If I were to completely separate myself from the so-called normality and conditioned mindset of this world would I not then be in a better position to see? If I look at the world and all that I perceive it to be, am I not looking at it through eyes that have become influenced by the ideologies and teachings of mankind whose intentions are highly questionable? Is what I think I see not really what I see but more of what I have been conditioned to see therefore blurring my vision and obscuring that which I am supposed to see?
How can I see the essence of a thing for what it is if I am looking through tainted lenses? Just to look at something is not really seeing it but merely glancing at its exterior which in turn produces an image of what we are programmed to see. In order to see what is truly before us we must bypass the programming and venture deeper into the elements of the thing before us. It is at that moment in space and time that we are able to see what is truly in front of us because we have eliminated the program and have exercised free will and thought? To see is to have understanding for isn't the (art) of seeing the essence of understanding? To see or not to see...
Art; the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
I especially like the last part of this definition (producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty and emotional power).
What a profound meaning of life in its essence. There is no more concise or perfect example of what we are missing out on. To primarily appreciate the beauty or emotional power of a thing, anything whether that thing is a person, an animal, a plant, fruit, the air we breathe, the stars, the moon, the sun, the universe, a storm, a flower, a rain drop, a spring day or a sunny afternoon. A sunrise or sunset, the wind whistling through the trees or the mountains that we may never climb, but we see. Yes, the primary beauty or emotional power of a thing, the very rawness of nature and all that she produces in abundance... We spend far too much valuable time consumed with prejudicial thinking and views of one another. We engage in extremely vicious and harmful indictments of a people or a person without taking the time to really see beyond the perceptions that have been ingrained in our psyche by the artists whose paintings are those of hatred and bitterness.
Their works of art are the brush strokes of deceit which fosters ignorance and disunity among the masses. It is this canvas we look at every single day that has been painted with bigotry, racism, classism, injustice, ignorance and malice which keeps us blinded and separated…..
To see is to beauty or emotional power that lies within. To not see allows it to remain dormant and elusive because of our conditioned state of being. To not be able to see and experience the essence of whom and what we are is a deprivation of that beauty and or emotional power and is a rejection of our creators. For are we all not works of art that have been created by the greatest and most benevolent artists of the universe? Did they not have an admiration and appreciation for what they had created?
Genesis 1: 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Genesis 1:31 And God saw everything that he had created, and behold, it was very good.
Behold, it was very good!!! We are more than just chattel or a thing to be used, dismissed or discarded like the ash remains of a fire that roasted a pig for the delight and indulgence of others!!! Take the time to appreciate life and each other and the simplest of things in nature primarily for their beauty and or emotional power...
Take the time too really see and be that which we have been created to be? Understand...
To see or not to see. What do you see?
Written by; Alton T. DeVeaux Jr. (Africafifth)
Before, during and after the Reconstruction period the one aspect or factor that the former African slaves in America felt was imperative to their freedom was education. They understood all too well what an important part it played in acquiring freedom because without it they would remain in perpetual bondage. Education to them represented independence and a direct pathway to power and true freedom…You see, an uneducated people will always be an ignorant and dependent people subject to the mercy of those who are educated and exert power over them...
John Hendrik Clarke said; "A powerful people cannot afford to educate the people that they oppress because once you are truly educated you will not ask for power, you will take it".
This is an extremely profound and poignant truthful statement because it speaks to the deviated shrewd connivance of white folks and their attempt to maintain power and the enslavement of African people in perpetuity..
The former African slave understood that absolute freedom could not be attained without first and foremost educating the mind and soaking up knowledge. They were able to grasp its significance early on and made a decision to dedicate and immerse themselves into the process of educating themselves and their children.. They would build schools and conduct classes wherever they could and utilize whatever books and learning materials that were available.. Most of the classrooms were just dusty dilapidated old shacks absent of desks and chairs and churches.. They were not afforded the conventional tools that the white schools provided their children with but they were nonetheless undeterred from the mission at hand..
Teachers traveled from different parts of the country to lend their attributes and training to what they considered a paramount and worthy cause… The education of the free African…To a large degree the education was welcomed and consumed wholeheartedly, but for some it was seen as a detriment and a waste of time because of prejudice and ignorance.. This feeling was shared by some former slaves and indeed most whites in America..The whites felt that the Africans brains were too small and lacked the capacity of digesting the curriculum or academia.. ( I believe they feared that the education of the African would pose a threat to their dominance)..Some African scholars even thought it to be skewed because it was education that was being delivered to Blacks by whites.. These African scholars and African men of prominence chided or criticized the methods that were implemented which sometimes lead to friction between them.....Sound familiar??
Nevertheless there were a great deal of Africans who had a thirst for education and knowledge and would not allow themselves to be dissuaded. They understood all too well the power of education and economics and the independence it could provide them.. They embarked on a mission to educate their own, become independent of whites and some would venture on to create and build their own economy... Many of these former slaves would flourish far beyond what any white man or former slave could have ever envisioned…
Too many African/Black youths shy away from education and knowledge..There is a huge void in their mindset when it comes to understanding the necessity for it.. We have developed this inexplicable uncharacteristic disdain for learning and we fail to realize how much of a prerequisite it is for building wealth, power and independence.. Many of our youths have been brainwashed into believing that education is a white man’s culture and they reject it. Just how ignorant is that? A rebuff of education to avoid becoming like the so-called white man is a shameful and lame excuse...So they would rather remain, poor, ignorant, uneducated, and dependent on others....A life of uncertainty and unnecessary turmoil.. That sure makes a lot of sense!!
Why is it that many of our youths willfully (some influenced by others) choose not to board the train of education and knowledge? Why do they adapt this negative mindset and attitude that derails their lives and leads them on a journey to nowhere? Little do they realize that education is the key to unlocking the chains of mental bondage and dependence and opens the door that can lead to liberation and success...
As it stands right now, the white man need not worry about most of today's African/Black man because he is doing the white mans bidding for him and poses no real threat due to a lack of education, knowledge, and principles......
Written by; Alton T. DeVeaux Jr. (Africafifth)
I sat down recently after my last post and thought to myself. Man, why are we as African/Black American folk always referring to our situation as a struggle? I mean if most of life is connected to perception and we label our endeavor for equality as a struggle or some plight, haven't we set ourselves up to fail? Does this not create a negative feedback loop that will set in motion the wheels of discontent when ever and where ever we are confronted with adversity? Does it not set the tone for us? I believe that it does......
What if folks were to approach this as a mission to be achieved with a different set of lenses would we then shift the toggle switch of perception in our brains towards a fighting mode? Is it possible that there would be a greater motivation to get it done no matter what....We know how much a simple word can dramatically impact a person’s psyche and make the difference between positive and negative (to do or not to do)...So, doesn't the word (struggle)suggests a continuous fight with something that is becoming strenuous and burdensome?
We often talk about how the struggle continues and it is never-ending. I believe this in and of itself weighs a person down tremendously and gives one cause to become not interested in the task that lies ahead. Whereas the word mission or goal creates a desire to achieve and complete the task at hand. It denotes a more worthy cause for fight..
I know some may say that it is simple semantics and just a play on words, but isn't everything we listen to and read just a play on words? It's just the manner or context in which it is presented and understood that elicits a desired response..A mission appears to add the connotation of something admirable while struggle applies to an effort to hard and arduous and leads to a greater exertion of energy. I guess it all depends on ones perception, struggle or mission and how one approaches it.... Just some food for thought..
To say that something is a struggle causes us to approach it with a great deal of skepticism, reluctance and effort? Procrastination..
To say something is my mission or goal attaches a greater sense of urgency to it.. Motivation for success..
Either way it sets the tone of mentality and applies to almost anything we attempt to do in life...
A Struggle or A Mission
Written by; Alton T. DeVeaux Jr. (Africafifth)
The present and constant pursuits of fulfillment amid meandering souls are ever elusive pseudo objectives. The thing or things that we seek for completion or wholeness fail to provide us with adequate contentment or satisfaction and we find ourselves instantaneously gratified but constantly yearning for more and more. We struggle to appease the appetite of an enormous and ravenous insatiable relentless beast. Make no mistake, this is unattainable...
