If there’s a nerve left on the issue of what’s Black, Black enough, too Black, rich Black & poor Black, my beloved Pharrell just danced on it. And I’m NOT “happy” about it.
Recently I had the opportunity to discuss the logistics of exactly what the “new Black” entails on WVON, the Talk of Chicago.
From what I understood, it’s a mentality. A new way of thinking has emerged amongst our elite who no longer identify with the color of their skin, the struggle of their ancestors and the present-day injustices of our people. OUR people! Light-skin, mixed-race and house-Negros alike: You’re still Black! Be you cotton field or kitchen, be you corporate-slave or paper bag approved, you are Black.
Now the issue here is a pinch deeper than a skin pigmentation. It’s deeper rooted than a fair-skinned woman representing a black GIRL. This is about identification of a people who fought for the acceptance of America by way of rights and liberties. When you hear the phrase, ‘new Black’ one has to wonder what happened to the old Black…? Who’s in charge of this new coalition? When did/do you realize you’re no longer the black your mother birthed? How does one become a new black? A state of mind…?
To that I say, no matter how high your private jet flies, you’re a black man in a jet. And that’s a good thing.
You’re giving a sense of identity to little black boys and girls who, too, came from humble beginnings with a passion for something greater. You’re giving a sense of hope and aspiration to a generation written off by society’s ploy to demolish the disenfranchised. Our youth! What say you when they ask, ‘how can I be the new Black and what do I do with the Black that I am?’ It’s disheartening. It’s regressive to the work so many ‘current’ Black people have contributed to our movement.
I’m a fan of hip-hop. The culture that boasts opulence with a resemblance of my cousins inspires me greatly. But I will never deny that which provided the vehicle for my success. My struggles, my oppositions, my need to prove who I am and why I’m worthy fuels me, like so many others. And when I get there, to that place where minor racial stigmas don’t poke as much, I won’t become a different Black. I’ll be the same Black that freelanced for writing credit. The same Black that suffered workplace injustices. The same Black as Oprah, Harriet, Halle and Michelle. I’m that Black and I’ll take my Black to every level of success I sit in. Trust me.
I’m A Comeaux. I’m Black. the Original, not the New one.
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