THE RED PILL

DIALOGUE AND DISCUSSION ON EDUCATION, ENVIRONMENT AND RACE

 

Please be specific as possible. Take your time and call up as many memories as you can as to when the idea of race was presented to you, by whom and what was the context? Try, if you can, to remember what you felt and what you thought about it. Was the data congruent? Did you question anything about what was presented to you? Did you fully understand what was being said to you? Did you check to find out if it was true? How and where did you check?

Please, this can be very informative about how we got to where we are. Remember, to construct something that works and makes sense you first have to deconstruct that that doesn't add up.

Peace and Power,

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Below is a hyperlink to an interview I gave to the Denver Weekly Press. I think it will describe in part about my coming to know what race I was.

http://bhonline.org/blog/?p=432
Back to the question. As I stated in another post, I first heard about the rudiments of this thing called race on that bus with my great grand mother. However I had a lot more to learn. I don't quite remember when I first heard the word Negro and I am sure I heard the word nigger first. I am equally sure I heard it from someone in my family.

I don't know if I was first told I was a Negro or colored. I do remember being really confused by both terms. I was born in 1953 and I guess we were on the cusp from being colored to Negro. I do know the one word that would get you an ass whipping quicker than any word you could call someone, that word was BLACK!!!

Surprised? Even until this day some so called black people, when angered, will refer to another so called black person as a black expletive. I hear this often, I mean like almost daily. Old habits die hard I guess. Now the message in that is the adjective lingers on though the users may not even be aware of the negativity once associated with the word.

When I look at the certificate of birth the county of Shelby keeps on me I see the term Negro. Funny no one thought to ask my mom or dad what I was. My wife's certificate says colored. My daughters says black and my sons African American. This gets really interesting.

Imagine a 5 year old child having to grapple with such nonsense as his race and being told two opposing things and never the meaning of any? Imagine also the association of inferiority with both terms. Though it was never said outright, the undertow of being colored, I mean Negro, was that of a powerless person
of low status. It was implied in every contrast with so called white people.

So right away I have a deficit. I will not even go into the separate, but unequal accommodations I witnessed. What I will talk about is the other cusp I experienced in the middle 1960s. Subtly at first there were hints and suggestions that there were some people proclaiming they were black. Abby Lincoln, Nina Simone had natural, "funny looking" hair styles. I thought something was wrong with them In fact I thought it was a joke or a fad. I just hoped it would soon blow over.

After all why would someone want to be black? I had seen enough fights erupt over that term as to never want it wished upon me. It was a curse and burden I was unwilling to endure, I thought. So from 1953 to 1965 I was colored, then negro, with the obligatory nigger sprinkled in and now they were suggesting I was of all things BLACK? Are you crazy? Have you lost your mind? Yes, we all had, driven completely mad and insane by allowing someone else to either define who we were or to define in opposition to someone else suggesting who we were not.

Again, the object of this exercise is to uncover for yourself, in context, what I am really saying. The question is how do you get back? Oh and this is not just about so called black people, it is about so called white people equally.

So what's your story?
very interesting
I Think first in my counter with race was when I was in the first grade. I had participated in a raffle for a 1 dollar candy bar, the raffle ticket cost 25 cents which I paid prior to the raffle. When the drawing was conducted
my name was the name pulled by my teacher (which was a nun). She then proceeded to state that this
person (refering to me) was unworthy a recieving the prize because he has not been what I determin to be a good person today, he has not been one of us.

I wonder why there has been so little response to this post---is it because it stimulates a thinking process that most people are afraid of...asking out of curiosity.

(B)>

I cannot answer for anyone except myself. Perhaps people assume if they don't give it vice or word it will go away. You now kind of denying the existence of it.
Thats too (s)ad or did I mean to say that is too bad if that is what it is......(B).

 

 WELL, IF I REMEMBER I WOULD SAY MY MOM AND MY GRANDPARENTS, I HEARD THEM SAY THAT I WAS BLACK,I REALLY DIDNT EVEN GIVE IT A SECOND THOUGHT WHEATHER OR NOT IT WAS TRUE, I TOOK IT FOR WHAT IT WAS CUZ MY PARENTS TOLD ME SO. I HAVE BEEN BLACK ALL MY LIFE UP UNTIL ABOUT 3 OR 4 MONTHS AGO WHEN THE VEIL WAS REMOVED FRM MY EYES. NOW AS A CHILD GROWING UP I REALLY DIDNT KNOW OR UNDERSTAND WHAT BLACK WAS, ALL I KNEW IS THAT IT WAS THE COLOR OF MY SKIN AND THATS ALL. I DIDNT KNOW WHAT RACE WAS, I DIDNT KNOW WHAT RACISM WAS. ALL I KNEW WAS THAT I WAS BLACK WITHOUT ANY UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IT WAS TO BE BLACK! I AM NOW 29 AND NOW I CAN TRUELY SAY THAT I AM NOT BLACK, I AM THAT I AM! HOTEP

It appears that a few are starting to get it---after hunderds of years, its about time!!!!!

We will be sponsoring an open house on this very issue this coming friday.

Inward Journey

Open House at Java Juice & Jazz

Friday, Feb. 18, 2011

6:30 P.M.

let us find out, if, in fact, people are ready to know about this issue that they all say so much about as if what they are saying actually makes sense.  I am waiting for one, just one, rational conversation that makes some small bit of sense regarding this matter.

(B).

Of course being black, as I had became came to be popular and accepted, yet it had its drawbacks. Exactly what did that mean? What was different now that I had an identity that was making a political statement that said to the establishment, "No matter how shameful you tried to make my color we took it and made it something powerful and beautiful." I wondered what happened to all those others who were in opposition to this black thing? Where do they go? What did they do? 

 

I even knew who a few of them were and they looked and acted sullen, kind of raw. Little did I know they would come up with another plan much more acceptable to white people or the establishment, as we called it, and that this time they would put some viscosity in their move of obfuscation.

 

What was also very confusing and disconcerting to me was that in my new found blackness and the ideal of what it was, a unified, powerful people ready to take real and effective action, few people actually were willing to do anything of substance. The same resistance and fears I had seen and heard about all my life was there, but this time it was coming out of people's mouths that wore Afro and dashikis.

 

I did not have the advantage of having studied the history and actions of this group that is not a group then as I have done now. I still believed there was a monolithic group called black people and though I was aware we had our share of "Uncle Toms" and "Aint Sally's"   I hoped they one day they too would see the light and join in a real way the struggle against oppression. How foolish and idealistic I was. However, I had no clue of how deep the program of race and its inherent association of inferiority had been embedded into my psyche.  

 

Little did I know thoughts that were projected into me by people I believed were well meaning would actually deepen my thoughts, though in shadow, of defectiveness, unworthiness and inferiority. Mantras like, "You have to be twice as good and 10 times better" or "I am somebody" or 'I am just as good as" or "I have to prove myself" and the enigmatic, "I am a man", would come back to haunt me many times over. 

 

Later to my chagrin and horror I would come to understand that these were all mental time bombs with a delayed fuse designed to diffuse and deflate any attempt to really compete with so called white folks and even if I did I would discover I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. In fact I'd one day come to realize it was all a waste of energy and effort, that I didn't have to prove anything to anybody. More on that at another time. What do you think about these revelations? 

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