We can look down upon the weak and ignore their suffering as long as we capitalize from the process. We will ignore their pain and find ways or reasons to justify our iniquities as we frown upon theirs.. We cast aspersions on the less fortunate, exploit their unfortunate circumstances to our benefit and excuse ourselves of all culpability...Yet no matter the amount of success, power or wealth that is accumulated we continue to remain empty souls. Hollowed out by the axes of those ancient voracious Nemeses, (Ignorance and Greed).
All of us seek some form of redemption or solace that escapes our want and beckoning....Whether we be rich, poor or in between there lies in us all the need for self-identity and worth. Something of value or something of significance to provide us with meaning and purpose to what most may construe as a meaningless existence..But that which we have been conditioned to pursue does not yield substance for the soul nor fulfills our spiritual needs.. The fleeting and frivolous materialistic aspects of life provide only temporal pleasure or gratification.
I have become that which I have feared and loathed the most. I am a shell of what I have been created or predestined to be. I have deviated from the path of principles, righteousness, integrity and honor. My purpose is all but a mirage of a clouded mind and a jaded vision. My optics are very much blurred and I am in need of directions that will guide me away from this convoluted mental depravity. The force has embolden itself behind a vaulted wall and is dug in deep.. Any attempts to free myself prove futile for it knows all to well my weaknesses...Prisoner to an invisible yet powerful force which has sequestered itself deep within the bowels my being. The doorway to exit remains unreachable and I have been cast into the darkness while I lament for relief of this hollow soul.
The spirit requires fulfillment of another source outside of this wretched world of highwaymen, these trinkets of sparkling glitter, alluring honey dripped lips of beckoning women and smooth silvery tongued men...Pleasure and gratification are fleeting in that which cradles no substance of life and sustains not the inner being. We are the lost species of life form on earth wandering in the darkness. Seeking the light and struggling for wholeness, yet continuing down the path of destruction...We have been at this place many, many, many times before. How often must we rediscover what has already been discovered. It has been written yet we willfully continue to bathe in ignorance, greed and denial.
I must find a way to be the keeper of my spirit and the custodian of my temple.. I must look beyond this realm and seek understanding from a higher place. For I am in need of enlightenment and spiritual fulfillment. The day of reckoning draws near and I pray I take leave of this place with wholeness of heart, mind, body and soul.....Austerity and Altruism
All that we think we are, we are not.. All that we do today has been done yesterday!!!
Written by; Alton T. DeVeaux Jr. (Africafifth
Blessings to all my Akan and Temne people of Africa
Early 1900's anywhere in Anytown USA.
Where ya goi'n boy? Big Mo kept on walking because he just wasn't in the mood to be dealing with some redneck cra-ker on a hot and muggy afternoon. He had just finished putting in another long hard days work in the plant and the only thing on his mind right now, was getting home to his wife and kids, taking a shower and sitting down to have a nice home cooked meal. After which he would go out on the front porch, enjoy a nice cool drink, watch the kids play around for a while before calling it another day. But before he could even entertain any of that, he had to deal with this irritating ignorant cra-ker...
Hey nig-er, you hear me talk'in to ya? I said where ya goi'n? Big Mo was taking long full long strides, trying to put some distance between them as he wanted to reach the bus before the confrontation he knew was imminent caught up with him. He could see the bus pulling up to the stop but he was just not close enough to get on and avoid what was coming. Da-n, he thought to himself, out of all the days to have to possibly be late getting home for dinner. You see this day was also a special occasion for Big Mo and his wife Mattie. They were soon to be the proud owners of a new home and this would be the night to celebrate.. It didn't matter that he still had to rely on public transportation to get around because ownership of a home is what he and his wife, Mattie had always dreamed of. It would give them a sense of security and it would be theirs..Not too many Black folk owned their homes in that time but they would be one of the few that did..Yes, this was indeed caused for celebration...First things first though...
Big Mo came to an abrupt stop, whirled his huge frame of a body around and glared with an incessant disdain and annoyance directly into the eyes of his insolent pursuer and said, what you want with me? I ain't doing nothing but trying to get home to my wife and kids. Unfortunately Big Mo wouldn't make it home this night. He had dared question a white man and did so in a manner that was considered challenging to the authority and superiority of this nobody cra-ker. A heated exchange between the two would ensue and it would draw the unwanted attention of other white folk. Soon afterwards a mob of curious and angry white men would gather around and the instigator would accuse Big Mo of being an uppity nig-er who needed to be taught a lesson. They would collapse around Big MO as he tried to fend them off but they beat him down and take him out to the woods to string him up. He wouldn't be celebrating with his wife tonight, he wouldn't be sitting down to enjoy his dinner with his family, sitting out on the porch sipping a cool drink while his children played and he and his family never know the experience of owning their own home.
He would never live to breathe another day in Anytown USA. All because of the ignorance and racist vile that has permeated the air throughout American society and has profusely stained its soil with the innocent blood of ( too many to count ) black men and women in this country. This is a short story that is all to reminiscent of what it is like to be Black and living in a white dominated society. This has an oh so familiar ring to it does it not? The scenario has been played out time and time again in this white dominated world in one way or another.
Let's fast forward 100 years plus and we are still experiencing the same racist vitriol. The perpetrators today are in the uniforms of Law enforcement. Whether it is walking, driving, jogging, shopping or playing in a department store or a park with a play gun, having the dark skin is an open invitation for harassment and possible death. Just the mere suspicion of guilt by law enforcement or any white citizen today, ( just as it was back then ) appears to be cause enough to justify murder....It appears that we have gone from the noose to the bullet and we can't seem to shake it....We pray for the families of those innocent Black lives who have left this planet so abruptly at the hands of racism and indifference to life. We must feel a compelling duty to eradicate our society of this insensitivity to human life on both sides of the paradigm...
We are all Big Mo's, Mattie's, their family and some of us may never make it back home. This my people is the sometimes unavoidable and undeniable brevity of life for Black folk.
All prayers to the most high for strength and courage as we embark on a new meaningful course for the Black Diaspora..
Written by; Al Deveaux Jr. Africafifth
Saboteurs, who are they and how do they disrupt and impede the progress of others?
Some of these folks are unconsciously sabotaging our progress, while others are very much aware of what they are doing and why they are doing it. As to why they do it the answer is a complex one. There are many contributing factors why someone who has experienced nothing but oppression would work earnestly to knock down the progression of others. There is something deeply psychologically twisted and rooted in the minds of those who are complicit in this regard.
Some of these folks believe implicitly that we will always be brainwashed and mentally chained. They will vigorously attempt to thwart all and any efforts made by people that want nothing more than to enlighten others so that they can free themselves from a life of anguish and the agony of mental slavery. They will repeatedly spew poisonous rhetoric of how powerless we are. They will whisper untruths in the ears of others to turn people against each other in an effort to create conflict and dissension. They are the Judists who will betray their brethren for a few coins of silver and much, much less...
They will disguise themselves as your ally, professing to embrace the same ideologies and sense of purpose.. They will sit at your table, break bread with you and sip from the same cup all the while attempting to illicit trust and lull you into a false sense of security. They will wear the skin of the chameleon and give you the impression that you both are one in the same. They will conceal their nefarious motives behind this well constructed camouflage and in times of conflict and controversy suddenly abandon you and leaving you to fend for yourself. They will organize along side you while conspiring with your enemies behind your back....
These folks want nothing more than to be the purveyor of malice and the cause of your failure. Your demise is what they seek and all that you attempt to build is at risk because these folks can not stomach the possibility of you being successful. The uplifting and empowerment that you incite and infuse into others poses for them a genuine threat as it is an illustration of constructive change. There are a great number of folks who have a natural innate tendency to relish in the agony of others. Some just don't want anything upsetting the status quo and are reluctant to embrace change and are extremely resistant and combatant to those who present it. The concept of preservation and conservation is not unique to just white folks. We have many folks of color who feel the same way and will work against you to maintain the current structure.....You may ask yourself why and I will answer by saying that change makes people uncomfortable and it usually means taking them out of their comfort zone. Henceforth the saboteurs..
