UNAPOLOGETICALLY BLACK: WHAT DOES THE WORD TRULY MEAN

Woman in Brown and Gray T-shirt Sitting on Brown Wooden Table

“Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud.”


me being me

The historical landscape of Black people in america has taken on so many faces over time. But there was one (face) that popped up in the 1960’s with a phrase coined by singer James Brown, “Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud.” And sense then Black people have found means of making ourselves stand out in a positive manner. Well, why did that term come to be in America? When that song was written, we are talking the height of the Civil Rights Movement. So as a means to uplift the people going through social strife in this country, James Brown came out with this song.

why unapologetic

The term “Unapologetically Black” is used because anytime we show any sense of pride in ourselves it is shot down. No one seems to come out of the wood-work when it’s negative. Meaning, inner cities of high crime, single parent households, and poverty exist, yet no one has a plan or solution to do anything. Black people galvanize to fix the issue, and we are immediately labeled as being separate. Or there is a way to say poverty is not a Black issue it’s an issue of everyone, so as to deflect from the group that has the highest crime and poverty in America. It’s a reason to not have to address the issue in the community. Or drugs is not a Black problem, it’s everyone’s problem, meanwhile narcotics is rampant in Black communities. So when we create an agenda geared toward the community, it’s us not being for the country, yet if we don’t try to fix the problem, who will.

where is it coming from

We hear the naysayers, but who are they really? Because if you look at the Black community, the opposite of us has been White America. Meaning, who has been on the other end of Black criticism; White America? Who have we had our strife with throughout history, White America? But let’s put this into its proper context  and perspective when we say White America. Because the majority of White people could care less about Black people coming into communities cleaning up the negative aspects of the community. White America could care less about Black people taking pride in their appearance, their mind-frame, and/or their financial conditions. But the face has long been White, which is something that creates the disconnect. Our vague existence in America keeps us in constant strife with “White America” but who really? “White America” is very vague, but for so long, and even today a White face is connected. And it’s the social construct of Black and White that creates the constant issues.

trek along

There is never a day you should sacrifice yourself for the comfort of another person. If you go to work, raise your family, contribute to society, where is the need to be apologetic in the first place. Live, and if your hue and your existence is too much for another person it’s their problem. I never say, “Unapologetically Black,” because even having to say it means you’re trying to prove a point to a person not worth proving the point to. Live, grow, and prosper; leave the naysayers behind.


My Personal Website: www.faheemjackson.squarespace.com

Instagram Me: @theefaheemjackson

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BLACK DOLLARS LOST: WHY THE BLACK COMMUNITY MAY BE FINANCIALLY POOR

black-and-white, close-up, face

“A few trillion, yet broke.”


the community

The African American community has is a financial base that constitutes roughly $2.5 trillion dollars of the American economy. But when you look as a whole, there is still a high level of poverty that exist within the communities throughout the country. And what are some of the driving forces behind the poverty. There are skeptics that will have a wide range of feelings. Views like Black people being shut out of business ownership to we as a community spending our money on things not making us better. So in my opinion, I have a few things that I have noticed from our end that can be done. Because the expectations of the system is not going to happen.

goods #1 (cars)

Walking home from a long day, I come across two neighborhoods here in New York City. One of them is the Upper Eat Side and the other being Harlem. The Upper East Side is a more expensive side of Manhattan which consists of highly priced brownstones and penthouse apartments. Both property types sharing the community with high end stores that can only be described as the Rodeo drive of New York City. Then there is Harlem, which is a large neighborhood stretching from 100th street all the up into the high 160’s. This is where you start to see more working class and poor families. A historic region of the borough, you instantly notice two aspects of both communities. There is that the Upper East Side is mostly White and Harlem is mostly Black. But the other is the money spent on goods and services.

I can’t help but notice walking past a housing project to see Mercedes Benz, BMW, Lexus, and Jaguar in the parking lot. Yet the upscale Upper East Side I see Toyota, Dodge, Nissan, and Ford. Why the stark difference in vehicles considering the community poor should be driving what the wealthy drive, and the wealthy should be driving what the poor drive. And here lies an underlying problem. Why is one living in the housing projects, yet driving a luxury vehicle? There are some really nice Chryslers, GM’s, Honda, Lincolns, and Audi’s. A car that has a price tag of a luxury vehicle when living in public housing has no real value because it’s not a real investment.

goods part 2 (clothing)

I know for myself growing up in a poor Black community, that carrying yourself in a certain manner in respect to how you dress is emphasized. But there is a clear difference between dressing to be presentable and dressing far outside what you are able to afford. Growing up in my community was like a runaway fashion show of every latest trend you can imagine. But I on the other hand attended predominantly White schools. And the dressing style was vastly different. It was nice and presentable, yet parents were not going too deep into their wallets. And these were children who could easily afford to wear expensive clothing. So when you have a closet that is easily mistaken for a high end fashion showroom and you’re poor, this can be a contributor to the problem as well.

education

Within our community there is still a high rate of a lack of education. I am not just talking about going to school education. I am also referring to the literacy when looking at money. Because in order to remove yourself from poverty you have to clean your mind and reintroduce new information. And from there. build for years off the new information until you get to the next level. And having financial literacy will aid you trying to build toward something stable. Interestingly enough, you will not learn that in college. It comes with years of at times making mistakes until you get the hang of it.


My Personal Website: www.faheemjackson.squarespace.com

Instagram Me: @theefaheemjackson

Twitter Me: @2320howe

Medium.com/@faheemjackson

Tumblr Me: @fjackson44