Thursday, July 22, 2004

"Who Am I, Who Are You, Who Are We?!!?"

-- July 22nd, 2004 --

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Good quote, isn't it? The belief that what is in our hearts and souls is the only thing that matters during this journey of life that we travel through. I have learned this innately through watching my peers and very interesting people attack life with a ferocious appetite. Could this possibly be what makes Michael Jordan who he is versus Leroy on the block who had the potential to play in the League? What separates you and I from them? Is it the attempt or the follow-through? Focus and dedication? Or who you know? I believe that it's a make up of all those things combined. The failure to take advantage of that is a stigma that so many African-Americans fall victim to. Why? The belief that obstacles restrain you or I from obtaining a goal believed to be too "lofty" to ever really be attained by you or I. The thought of obstacles must be removed from our speech. Yes, harder to say than do -- but if we stop idolizing our "role models" in the Black community and start seeing the road they paved, then the journey shouldn't be too hard -- should it?

Another thought -- what will we, as a populace, leave behind to the next generation? Will the negative be focused upon more than our positive? Will our accomplishments spark a continued trend? What are our accomplishments? Are we being subjugated to just being the athlete/entertainer-type figure?

In a sense, I believe so -- even our political figures are a joke. Jesse Jackson, co-signing on Cosby's comments, yet, since his "incident" hasn't really made any real attempt at making any significant changes. Al Sharpton -- no comment. I only say these two figures because as a society we focus on those most notably seen. In retrospect, these two great men's legacies are tarnished because of their lack of enthusiasm in really representing the Black society. So, who are we? If our "leaders" feel that the job is too much for them to endure -- then who are we to turn to? Ourselves? Outside benefactors?

A few days ago, I was at Best Buy -- browsing through the CDs selections looking for the new Jaylib -- "Champion Sound" CD. I came across this CD that -- I can't remember the title -- but, it had nothing but rebel music. The first song was Huey Newton!!! I mean the historical reverence that that CD has was impressionable to me. That's the kind of CD that gets you mad and want to beat up some white folks. Gone are those type of songs. I mean -- during September 11th -- the only person really within the Hip-Hop community who put out a song about the situation was... MC Hammer!! Remember that? He had the red, white, and blue bandana -- the politicians dancing behind him, doing the Hammer dance? LOL! Well, I mean all that was true except the Hammer dance part.

I got off track.

We are a million black men faceless in the crowd, shrouded by women whose form differentiate from time to time. Children are learning our ways -- so with tomorrow not promised, today set to a time limit -- who am I? Who are you? Who are we? And what will we become when we figure that out.

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