Some of these folks are just malicious, spiteful, hateful and plain old evil...Some are just uneducated, lack knowledge and vision. Some are just insentient beings and have no desire to grow. Some are naysayers and non believers for positive and constructive change and some are just plain old lazy... That's just the way they are. It is the cloth that they are cut from and there is absolutely nothing on this earth that will change that for most. Everyone was not meant to go where it you are going and they will attempt to sabotage your plans. You have to learn who you can trust and who you can not. That in and of itself is the greatest challenge to us all..
Who is your enemy and who is your friend?
Who is your fellow disciple and who is your Judist?
Only time will tell!!!
Written by Al DeVeaux Jr. Africa Fifth
Everyone knows what black potatoes are. At least I think everyone does. But just in case you don't have any idea what they are, allow me to enlighten you. First of all I don't want you to confuse black potatoes with plain old rotten potatoes. There is a significant difference between the two. A black potato unlike a rotten potato is salvageable whereas a rotten potato is just not good at all for consumption or anything else for that matter. If you have a rotten potato you might as well just toss it in the garbage. You can try to save it if you want to take the risk but I would advise you not to because it will only poison you....Rotten potatoes are very noticeable and have a pungent odor whereas the black potato for all intents and purposes appears to be alright...
Black potatoes are those damaged vegetables that one might find in a bundle that aren't immediately noticeable until the skin is taken off. You see these potatoes have no visible signs of abnormalities but because they have suffered some damage from mishandling and neglect, they become bruised below the surface. It is not uncommon for some of that damage to penetrate a little deeper into the inner portion of these potatoes. Hmm, pretty much sounds just like a lot of people wouldn't you say?
So what are our options with these potatoes? More often than not we will attempt to salvage as much of it as we possibly can because it wouldn't make much sense tossing them into the garbage. I have had many potatoes that were damaged and I was able to utilize the majority of it for my meal. Why toss out the entire potato just because it has a few areas that have been slightly damaged. I have also had those that no matter how much I'd try, the damage was just to severe and I'd end up cutting away most of the potato trying to get rid of those black spots.
But that's not necessarily a bad thing because at least we're able to get some use out of it since we did spend our money for it. It's sort of similar to the investment that we have made in some folks who might have some issues. We aren't just ready to kick them to the curb so we attempt to save the better part of them.. But if most of the potatoes in the bag are damaged you'd probably want to take it back to the grocer to exchange it for another one or get your money back.
Well we just aren't able to do that with people. There are a lot of people in this world who are just like those black potatoes. Most of these people are salvageable if we can get to them in time but then there are those that no matter how much you may try to cut away the damage it is just to severe to save. By the time you get finished slicing and dicing you may only have a little piece that just isn't worth it. Some may differ and say that a little piece of good is better than none at all. That may be true but how much has to be sacrificed to get to that one little piece. So I guess we have to make a decision as to which potato is worth saving and which isn't. Whatever the case may be we won't really know until we begin to look beneath the surface. Then we can probably determine how much good the person just like the potato has left in and if it is worth the effort to try to salvage it?
Black potatoes just like damaged people can be found in every ethnic group and almost every region of the earth. With every harvest of potatoes just as with every generation of people there are high expectations of a good crop with the understanding that quite a few will suffer some damage through mishandling or by other means . It is an inevitable and inescapable phenomenon whose recurrence is undeniable.
I myself was at one time in my life a black potato and to this day I can still feel the residuals of those dark spots. There aren't any signs of damage on the surface but the memories are embedded deep within and serve as constant reflection of a time that has passed hopefully never to be relived.
We need to have a compelling desire, the determination, and make the effort to remove the damage in order to yield the best from within that allows the nutritious elements to be enjoyed by all. Then we can rejoice and be excited for the crop that we have produced. I know that some people will say that the potato doesn't offer any resistance unlike damaged people which is true. They are the cynics and pessimists for which I say, this is only a metaphor meant to serve as a sort of analogy which more than likely will not impact you. But for those of you who are of an optimistic and pragmatic mindset, you know that we can take the time to cut away the black spots and that it is worth the effort.
Written by: Al De Veaux Jr. Africafifth
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It is said and written in scripture that the meek shall inherit the earth. I say that the earth will open up her belly and swallow them whole. She will only relinquish her bounty to those who will work hard, earnest and diligently to extract the promise she cradles within.. Still she does not guarantee to yield to all who come beckoning for her riches. The prospectors who come just as so many before them shall be cast by the wayside and never know her promise. The earth just as life owes no loyalty or promise to anyone. It is also written and said, We Reap What We Sow....
However, some of us do receive favor...
I venerate with the utmost humility and gratitude to those entities who are the conveyors of life, the purveyors of sustenance, the creators of humankind who transcend the confines of this physical realm and exceed the spiritual comprehension of man. I ask that they lay out the path before me and guide my steps along the way for I am prone to deviate from the course of moral righteousness, dignity, spiritual enlightenment and truth. My understanding and knowledge of this world has been limited to the written word of man and I have been misled by the teachings of those whose motives are self-serving and whose intentions are to instill illusions of dominance and superiority in those whom they seek to deceive and oppress.
I have with frequent fervor consumed the nectar of intoxicating elixirs. I have dabbled in various substances that delivered euphoric bliss which also held me captive with addiction both physically and mentally to their momentarily deliverance of well-being and escapism from my world of pain and disappointment. I have been beckoned and seduced by the sweet erotic poison of voluptuous, vivacious and sexually stimulating women of dark alleys and dimly lit passageways. I have coveted and partaken of their sensuousness and have felt the sting of their callousness and indifference. I acknowledge that I have lived a promiscuous life and that I have been a sexually charged and somewhat perverted human being who has for decades past lent himself to a life strewn with what some may consider to be highly immoral conduct and unforgivable transgressions.I am yet only human and I am man..
My journey has been one of decadence, resistance, rebellion, non conformity, irresponsibility, irreparable dismissal and total disregard for my physical, mental and spiritual well-being. I've rejected all concepts of religion, mans ideologies, structured establishments whose imbedded institutions and laws favored not my ascension to unparalleled heights of success but served to define my existence irrelevant.. My way has resembled that of scattered leaves fallen from Autumn trees or that of wind-blown sand on arid and dusty desert land. I have wandered through groves thick with illusions of grandiose splendor and fantasy. I have grown weary from exhaustive search of relevance and purpose. The sharpness of reality slices through my conscience and I have contemplated self-destruction for deliverance.
But mine is not mine to take as it is mine to make. The road is always longer when eyes are opaque and navigation requires direction. Ones ship need be righted, ones compass point need be sighted. The waves may rise full and high but temperament and fortitude need not subside.
I look through the spectrum of heavens above and beyond for solace and peace of mind, body, soul and spirit. I have sought restoration from condemnation with earnest revelation of truth and knowledge to construct formation of foundation. Understanding comes through life's experiences entwined with the deepest of want and desire. I have yearned incessantly for my moment of reconciliation. For I am in need of clarity and salvation.. The severity of shame knows no boundaries. Lamentation yields forgiveness for a heart of genuineness.
The promise of goodness. The promise of duty. The promise of worth. The promise is knowing and understanding that the greater the effort the greater the potential for yield. The promised land is the life we live as altruistically we give. The promised land is the life we build with determined will. I have been given favor yet I fear that I will not live up to my promise. However, I promise that I will put forth a great effort and that I will work diligently at my purpose with goodness of heart and integrity..
This is my promised land...Where and what is yours
Written by Al DeVeaux Jr. Africafifth
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When you have no one to stand up for you or to help you fight your battles, who does one look to for support and reassurance during those periods of peril, turmoil and misdirected aggression that greets you at every turn? When you yearn for a quiet and peaceful place of solitude away from all of the conflict, who is there to teach you how to embrace the adversity and to press on and press through? What does one do when one is at the complete mercy of whomever is governing ones life and possesses an unmitigated control over every miniscule aspect of that life? What are the thoughts that flow through ones mind and what are the options? Invisible...
