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

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FITTING IN: WHAT IT’S LIKE AS A BLACK PERSON EXISTING IN A NON BLACK ENVIRONMENT

Five Person Holding Hands Together

“Trying to feel welcome.”


new face new challenge

Growing up, I have always been one of the only African American students in my class and school. And for me, I didn’t know anything else. That was until I came back to my community. And as you get older, you’re turned on to the societal issues. And that’s when you become aware of your surroundings. Being a kid, you’re a kid with other kids. But you will always be reminded somehow of the society where you live. But hwy, why would society remind a child of something so deep at such a young age?

cultural shift

The reason for one of the discomforts is the idea that once you step into someone else’s domain, you are quickly inundated with a different way of life. Not better, just a drastic shift: the food, the music, all the way down to the infliction in the voice. So now you feel like you’re living in two worlds. For me growing up, I have always loved a certain type of dress, that no pays pays attention to in way arena that catches attention in another. So that is what I mean by living in two worlds. But, what are the up sides if any?

they know you, you know them

For me growing up in a community of Black people, but a school  of mostly White, you’re coming into a space, where you are this group’s first interaction with anyone from your community. So they are learning something about you and you are learning something about them. And learning about someone outside of yourself is the first step in understanding people you might not otherwise have a daily interaction with. You learn their likes and dislikes, but also a cultural understanding for why someone is who they are in life. But all of this is contingent on the person you’re getting to know who is able to converse with you on a deeper level of understanding.


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TURNING THE TIDES: WHY BLACK AMERICA HAVE NEVER TURNED AGAINST THE US LIKE RADICALS FROM OVERSEAS

Group of Women and Men Standing on Gray and White Concrete Floor

“Not as angry as some may think.”


we have never

In the time since Black people have been in America, those who know best have had understand and were able to bare witness to some scary history. From slavery through the century of Jim Crow, and after throughout America with isolated incidents. But through everything, there has never been a violent response like that of someone from overseas. And what I mean is that you have never seen a response like a 9/11 from the Black community. So why are the men and women in the Middle East so turned up? Because what America has done to them is nothing compared to our relationship. And yet, people outside the country get more enraged.

simpler than you think

The main reason we have never struck America in terrorist fashion is because like a lot of Americans, most people in the Black community want to work and go home. It’s not on the mind of the community on a daily basis as to how to make America pay on a terrorism level. The daily thinking that must be conducted takes away from a normal functioning existence. Because for example, run this experiment. Get as mad as you possible can, doesn’t even matter about what. Make up a scenario in your head, then ponder over it for the never few hours. You’ll wish you have never gotten mad once the experiment is over. It’s because to get mad and stay mad is a very large undertaking. So to commit to an act of terrorism, you’re pass the point of existing. And now you have hit the uncharted territory of extreme mental illness.

the thought has crossed the mind

The anger is there, the rage is there, but the action is not. Trust and believe, even our civil rights leaders have wanted to take it to another level. Especially during their time period, the system aligned itself with the struggle. So fighting the system isn’t going to work through violence because the government has a bigger weapon than the citizens. So having to resort to the nonviolent approach has been a decision we were forced to make. And as a human, we all have a limit, but when forced to keep that emotion bottled and redirected is tougher. But self-preservation kicks in and people tend to not react out of emotion. Because the whole goal of Black people for a long period of time is to survive the encounter.

change in times

Even with the rough history, things have gotten better throughout time. Is the life perfect, far from it. But the Declaration of Independence states, “In an effort to create more perfect union.” Key phrase, “a more perfect union.” All that simply means is better than the prior. And with each passing decade as long as the current is better than the prior, then we as a country are doing better.


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RECONCILIATION: WILL THE BLACK AND WHITE COMMUNITIES EVER END THE TENSION

Photo of Four Persons Uniting Hands

“Ease the tension.”


a history of tension

In the United States over the past few centuries the tensions between the White and Black population has gotten better, but still remain a focal point of discussion in America. And now with the introduction of other groups into the mix like the Hispanic and Middle Eastern community, the dynamics just became more complicated. But over the recent years, there has been a sharp increase in the number of racially motivated problems across the country. Yet the racial relationship between Black and White is the deepest. So how does it end? Will it ever end? Are these one of those things that just go on and on forever, just taking on different dynamics?

steps forward

We like to think that the problems are so far behind us, but they are still relevant. So what are the ways that can change people’s mind-frames on race relations? And the biggest reason why there is a sharp incline is economics. When the chips are down and the stakes high, people start to look for indicators of their economic strife. And no one likes to think that it’s themselves. So we look at our current surrounding and people that look like us, then at others that look different from us. If there is enough people who look different from us with more than we have, that is an easy target for what my problems could be linked to.

Another step in seeing the problem through is for people to actually be honest and say they harbor feelings if ill will toward others different from themselves. No one likes to think of themselves as being racist, but will openly do things that are racist. And will rationalize why it’s not racism.

a future perspective

Let’s say 1,000 years from now, when we look back in history and observe America as a nation. Will we think to ourselves, wow, people actually fought about color. It will seem so primitive. Who knows, America might not even be a country at that point. What’s interesting is that we will have video footage of today, and even the past. Which will took even more odd to a future generation. But my thing about us today is that do we even care. I don’t think people in their daily lives think about how our future descendants will perceive us. Because 1,000 years from now is so insignificant to people’s current problems.


