can still be like them because they were black rulers with slaves not white rulers......Hmmm...this requires a hand on the chin moment of contemplation.....
Wait a minute though, let's just slow our roll. I mean come on, let's get real people. Every black person can not be the descendant of kings and queens. You see, someone has to be just plain old regular common folk that are not from royalty and that would more than likely be you and I. For someone to say that we descend from kings and queens means absolutely nothing. It has no bearing on who you are as a person and does not define nor assign any degree of royal status. At the end of the day you're just another human being with a self-esteem problem...There has got to be an enormous void of self-identity when people start reaching for images of greatness to give validation and credibility to their existence. Are these the self anointed ones who will proclaim what is and what isn't black enough?
Then we also have those black people crying about the white man owes us reparations for slavery. They gave it to the Jews and the Indians, why they don't give it to us? Why don't you get up off of your lazy, crying and complaining *** and go out and get it? The opportunities are there but it demands sacrifice, discipline and commitment. The problem with a lot of black folks is this deep-seated mentality that has made them dependent on the white man for everything. So much so that they rely on white America to define who is black and who isn't.... Black is a Racial classification.....Plain and simple...
There is no such thing as black enough. You are what you want to be and it is not the pigmentation of ones skin or racial classification that defines that. It is the character of a person that is important. It is the principles which that person embraces and lives by. Your skin color means absolutely nothing to me as much as the body of your work does. You see, at the end of the day all of this nonsense is meaningless and contributes nothing of consequence to the bigger picture. I am a human being who just happens to be of African descent and I understand the history of that lineage both here and abroad. My pigmentation and African heritage is something that I am extremely proud of and grateful for. Whatever it is that I choose to do with my life is not solely predicated on either of the two nor does it negate them. Before I am anything else, I am a human being who wants to empower others to aspire to be successful because that is what speaks to the essence of my spirit and heart. That is the legacy I wish to leave and hold dearest, not the question of am I black enough.
I'll say it again, What one does with one's life speaks the loudest about ones character. It is not the spoken words or the so-called requisite of blackness. Hey look, I get it. It's a black thing but if you strip it down and look at the bare bones you'll come to realize that it's not a black thing and it's nothing new. It's something that's probably existed on this earth since the dawn of human kind and unfortunately it just happens to be that time for black folk. .
Until we move beyond color classifications and the so-called definitions of race we are bound to continue to repeat this over and over again..
Now that is a human thing.......As for what is black enough goes well, there are just too many varieties and flavors of black... It can not be limited to a certain criteria because of its richness and diversity....It is of Africa and gives us a historically and culturally rich lineage. That is what makes having this dark pigmented skin so beautiful....
You can't put black in a box...... It just don't fit!!!
Now, is that black enough for ya?
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Written By: Africafifth
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