One would more than likely be encapsulated with an enormous amount of self-doubt, internal conflict, a defeatist mentality and lack of self-identity that would lend itself to an extreme disconnect from reality. Ones vision and reasoning becomes completely obscured and decisions now become irresponsible and reckless. There would undoubtedly be an overwhelming feeling of exasperation and hopelessness that would ultimately envelop the soul and hold captive the spirit of dreams. All that one is surrounded with are indicators of failure, confinement and restrictions with nothing that offers up possibilities for potential opportunities of change. Inside of you there stirs a constant desire and need for something more palatable than this seemingly meaningless existence and shell of a life but the doors of welcomed passage appear to be sealed indefinitely. This was a mindset and seemingly inescapable reality for me during a time in my life and currently appears to be the reality and aimless journey for a multitude of others in today's society. Invisible...
One should take just a moment to ponder the hopelessness that one would feel if one were to be subjected to a life of obscurity, where our presence was meaningless. A life that presently reflects no semblance of promise and for all practical purposes is illustrative of defeat and void of meaning. How would one feel knowing that there was something more tangible in life for others but for you an elusive and ostensibly unattainable reality? Invisible....
As a nation of so many diverse ethnic groups we all at one time or another throughout the course of history til present day have experienced some form of discrimination or prejudice. We are extremely familiar with injustice and subjective bias. We offer no empathy or compassion towards our fellow being and are much to consumed with selfishness. We continue to treat each other with dis-respect, dis-courteousness and vitriol infused with a virulent antagonistic behavior. We reluctantly if ever take time to acknowledge the truth and the harshness of its reality unless of course it benefits our own agendas.
I can't even begin to imagine what a life of absolute subjugation would feel like but I do have an idea of what imprisonment feels like. There are some similarities since both are forms of incarceration but not quite the same as living in the free world and watching that freedom and liberty being enjoyed by others on a daily basis. In prison there are walls that lock you in, guards and other forms of security to insure that there is no escape. In this world that we live in we often times become completely exasperated and full of self doubt because of walls that lock us in.. Walls erected of systemic oppression and discrimination and walls that some of us unknowingly create...Invisible
Granted, there are many obstacles in life that one must overcome but it is not as though the opportunities are not there. Exactly what is it that stands in the way and prevents a person from making progress in today's free world? Could it be fear, lack of confidence or a lack of desire and a clear-cut method by which to achieve something of significance? This is the question that I struggle with constantly every single day to find an answer too.
Have we become imprisoned by our own doings or non-doings? We must honestly ask ourselves where does the real and absolute responsibility lay? Who and what are the roots of our problems and issues that somehow never seem to warrant our immediate attention or solutions for correction. Is it through eyes of fear that we gaze upon the improprieties of mankind and take no action? Why are we not able to separate ourselves from that segment of Black and white America that is rife with negativity, low standards and principles and declare our independence of it? Would not a pride of lions expel from their community that one culprit or culprits that reaps havoc, discourse and disruption for the sake of pride. Are we that afraid to take action for fear of being labeled a sellout or tom or even a snitch? Something is inherently wrong with this type of mindset.... Invisible...
Could it be that because there is a lack of real suffrage today people are without a driving force? Is it because we have allowed ourselves to lower our standards and expectations which in retrospect and coincidentally have compromised our morals and principles? It appears that this has in effect all but diminished our pursuit of excellence and the desire for outstanding accomplishments.. So with all that said, where does the answer lie?
It is my belief that the answer lies within all of us. We as individuals and hopefully collectively can accomplish great things. First and foremost there has to be a raw evaluation of self. A truthful and honest look into what one as an individual must improve on or change in order to effectively make a difference not just in their life but in the lives of others whom they impact..
I may not possess much in the way of fortune but I can offer you an ear, a shoulder and a kind word. I can show you a smile and look at you with eyes of hope and share with you a heart full of compassion and empathy. I'm unable to erase your pain completely but I can help to make the moment lighter. I can share with you my struggles in life and offer you comfort in letting you know that the fight is not only yours. In this regard, just maybe we can forge a bond with a commitment of hope and determination in an effort to make a difference. We can pave the way and lay down the path with bricks to success....You are not invisible to me...
If this is accomplished we will move away from the realm of invisibility into the realm of visibility...
Written By Al DeVeaux Jr.
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The above title is a question that was directed towards me one day so I decided to share its premise with you.
So I'm on one of the social networks one day engaged in a conversation with another brother who felt very strongly that Black folks should get reparations. Initially the topic of conversation was in reference to the 507 Billion Dollars that Black folks pump into the economy annually but somehow got steered towards reparations. This is a topic that has been debated for some time and was also presented before congress in 1989.
This particular brothers reasoning for wanting reparations was for the simple fact that he felt that Black folks of today should receive compensation for the years of free labor America had siphoned off the backs of slaves to build this country. Now don't get me wrong. I feel America owes an insurmountable debt to our people for the atrocities our ancestors have experience from the oppressive and murderous hands of white slave owners too. However, I definitely do not understand how putting large sums of cash in the hands of people is going to rectify the issue. The amount he thought would be appropriate was about one million dollars to be distributed to Black families. Somehow this would give us Black folks a share in the wealth and I guess sort of balance things out. So I asked him if he was advocating that every Black person or household be given the sum of one million dollars to level the playing field so to speak. Personally, I felt that it would be useless for the simple fact that the money would be squandered and would go right back into the hands of the ones who provided it. His response was as follows ( I have never, nor the majority had a million. It's a chance and a mercy. We deserve it and would at a minimum accept that as repentance for the harm caused by slavery in the hope that we could move on with some sense of normalcy ). He further went on to say that ( I am saying that this could be a viable option to finding a solution that could stop the wholesale murder of our people. If you choose to view it as a share of the wealth I can accept that. I believe that it is a small portion of what is due ).
I was amazed and just a little perplexed at this brothers reasoning. I mean he couldn't really be serious, or could he?
I responded to the brother as follows (With all due respect brother, that is ridiculous. The money will do absolutely nothing. It will never be enough !!) Evidently I must have really pissed the brother off because he started to become real indignant and began to call into question my Blackness. Man, I gotta say that it's just like some qwerty board revolutionary to become insulting and disrespectful when you don't agree with their position.
What in the world are the majority of Black folks going to do with one million dollars besides, piss it away. Most don't have the slightest clue as to how to manage the little that they do have and besides once uncle Sam takes his share you'll have a lot less than that. They know absolutely nothing about investments or cash management. Hell, most can't even manage their lives. Now I don't say this to be insulting, I'm just speaking the truth. If any person lacks the ability to manage their household, they most definitely aren't ready for prime time..
I was asked, are you a Black man and what suggestions did I have. Well, I simply responded to the brother that I am the kind of Black man who is not begging the white man for some money. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme.. Oops, he didn't take that response to well at all. The next thing I knew, the brother had blocked and un-followed me. Now, these are the type of brothers who are continuously claiming that we need to come together and stop fighting with one another but are quick to drop an insult on you when you disagree with them. The type of brothers that are always saying how down they are for the cause but are the first ones to haul *** and leaving you hanging. You know the type I'm referring to. Black when it's right and out of sight when it's time to fight.. You can spot them anywhere, because they're always talking about how the white man is holding them down. The white man has his foot on their throat and they can't breathe. So forth and so on...
Well **** brother, you need to get a little bit of a fight in you and tell him to raise the heck up and if he doesn't, remove that foot and get him up off of you. But no, that's a little bit to difficult for you because it requires some heart and hard work. It is much easier for you to just complain about it rather than do something about it. But you are all ready to pump your chest out to lead the charge and be the cheer leader for reparations as long as no one challenges you. Apparently when you are challenged to a mature, intelligent and constructive conversation you tend to get unnerved and take your pom poms and go home. Now, with all that said I still will not question his Blackness but I will call into question his heart as well as his agenda.
With all due respect, ( can I say that after such a brutal but truthful lashing) oh well, this Black man will not require your services at all because I am not that kind of Black man. You see, I am the kind of Black man who has come from the inner city roach and mice infested projects, dropped out of high school and has experienced the perilous journey of life through drug addiction, self-doubt and much self-inflicted pain. The Black man who decided to choose life over death one night while contemplating suicide. The Black man who sought help from others because I wanted so desperately to turn a life spiraling out of control around. The kind of Black man who rose up, fell and then rose again. You see, I know what it is like to do without and having to stretch that coin in order to make ends meet. I am extremely familiar with sacrifice and having to work with a steadfast determination to be successful. Yes, I am the kind of Black man who has payed his dues, who has made mistakes in his life but holds no one else accountable for them but myself. I am the kind of Black man who today has his own company which was built from the ground up. Yes and didn't beg the white man for a **** thing. Yes I am the kind of Black man who is self-educated and a proud father and husband who has unparalleled love and devotion. The road has not been an easy one but it has been a road nevertheless that was manageable and success realized through prayer, determination, dedication, discipline and diligence. I committed myself to the process and continued to press on and press through.
