Thursday, February 3, 2011
A Brotha’s Testimony-What Needs to be Said
I was born an African American male or Afro American male or you can simply say I’m a black male for short. From the time my mother birthed me 32 years ago until this present day that’s what I’ll always be and I’m proud of that! I’ll be the first to say that whatever our race is shouldn’t define us, but our character, our interactions with people, and our actions should define us. I always felt that our nationality or a race shouldn’t be a factor, but even in today’s society that has grown to be more accepting of all people it still is.
Does anyone remember when you realized what your nationality was? Do you remember when you understood what race you were? To be honest I don’t really remember. I attended a predominantly black elementary school so there really weren’t many differences between the kids I went to school with and myself. I was friends with one of the white kids at my school. His name was Eric and he was my kindergarten teacher’s nephew which is why he ended up going to Maywood Elementary School in East Hammond in the first place. We were cool and the fact that we were different didn’t matter. As we are children I think we just all want to play and get along with each other. One thing about being a little kid is that no one really judged one another, we just had fun! There are times I wonder what happened to Eric, but most of all I wonder what happened to that naïve, but easy going attitude we all had when we were children when it came to people being different.
I don’t say that to say things in 2011 are bad or terrible because they aren’t. As I move about my fan page I have people that support me of all colors, races, and religions on it. The place where I work is probably the most diverse place I will ever work at, and I graduated from a high school that was very diverse, but all of those places are in some sort of way are what I wish things were like all over the country, but I also understand that in some cases they are the exception to what some of us may have grew up around.
Fall 1997, I was a freshman in college at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. I admit when I started college that I kind of expected more diversity, but as I went through my classes I found it wasn’t uncommon for me to be the only African American in my classes. Even if there was an African American female in there with me I was the only black male in most of my classes. I think that’s when I realized how small the African American population was. Statistics say that there are more black men in prison then in college. Given the fact that African Americans only represent 12 percent of the U.S population I find that startling.
Statistics say that 75 percent of African American children grow up without a father in the home, which means that’s a lot of black women that end up being strong not only because they probably are, but because they have to be due to their circumstances. These women end up playing mother and father. My mother did it and some of my friends mothers as well. I didn’t meet my father until I was 20 years old. I’m not informing you of this statistic to say put “us” down, but to say that Lord knows I wish that would change.
If someone was to ask me what it’s like to be an African American male in today’s society I would say it’s difficult, but I know a lot of good men before me had it worst than I ever will! If I was to single out the hardest thing I would say the stereotypes that are put not only on African American males, but African Americans period. “We” are all not the same. Let’s be clear because all races and cultures have stereotypes, but whatever they are aren’t always true. It’s safe to say that races and cultures do differ, but that’s not a bad thing, it’s what makes them interesting.
If I was to ask anything of anyone that has ever met me I would say judge me on me, not what race I am even though my brown skin is obvious. I’m proud of my culture and the history behind it! Lord knows what a lot of brave people did before us to get to this point. Now that we’re here let’s make the most it. Our journey is really just beginning not only as African Americans, but a country as a whole. We can’t leave our pride in the past because I feel nowadays that it’s lacking and to be quite honest with you we all need it more than ever. We are still in a state of progression because it certainly didn’t stop in the 60’s and 70’s! In 2011 there still growth to be made not only for African Americans, but everybody else too….
“13 Ways” (The Movement)
This blog is copyrighted under The Movement Media Inc. 2011