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INTERRACIAL DECISION MAKING: WHY I HAVE NEVER DATED OUTSIDE MY ETHNICITY

Related image

“Such a difficult decision.”


interracial 

Within my life, I have ever dated outside my ethnicity. Not that I don’t find anyone attractive, it’s more than just that. It’s a social aspect of living in America. Living i this country long enough, you realize there is a stigma with being in a relationship with a Black male. So I never even held a real conversation with a woman of another group in years. So I guess you can say I live by the ways of society. But it’s just too much of a job to date. I just want to meet someone and date. Why is everything a subject of debate?

lonely evenings

If you are going to only date your own ethnicity, then be prepared for a lot of lonely nights. Because you may be single for a very long time. Depending on what you want that cut of meat most likely is not available. Or, if you do meet someone in you group, it’s not in the right space and time for you to be in a relationship. But the life I am living is more conducive to women than men. Yet I am not holding out for a specific ethnicity. More so I am not able to deal with the hardships of interracial.

off limits

Remember I said earlier about Black men and stigma. Well, this notion that we are not to be spoken is a real sentiment. So, even in a space where the woman may come from an excepting household, it still is a bigger issue. That probably is a reason why I have been so single for so long. When you are only dating one type of person, that can be a very limiting selection situation. But still, females are told from other groups not to date us, so it’s hard to ignore.

playing life safe

When you play life safe, you will never know what else is out there. But for me, I still have that fear of coming in contact with what so many have to deal with, It’s depressing because you see people you like, who may like you, but the fear lingers. I don’t want to be the reason someone choose me, and it doesn’t work out. Then they lost everything around them for nothing.


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WHITE PRIVILEGE: WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN REALLY

apple, boss, business

“Living the lap of what, really.”


ideology

In the United States of social issues in America we are constantly inundated with terminology that shapes our society. And one of those terms is, “White Privilege.” But what does it truly mean here in America? Does it mean White people are afforded thew ability to do things no one else does? Does it mean White men and women are given a benefit of the doubt over other groups? Because I come from the Midwest, surrounded by poor, middle, and upper class White men and women. Men and women who grew up worse off than myself as an African American man. So lets observe what this all means.

laws

White man, not guilty; black guy, oh I know he did it. This arbitrary prevailing theory that anytime an African American is in court he/she will most likely go to jail than a White man for the same crime. And when you look statistically, it is true; Black men are far more likely to go to jail for the exact crime on average longer than his/her White male/female counterpart. Is that an aspect of the privilege argument? Well let’s see the two sides before we go any further, From the Black side I may add that court systems are comprised of mainly White judge, White Jury, and White prosecutor. So how does a Black male/female stand a chance, I should just confess even in innocence. The White individuals in the court are more likely to give the benefit of doubt to their own versus the decision to choose my fate. The White side would say, I am taking into consideration regarding his/her criminal record. I (White men and women) will give the benefit of doubt if you have a clean record. But if your rap sheet stretches around the block, you have proven you are not a productive member of society. So why would I let you off the hook.

finances

Is there a financial theory behind the White privilege argument? It doesn’t seem like it when you observe the lives of professional athletes. Who by the way are predominantly Black (NFL and NBA) and Latino (MLB). Yet these men are nowhere near a reflection of what it really is to be a member of a minority group. Because if you breakdown the average wealth of the American household, it’s nearly $50,000 for Whites, and around $10,000 for Blacks and Latinos. Could it be that White men and women have it easier? Or is there an underlying reasoning as to why Whites are holding an average number this high?

realities in all the fiction

There are realities of America, and then there are the fictional existences of our country. And yes, there are situations that exist where you have seen decision swayed to fit an agenda that has benefited the majority White community. But like I said earlier, coming from my small Midwest city, I see struggling families, not well-off families. And the reality behind White privilege is that there are people who are privileged. And for the most part they are White, but they aren’t even in the best interest of other White men and women. We all a whole community of Black and White are wrapped up in these agendas that create binds. When in reality we are in the same boat, but made to “feel” we are more different than similar.


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THE ILLUSION OF HARDSHIP: ARE RACE RELATIONS WORSE OR DO WE SEE MORE NOW

adult, african american woman, business

“Bad or getting better?”


a history of segregation

For the past few centuries, America has had this relationship that still until today has gripped the country. And now you look at the landscape of America and you wonder how far have we really come. Are things better or are the worse? Do we have to continue to fight, or is there less being fed to us more often that causes the problems we have in society? Because if you are an avid user of social media, you would think that America is still this hotbed of racism. So what is the true story behind all of the agendas?

social media

If you are a daily user of the internet, you are going to constantly be inundated with a lot of crazy information. But as it pertains to this topic of race relations, we have a plethora of videos out there in the world. Anything you want to see that pertains to race you’re going to see it. And everyday, there is a video of someone fighting a social issue. One of those things is police shootings that are on videos that are posted everyday. And if you didn’t know any better, you would think America is the scariest place on Earth. Only difference between now and the past is that we didn’t see everything that took place. But what role does mass media on television play in this craziness.

the news

When watching the news, you would think that the news has their own agenda when it comes to racial relations. They love to throw out there the slightest inkling of a a racial situation. It’s a long standing issue and people will bite on the story a lot more than the run-of-the-mile story on the news. And it is because of this type of reporting that can drive people crazy. Or the fact that they don’t accurately portray the story for what happened. Almost as if the people in society need to be spoon fed little tid-bits of information.

reality

As I said before, we just see more and more than in the past. Trust and believe things were a lot worse in the past. The only difference is the exposure. We weren’t privy to a 24 hour news cycle. My mother remember channels were so few and far between that the radio was the best medium. Television was for people who had some form of financial means. Now everyone has a television or some access to news on some mobile device.


My Personal Website: www.faheemjackson.squarespace.com

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