I am the kind of Black man whose African lineage can be traced back five generations to the proud Akan people of Ghana and the Temne people of Sierra Leone. Yes, I am a direct descendant of Africans who were sold into Slavery in the 1800's who endured a life of painful subjugation and upon gaining their freedom went on to build meaningful and successful lives. I can say with enormous admiration and humility that I am the kind of Black man whose ancestors were a proud African people who endured a hardship that I would never know during a period of extreme racial divide and violence but were able to construct a respectable legacy from hard work, education and devotion to family in the process.
Part of this legacy can be found in the book "African-Americans of Lower Richland County". So as a 5th generation African-American and a direct descendant of Slaves who rose up and triumphed over the most extreme adversarial period, I am the kind of Black man who has risen up and was also triumphant over adversity as well, but my hardships will never parallel theirs.
In closing I want to emphasize how we should refrain from criticism of one another and attempt to be more understanding and respectful. We need to practice the reservation of judgement especially when we are not in the least familiar with the other person or their life. We can of course express our sentiments about the comments made but should definitely refrain from personal attacks. Some of you who read this may or may not agree which is understandable, but at least you have some food for thought... Peace and Blessings
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Written by: Africafifth
This Black man speaks to a specific individual who is an overall weak and frightened individual who is more concerned with his image than he is with matters of substance. He has adopted a propensity for pointing the finger of blame at the white man and others for his problems and is very reluctant to acknowledge his own obvious flaws in character as well as decision-making.
The institution of slavery has come and gone while the institution of imprisonment has emerged in its place. No longer is this Black man or his people forced into a life of subjugation. However, as of today there are approximately over 2 million men in prisons in America to which the majority (over half of them ) one million plus (1, 000,000 + ) are Black men. It's quite obvious that a large segment of us have migrated away from the corridors of education and into the vestibules of incarceration. One would have to ask the question, what has so drastically impacted the current landscape in America for this Black man? Perhaps Volunteered Subjugation?
This Black man of today has allowed himself to become misguided, weakened, afraid and complacent. This Black man has embraced a lifestyle of gangsterism, thugism, crime and treat our Black women with an unabashed blatant disrespect as though they were the scum of the earth and only useful for sexual exploitation. This Black man has become disillusioned and ignorant and chooses to pursue whimsical examples of success and power. This Black man parades around with his pants halfway down exposing his buttocks for the world to see and hasn't a shred of self-respect or dignity. This Black man has constructed an adversarial relationship with his brother Black man transforming their communities into battlefields, not the white man because he doesn't live there.
This Black man has created an atmosphere of extreme violence and restriction that prevents little Black children from having normal playful lives for fear of catching a stray bullet. Not the white man because he doesn't live there. This Black man is a reckless and ruthless murderer who is mowing down innocent brothers and sisters in a hail of bullets,. Not the white man because he doesn't live there. This Black man preys on the innocent and poor with an onslaught of armed robberies, burglaries and numerous petty crimes that have plagued and sapped the life out of the community. Not the white man because he doesn't live there. This Black man is peddling drugs to our people who poisons their mind and wreaks havoc on their bodies and lives with addiction. Not the white man because he doesn't live there. This Black man has impregnated numerous young Black women who are left to bear and raise children on their own. Not the white man because he doesn't live there. The streets and buildings in some of these Black communities throughout America are laid with waste, garbage, filth and dilapidated cockroach infested housing conditions that arise from neglect, irresponsibility and a lack of concern perpetuated by this Black man and others. Not the white man because he doesn't live there.
What the white man does do, is police the streets of these communities because this Black man has become so lazy and ignorant that he produces an atmosphere of crime and mayhem. The white man constructs prisons throughout America because he knows that this Black man will be taking up residence there. The white man writes laws that specifically target this Black man because he knows that these fools will violate them giving him cause to apprehend and arrest them. The white man knows that this Black man will run off at the mouth and then whimper like a baby when he proceeds to handcuff him and commences to beating him with his billy club. The white man knows that this black man more often than not will be a convicted felon or become frightened and flee giving him cause to shoot him down in the streets. The white man knows that this Black man isn't educated and informed so they will take advantage of him with stop and frisk and if he resists, again beat him with his billy club because this Black man will not dare fight back. The white man knows that he can come into this Black man's community and randomly stop him, disrespect him and violate his rights because this Black man's bark is bigger than his bite.. The white man is bold and aggressive because he knows that even as the multitude of onlookers bare witness to their heinous and violent behavior that no one would dare interfere with them with the exception of taking video because they are frightened and weak.
This is very reminiscent of the former institution of slavery where the overseer beats the SLAVE into submission while this Black man has a vision of severe punishment looming over his head if he refuses to comply. The white man oppresses and shames this Black man as they once did during slavery to illicit a weak and docile Black man, one that will address him as no sir and yes sir. The white man acts with irrefutable impunity towards this Black man for the white man fears no form of reprisal from this Black man or his comrades. What does it take for this Black man to stand up and challenge his aggressors? This Black man will not rise and fight because he is afraid of the ultimate action and or consequences that he will face from the white man. This Black man will however, rise up against another Black man but will not show resistance against the white man who is his true adversary. This Black man will misdirect his anger and frustrations towards his Black woman and sometimes his Black children who should be the ones most dear to him.. This Black man does not resemble the strong, educated and trail blazers of Black men days past. This Black man is loud and boisterous and projects a tough exterior to mask his lack of strength, courage and confidence. This Black man derives his power from the gun but without it he is powerless. The white man knows and understands this all too well about this Black man and will continue to maintain his dominance over him.
One is left with the undeniable impression that the white man knows this Black mans tendencies extremely well and capitalizes on his ignorance and weaknesses. So, why does this Black man not recognize the white man's tendency just as well and take the appropriate corrective action? Is it possible that this Black man does in fact recognize the white mans tendencies but accepts his subservient role and meager place in society? In addition could it be that this Black man is just lazy and chooses not to take on the challenge and offer up a legitimate fight because it warrants an effort to pursue an education and employment? What are the underlying reasons that have compelled or caused this Black man to evolve into the wandering soul that he is today.
One reason this black man of today has lost his way is because he does not have the father figure in the family environment who is the representation of courage and will. This Black man's father would be the foundation of strength and cohesiveness that binds the family structure. This Black man's life has become void of direction because the father is absent to give him guidance and instill in him the qualities that are necessary for him to forge through life. This Black man has become weak and soft because the father is not there to act as the role model and mold him as the patriarch of the family. This Black man is not educated because the father is not there to ensure that he stays in school to pursue a much-needed education. This Black man has no one to instruct or teach him how to or what it means to be responsible and respectful. This Black man hasn't a father figure to set the example of what it means to acquire gainful employment and put in a hard days work so that he can provide for his family. This Black man has no father to explain to him what it means to be a man of knowledge, morals and integrity and most of all the importance of fatherhood. This Black man lacks an education, coping skills, self-respect, self-identity, self-esteem, self-confidence, direction, self-determination and motivation as it pertains to becoming a relevant, respected and venerated human being.
This Black man has no concept of respect but when he feels disrespected he will resort to violence or even murder because his mind has been corrupted and he is emotionally weak. This Black man of today has fallen prey to misinformation of false prophets and false imagery of power and success which he chooses to model himself after. This Black man because of his weaknesses will gravitate towards guns, drugs and gangs to pursue a life of criminal activity . He will not pursue an education for the mere fact that it is to hard for him and he has convinced himself through irrational thought to rationalize his excuse that it is emulating white people. He will also tell himself and the teacher he doesn't want someone telling him what to do and that the entire process is pointless and of no service to him.
