What is My African American Experience?

What is My African American Experience?

In the words of Chicago Tribune reporter Dahleen Glanton “Its tough being black in America. But don’t pity me.”

Lebron James had said last week (after his house was defaced with a racial slur), that “Its tough being black in America” and it is.

I think this year has opened a lot of eyes to the hate this is out there, maybe even reminded some of us that not much has changed.

Let me say this when it comes to the n-word, I don’t use it. I took it out of my vocabulary 10 years ago and no one else should use it either.

Its verbal pain, its vernacular from the past used to hold us down and like anything else that does not move us forward, it should be left behind, by everyone, no exceptions.

I’ve been in professional and social situations where you hear off color jokes or racial terms and you TRY to let it go.

Yes it hurts, yes you want to lash out but Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (pictured and when he and his wife Coretta were living here), was right and nonviolence is the way to go.

Oh yeah violence, the terrorism that plagues the world now, it’s been in the African American community as long as anyone can remember. And right now it’s our own neighborhoods being terrorized by our own people.

I lived under that for years and moved out but being back in the city over the weekend I miss the urban lifestyle when it comes to culture, food and all that is positive.

But many of us chose to leave, some just out of the city or county, others much further, it was just one more thing we didn’t want to deal with on top of the other issues we have to deal with.

The good thing about being older that I’ve seen a lot of what’s going on now before, yes I mean political, it’s nothing I haven’t heard before.

Is it frustrating, yeah, does it bother me, of course.

For me to save my sanity I leave that as the problem of that person who doesn’t see me or my people as equal.

You know it’s an issue when children’s shows and even kids meals preach kindness.

Man at this point I’ll take tolerance, you don’t have to like me or roll out a red carpet or anything, all I ever wanted was a level playing field and a chance.

And I can’t cry because I’ve gotten that many times.

Do I work my butt off?

You damn right, my mother has long said “We have to work twice as hard to get half the credit”.

I’ve learned to take pride in that, I’m not the smartest guy in the room but you won’t out work me and can’t deny or overlook what I do.

But I take nothing for granted, I know my grandparents and elders worked even harder than I do to get me to where I am. They put up with situations I can’t even imagine. There were hard working people from down south and came up here for a better life.

People now talk about being “woke”, man if you just waking up you late to the party and I’m not just talking about what’s going on in the news.

It’s around us that matters, it’s about being aware of our surroundings, doing the best we can every day for us and those close to us.

It’s about making smart choices, not putting yourself in a situation where things can go bad.

See we need think that far ahead and not just hope that things go well, we have stay on the straight and narrow and leave nothing to chance.

Yeah there’s a lot of bad stuff going on right now, the way most of us “have made it” is we follow our elders footsteps, leave no doubt that we are undeniable and that we can’t be ignored.

And we live up to the legacies to those who broke barriers and changed the game for now this is our time and we need to keep pushing forward and rising to the top.

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