However, he will gladly commit a crime and surrender his life and freedom in exchange for the comfort of incarceration where he is relegated to a number and has someone monitoring his every move twenty-four (24 ) hours a day. This Black man is housed, clothed and fed and has no responsibilities whatsoever other than to eat, sleep and maybe bathe. This Black man has willingly shackled his mind and handcuffed his future by an act of stupidity and irrationality. This Black man has now been locked away in an institution which in itself represents another form of imposed subjugation and his life has basically been rendered meaningless. This Black man has capitulated to the white man and evolved into a weak species whose life may just become a complete and utter failure. This Black man has welcomed his role as a modern-day slave and has no qualms about living his life within the confines of these prison walls....... I am unable to fathom the logic here, if any.....
The white man knows this which is exactly why he continues to build prisons as it has become a multi-billion dollar business to incarcerate and enslave this Black man......
The true strength of a Black man comes from within, from his knowledge of self, education, integrity, values, self-respect and from the Black woman who stands beside him and supports him. A true Black man is a man of unwavering principles, dedication to family and friends, someone who respects himself and by doing so will garner the respect of those around him. A true Black man will lead by positive example and allow his body of work to speak for him. A true Black man will not submit his will and will not allow himself to be placed into a life of subjugation. A true Black man will make responsible decisions and have the ability to recognize his flaws and mistakes and correct them. A true Black man is true to himself and others. To be continued..........
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Written By; Africafifth
This country is very familiar with the Klansman of old who under the cover of darkness donned white hoods, sheets and conducted a campaign of terror throughout America that targeted former African-American slaves, their families and descendants. These were the white Southern and Midwest citizens of the United States of America whose lineage is from that of former slave owners and others. These are the white citizens of America that during the period of slavery and afterwards, committed despicable and cowardly acts of violence, rape and murder against a darker skinned people. This is an untold period of historical fact in an America that has clothed herself in the red, white and blue garment of virtue (conformity to moral and ethical principles), integrity, patriotism and democracy.
She has been presented to the world as the epitome of greatness, strength and power. Yet the very fabric from which her garment is weaved has become soaked and stained of blood spilled from the countless innocent lives that these cowards cloaked in white sheets and their predecessors have taken. They have castrated, maimed, whipped, lynched, burned alive, raped, sodomized, impregnated with their seed, terrorized and murdered a large segment of the African-American people. They have in the dead of night burned crosses on the front lawns of African-American families with malicious intent to intimidate and terrorize. They have marched openly in the streets of America spewing vile and racist rhetoric at a people solely based on the color of skin. They have out of hatred and jealousy bombed from planes an entire town of prominent and successful African-Americans citizens who seized the opportunity of freedom to pursue prosperity and democracy. They have murdered and burned innocent young African-American girls attending church. Imagine that, these so-called self-proclaimed Christians who glorify themselves as white supremacists taking the lives of other Christians. One would ask how and why would anyone commit such reprehensible acts of violence upon another human being? Oh let us not forget that these same so-called Christians crucified their beloved Jesus. One would also ask why and how could such conduct and deplorable behavior be allowed to persist without the demand for justice and prosecution?
The answer to this question is a very simple one. America’s virtuous garment of patriotism, democracy, freedom, liberty, and justice for all is threaded with hypocrisy. For she has beckoned to the call of duty on more than one occasion the African American to stand up and defend her honor against perpetrators of violence and destroyers of democracy. America on the other hand has failed to provide any manner of defense or protection for her African-American defenders and their children. She has not and will not question or punish those who commit heinous acts of cruelty and violence. These atrocious crimes against humanity of are still exacted upon her African-American people by her white defenders and their children. She has turned her back on those and their descendants who have with unwavering courage and loyalty fought, shed blood, and died for her so that she could maintain freedom and democracy. This same freedom, liberty and privilege however is not extended to the African-American children of her nation. Instead there is a constant stream of hate, violence, racial discrimination, and murder that we endure at the hands of her venomous and despicable white children. Yes America, land of the free and the home of the brave is a thankless , non reciprocating coward as it pertains to her African-American children.
She has songs written with words of glorification that attest to her majestic presence, but these words are more befitting.
Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
Who so proudly they murdered at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose burning crosses were raised through the perilous night,
O'er the ramparts they watched amidst the horror of screaming?
And the crosses red glare, their cries bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night of the hate that was still there.
Oh, say does that poi-so-nous hatred yet wave
O'er the lives of the free and the hearts of the brave?
This has been America’s unspoken legacy which she attempts to conceal and forget. She would wish for the slate to be clean as the driven snow and her presence exalted with unabashed glory. She would have us think that her past is without blemish and that she is clothed in purity. She will insist to us African-Americans that we forget about slavery and the wretchedness that she has bathed in. We however, haven’t any intention of forgetting or turning a blind eye to her insidious past or to the present. The blatant and most times subtle biased treatment is still very prevalent and permeates through every fabric of African-American society.
Today we are experiencing that same violent and murderous conduct which continues unabated. The difference this time around is that her evil children of the KKK are no longer concealed behind the white hoods and sheets and dark of night.
Present day Klansman now operate behind the impenetrable shield of law enforcement and code of blue protection. They have exchanged their hoods and sheets for the uniform of law and have at their disposal an arsenal of weaponry more suitable for military combat. This new costume offers them a complete sanctity behind a wall of protection and irreproachable facade. In the eye of the public they are cast as men of unquestionable and unshakeable integrity and honor. We are confronted in this era with the new Klansman who is allowed to operate openly with impunity and no real threat of prosecution. This new Klansman has killed over 5000 people in America and still counting since 9/11. This figure is more than any terrorist group has committed over the same time span. These numbers average just a little fewer than four hundred (400) American lives per year that have been taken by the hands of police. These are the very same people who have a sworn duty to serve and protect its citizens. This new reign of terror that has taken underway has become an epidemic of unwarranted acts of violence, racial discrimination, profiling, unjustifiable searches/detainment, blatant disregard for civil rights, and murder. We have gradually slipped back into an era of prejudicial and wanton violence with no visible or tangible recourse. Could it be that the a lack of consciousness and complete indifference for justice is based on a prejudicial mindset towards the victims. That would suggest that the individuals who are in a position to prosecute are culpable in the scenario.So therefore the machine is tainted because the mechanisms are working in concert with one another. What other reason would explain the reluctance to seek justice and prosecution?
We have voiced our anger, we have cried, we have protested, we have consoled one another, we have marched, we have expressed our displeasure with the absence of justice, and we continue to bury our own more and more with the passing of time. Our people are continuously killed by this new American Klansman and there is no immediate indication that it will cease. What are the alternatives for us as a people? What measures must we take against the vicious acts of those that kill African-Americans indiscriminately and with malice? This is the question that begs an answer to a corrupted system of protection and accountability.
It is asserted that one African-American male is killed every 28 hours by police or vigilantes.
There is a new Klansman in America and he doesn’t seem to be making an exit anytime soon. We as African-American citizens must devise a plan of action that will escort this trigger happy maniacal group of people to the exit door. There is no place in the America that we envision for them....
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Written By: Africafifth
GENERATIONAL SUICIDE AMONG BLACK PEOPLE IS THE RESULT OF A SELF DESTRUCTIVE MENTALITY WHICH HAS MOST BLACK PEOPLE SUBMERGED IN A STATE OF MENTAL AND ECONOMICAL PARALYSIS. WE HAVE BECOME PERVASIVELY MALIGNED BY OUR OWN LACK OF EDUCATION, MISINFORMATION AND IGNORANCE.
WE HAVE ARRIVED AT A PERIOD IN TIME WHERE THE WORLD HAS TRANSITIONED INTO A PLACE THAT IS RIFE WITH CONFLICTS, WARRING FACTIONS, RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL CONTROVERSY, GLOBAL WARMING, SOCIAL UNREST, ECONOMICAL IMBALANCE, CLASS WARFARE, DISEASE, HOMELESSNESS, SELF DESTRUCTION OF HUMANKIND, ABSENCE OF INTEGRITY, MORALS, SELF IDENTITY, KNOWLEDGE AND EDUCATION. WE ARE ENCAPSULATED IN IGNORANCE, MASS CONFUSION AND VERY LITTLE UNDERSTANDING. THERE APPEARS TO BE FOR A LARGE MAJORITY OF US NO REAL SENSE OF PURPOSE OR DIRECTION AND HAVE FALLEN PREY TO AN INDUSTRY THAT SELLS THEM ON GANGSTERISM, THUG-ISM AND GLAMORIZES THE DEGRADATION OF WOMEN AND MURDER. WE HAVE BEEN SO CONDITIONED FOR LOW EXPECTATIONS THAT WE LACK ANY SEMBLANCE OF SELF RESPECT OR RESPECT FOR OTHERS.
WE ENGAGE IN UNLAWFUL ACTS OF VIOLENCE, DRUGS, THIEVERY, CHICANERY AND CONDUCT OURSELVES WITH UTTER BUFFOONERY FOR THE WORLD TO WITNESS. WE ARE MURDERING EACH OTHER WITH A COMPLETE DISREGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE. WE HAVE SLIPPED INTO AN ABYSS OF BOTTOM FEEDERS WITH NO CLEAR SENSE OF DIRECTION. THIS DEBILITATING AND DESTRUCTIVE CONDITION HAS BEEN ALLOWED TO PROLIFERATE FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION. NOW, A LARGE SEGMENT OF OUR POPULATION HAVE BECOME SELF APATHETIC DARKNESS DWELLERS AFFLICTED WITH IGNORANCE. THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY VOID OF ILLUMINATION AND ARE PRODUCING CHILDREN WHO WILL BECOME IMMERSED IN THE SAME CYCLE OF MADNESS.. HOW IS IT THAT SO MANY OF US HAVE DESCENDED INTO A STATE OF DISCONNECT, POVERTY AND WRETCHEDNESS AFTER THE GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE 60's AND 70's?
HISTORICALLY OUR UNEMPLOYMENT RATE HAS ALWAYS BEEN ALMOST TWICE THAT OF WHITES.
OUR PER CAPITA INCOME HOUSEHOLD IS THE LOWEST AMONG ANY ETHNIC GROUP
WE HAVE THE HIGHEST HIGH SCHOOL DROP OUT RATE WHICH IS TWICE THAT OF WHITES
WE ARE INCARCERATED AT A MUCH HIGHER RATE. APPROXIMATELY 40% OF 2.5 MILLION MALE INMATES ARE BLACK. FORTY PERCENT, THAT'S ALMOST HALF THE MALE INMATE POPULATION
WE HAVE DOUBLE THE AMOUNT OF TEENAGE PREGNANCY THAN WHITES
THIS UNDOUBTEDLY IS NOT A PATHWAY TO SUCCESS BUT MORE OF A TRAIL LEADING TO FAILURE AND SELF DESTRUCTION. THE LIST OF NEGATIVE COMPONENTS IS EXTENSIVE AND YET WE EITHER CHOOSE NOT TO TAKE NOTICE OR WE NOTICE AND CHOOSE NOT TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. EITHER WAY THE DISEASE WILL MALIGN US FOR GENERATIONS AS IT PERPETUATES AND CONTINUES TO REMAIN A PREVALENT AND DESTRUCTIVE ORGANISM WITHIN US, OUR COMMUNITIES AND THE WORLD IF LEFT UNABATED. THESE STATS ARE SHAMEFUL AND UNACCEPTABLE AS THEY ILLUSTRATE THAT WE ARE PERHAPS OUR OWN WORST ENEMIES. THE LIVES SACRIFICED DURING THE PERIODS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT AND VOTER RIGHTS REGISTRATION ERA ALONG WITH THE BLACK POWER MOVEMENTS HAVE BECOME A DISTANT MEMORY.
AS THE OCEAN OF TURMOIL, INACTION, DISCOURAGEMENT AND DISCONTENT CONTINUES TO GROW , WE FIND OURSELVES HAVING DIFFICULTY NAVIGATING THE WAVES TO CLEAR PASSAGE. OUR VESSELS ARE WEAK, ILL CONSTRUCTED AND THE CREWS LACK THE KNOWLEDGE AND LEADERSHIP NEEDED TO MAKE THIS JOURNEY. TO EMBARK ON THIS JOURNEY OUR VESSEL ( Movement ) MUST BE CONSTRUCTED OF GREAT STRENGTH ,ENDURANCE AND INTEGRITY. IT MUST HAVE THE ABILITY TO WITHSTAND THE CONSTANT ONSLAUGHT FROM THE BATTERING WAVES OF THE ENEMY, THE DISCONTENTED AND THE NAYSAYERS. WE MUST HAVE AN EDUCATED, KNOWLEDGEABLE, COURAGEOUS CREW WITH UNWAVERING QUALITIES OF LEADERSHIP AND COMMITMENT.
WE MUST ALWAYS BEAR IN MIND THAT CHANGE IS INEVITABLE AND UNDOUBTEDLY WILL COME. HOWEVER, FOR THE TYPE OF CHANGE THAT WE ENVISION REQUIRES US TO POSITION OURSELVES ACCORDINGLY AND SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY TO EFFECT THAT CHANGE. WE CAN NOT RELY ON THE EFFORTS OF OTHERS OR SOME NOTION OF BEING FORTUNATE (LUCKY). OUR DESTINY IS SHAPED BY OUR DECISIONS AND LUCK ONLY OCCURS WHEN OPPORTUNITY MEETS PREPAREDNESS. YOU CAN PLAY THE LOTTERY, HIT THE JACKPOT, AND STRIKE A FORTUNE. HOWEVER, IF YOU DO NOT POSSESS THE KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED TO MANAGE YOUR NEW FOUND WEALTH, YOU WILL SURELY SQUANDER IT.
WE MUST FIRST AND FOREMOST TAKE A LOOK AT OURSELVES AND DECIDE THAT IF WE WANT CHANGE FOR THE BETTER, WE MUST UNDERGO A TRANSFORMATION OF OUR MIND, BODY, PHYSICAL, AND SPIRITUAL ENVIRONMENTS. WE CAN NO LONGER CONTINUE TO FUNCTION IN A MANNER THAT IS COUNTER PRODUCTIVE TO OUR SUCCESS. THE TIME HAS ARRIVED FOR US TO BE RELEVANT BUT JUST HOW RELEVANT, DEPENDS ON OUR OWN TRANSFORMATION. WE MUST ERADICATE OURSELVES OF THE SELF DEFEATIST ATTITUDES AND MINDSETS THAT HAVE PLAGUED OUR UPWARD MOBILITY. WE MUST DISCONTINUE GRAVITATING TOWARDS THAT WHICH IS DESTRUCTIVE TO OUR WELL BEING AND QUALITY OF LIFE. SUCCESS WILL BE PREDICATED ON HOW MUCH WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO THE PROCESS. DEDICATION, DETERMINATION, DISCIPLINE AND DILIGENCE IS WHAT WE'LL NEED TO PERSEVERE .
WE MUST ASK OURSELVES WHAT ARE WE WILLING TO CONTRIBUTE AND WHAT ARE WE PREPARED TO SACRIFICE IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THIS MILESTONE. THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WILL DETERMINE THE AMOUNT OF SUCCESS REALIZED NOT ONLY FOR OURSELVES BUT OUR CHILDREN. ANYTHING OF GREAT SIGNIFICANCE REQUIRES GREAT EFFORT...
Written By: Al DeVeaux Jr. (Africafifth)
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Have you ever stopped to just take a moment and ask yourself, what exactly is the reason for my presence here on this earth? Who am I, why was I even born and where in the heck am I going? Maybe you have and were fortunate enough to have the proper guidance, discipline and nurturing that was needed to insure your transition into life would not be a difficult one. Maybe you are one of those who have never had these thoughts and were always confident of yourself and where you wanted to go in life. You indeed are the exception. However, there are those of us who aren't as fortunate to have guidance or certainty of who they are, where they fit in or what it is that they are supposed to do. They are the lost minds and the silent voices.
Man I can remember those periods of bewilderment and being dumbfounded as though they were yesterday. The memories are so vivid in my mind and most times I find myself reflecting on my journey in life which has traversed many different landscapes and experiences. For me this had been a very familiar place where I would reside for a significant period of time.
You see, my life was void of any direction and I never quite understood exactly what the requirements as well as what the demands of life were... More often than not I would find myself consumed in fantasy or just trying to figure out whom I was and what I was supposed to be doing with my life. I found myself searching for my identity through television or by observing those around me to see just where I fit in. I wasn't a popular kid and most times I would experience a great deal of rejection from my peers and other folk. My parents were good providers but were truly lacking in instructive guidance. That in itself is another topic for another time. So I found myself somewhat alienated and constantly asking myself questions that I had no answers to.
Life itself does not provide us with a manual of descriptive guidelines for navigation and even if it did a lot of us would have been very reluctant to follow it. I believe that most of us who lack any real sense of direction are prone to cast caution to the wind and venture off on our own because we feel as though no one knows what is in our best interest except us. Most times the reckless manner in which we behave and the choices we make carry considerable non-welcomed ramifications for our actions.
The questions are very relevant to ask especially if your life has been one which has experienced countless periods of hurt, disappointment, rejection, betrayal, injustice, and inequality. How does one begin to deal with such adversity and turmoil and who lends an ear to the voices of despair and hopelessness? Without someone trustworthy to offer guidance we are most likely to slip through the cracks, never to be noticed or relevant. Unfortunately this is the scenario that is seen throughout most of urban America. There is a large segment of us who gaze around and see nothing but poverty and are overwhelmed by the challenges we are confronted with on a daily basis. The environment in which we reside has very little to offer in terms of encouragement for a better life and just about everything around us screams out road block and no way out. Then we ask ourselves, man why did I have to come into this world and why did I have to be born into this. Yeah, I know, we play the cards that we have been dealt but this is something that has to be taught or in my case, learned through experience. Besides most kids have no clue whatsoever what that aphorism (adage) means.
For the most part there are so many of us that are at a tremendous disadvantage who come from single parent and dysfunctional homes with siblings who aren't faring too much better. The family is either poor or financially strapped and void of anything that is nurturing and cultivating. We receive very little in the way of positive instruction because of the mere fact that most of us today have parents who've never had this instilled in them or who are to young themselves to have experienced life.. Based on that fact alone, how could they possibly offer guidance and positive direction/influence to the children?
The theme gets replayed over and over again and no one seems to recognize its repetitiveness. There are a staggering number of us who have felt either not loved, not wanted by our parents or anyone else and this just compounds those feelings of disconnect and alienation. The situation usually translates into feelings and thoughts of no-one cares about me so why should I care anything about my life. This by the way is the prelude to making choices that are extremely detrimental to us and sometimes to innocent people around us.
No one seems to take notice of the staggering number of youths that have absolutely no sense of direction, personal insight or personal development and growth. They have become orphans of the streets, members of gangs, swallowed up in drug addiction or a life of criminal activity that either results in homelessness, incarceration or death. They are the ones who have been abandoned and left to fend for themselves just like those before them. The emotions that are stirring inside beg for release, reconciliation, and understanding but our voices remain silent. We feel the absence of ear and concern so we act out these feelings of abandonment and neglect by other methods because we are yearning for attention and help. Life has taught us to remain silent, to acquiesce, and to capitulate. No-one really cares.
Not exactly true but it's a legitimate feeling and also an excuse for unacceptable behavior.
The art of teaching and instruction has fallen by the wayside and appears to have been trampled into oblivion. The pride and self dignity that was once embraced and championed among our people has given way to a shameless and disconnected population of folks who cry victimization and self-pity. We have become so misguided and consumed with self promotion of image and indulgence that we have lost sight of who we really are and what our real purpose in life is. What was once the catalyst of the family, a community and its success has become noticeably absent and for some inexplicable reason we are lacking real sense of urgency to turn it around.
We are not exposed to the multitude of possibilities in life because from day one we have been conditioned to believe that certain achievements or realities are beyond the realm of possibility for us. We are taught not to waste our time with silly notions regarding aspirations of success because they are not attainable and the educational process does not work. We have been served a constant and steady diet of you can't make it to the point where we have come to eat, sleep, and breathe this poisonous rhetoric. The constant consumption of negativity only helps to perpetuate the non truth. I mean if a person is taking garbage in it is only natural that garbage will come out.
I can relate to this because I have lived it. I remember countless times that I was told that I would never amount to anything. Once a junkie, always a junkie. People have no conception whatsoever how the hurtful and offensive remarks they make impact people. I was almost at the point where I felt as though there was no way out for me and I was destined to be a hopeless case. Just another brother who slipped through the cracks and most people would have expected that and would have never missed my presence. It has been said over and over again that God helps those who help themselves. I believe this to be true but how do we get people to realize they need help and secondly, how do we get them to accept that help. Here in lies the greatest of all challenges.
Unfortunately more often than not we can't do anything about their situations. They are the ones that need to acknowledge how dire their situation really is and that it requires attention or they are doomed for a life of disappointment and failure. So I'm guessing that we need to reach these folks before they ever transition to that stage in life. I believe wholeheartedly that I was not an exception but that I made the exception. I was able to discover with the help of others my identity and what I wanted to do. The exception was reaching out for help, letting my voice be heard and being willing to accept assistance with turning my life around. We desperately need to get people to want to discover themselves and all of that which is good and great inside of them.
To each one, teach one. The process has to start somewhere otherwise we will be sure to keep repeating this over and over again and as we do there will be more and more lost minds and silent voices.
Set the standard and become the positive example that will empower those around us and just maybe we can begin to turn this around.....
Be a voice, be a champion, and help to salvage a mind and a life....
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Written by: Africafifth
The stench of inauthenticity permeates profusely throughout the vestibules of so-called indoctrinated ideologies from a disingenuous nation and its deceitful architects. The absence of morals, values, principles and integrity fused with the pervasive poisonous elements both consumed and inflicted, continue to perpetuate an existing destructive organism that inevitably will decimate the fabric of American culture until it has completely disintegrated. The confluence of adverse and skewed abnormalities versus normalcy create an atmosphere of incongruity. Eventually we will have absolutely nothing of historical value left to draw from. Most folks will be quite content to rest on their laurels where as all semblance of civility, compassion and empathy will be reflective of majestic angels falling from grace... All that we pretend to be is of little significance and all that we are will have been destroyed or forgotten and the day of reckoning will be upon us.
Am I my brothers keeper?
This is a picture of the America and the world that has yet to be painted. Unfortunately as I traverse my way through life and I cast my gaze upon a canvas that was once stroked with the beautiful colors of promise and prosperity for all, I can't help but notice the slow transitioning away from the institution of high morality and principles that she once was intended to represent. America now bares the evidence of decay and erosion sustained from the neglect of those who were entrusted with her care. She was thought to have been placed under the guardianship of people with integrity, high morals and principles... Folks with honest capable hands. Instead her glorious image has been tarnished by the rapacious and nefarious nature of self-serving contemptuous politicians and hoarders of wealth and power. It is the contention of her representatives that she is the pillar of a democratic society governed by an elected two-party system. I believe that we could argue that point and say that she is more indicative of an Oligarchy presenting the illusion of a democracy..
Is this a designed induced metamorphosis of our world? If so, then that would imply intention which would suggest that there are those who conspire under the cloak of democracy and good intentions to have ultimate and exclusive control as it relates to the evolution of this country.
In actuality this may very well have some validity and bare some truth to a degree.
There are those who occupy positions of wealth, power and influence that allows for the circumvention and manipulation of laws which otherwise would insure America's well-being and stability. The absence of care and attention which would serve to reinforce a long-standing security has allowed her to fall victim to a society of onlookers who have forgotten or lack any knowledge of her great historical value and symbolism.
This America is on the pathway of becoming old, tattered, and frail for all to witness. If her condition continues to be ignored and left unattended her string will become worn and brittle and she will come crashing down from the wall of prominence. She will then lie on the floor of shame and demise as have all other great nations that have come and gone before her. Will she be swept into the dustpan of shattered dreams or will there be an effort of restoration put forth so that she can once again be the embodiment of greatness, promise, and pride? Hmm, maybe and maybe not, but this also is a picture that has yet to be painted.
Be ever so mindful of your actions for they represent your painted strokes on the canvas of life....
Written by Africafifth
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