A WHOLE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN: GROWING UP BLACK IN A WHITE HOUSEHOLD

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“The struggle is real.”


a home is a home

When you are child, no matter what the household you grow up in, a home is a home. But what happens when you are as child that is adopted into a house where the parents are of another ethnicity? What are some of the challenges that the kid face when growing up in the house? They don’t understand anything about their surroundings. To them, this is their parents, but they will soon realize that there is something different than others kids lives. And looking into the mirror they soon realize the difference. And that’s when the questions arise.

black in white world

As a Black kid in a White household, you are cared for and loved like their own child. The moment you step outside, you start to quickly see the world around you. And when you step out with mom and dad, then you start to see the stares. And the treatment once you start making friends and especially dating presents a whole new challenge. How do White parents sit their Black child down and explain racism to the kid? Because Black parents are ready to have that conversation, but I don’t know how many White parents even think about racism in regards to raising a child. But they have to eventually have that conversation.

internal struggle

What is going through the minds on a daily for the Black kid? What are they struggling with that makes them have a different perspective on the world? Because like every other kid that is raised by someone of their ethnicity, they are able to attach themselves to a reality most Black kids don’t. Their adoptive family is being presented a child from a group that would normally not be in their family. And they are witnessing that it is not a group where you come from, but an upbringing that makes people who they are outside the social construct of America. But I also want to know what is the detachment from other Black people that you don’t feel, that you wished you did have? Because color and our experiences to a degree connect. But growing up in a White house can make you have separate similar experiences in life.


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I’M DEFEATED: WHEN THE SOCIAL TENSION BECOMES TOO MUCH

Image result for RACIAL PROTEST

“Too much to keep fighting.”


i’m exhausted

For the past few centuries there have been social strife in America. From Native Americans losing rights and fighting for justice, to African Americans, Women’s rights, Hispanic, and members of the LGBT community. But the issues sometimes can make you feel a little worn out. And that is the point where so many people tap out of the game. We tap out and say I can’t do this anymore. We should just remain separate from each other. But if there are not the people who do fight, then how do some many people get and retain their rights.  Yet the constant fighting does make you ignore a lot in our society.

when you give in

You would think that with so many people willing to not fight things in society would kind of progress. But not without putting up a fight in our country. And that is why to a degree you cannot stop fighting. Because the reason why society has not reached its full potential is because we get a place of comfort. We never want to change things without force since the change is so new and not guaranteed. The same old same is what has worked, but the new is so vulnerable. But there is always a generation pushing for things to change and to counter attack is a group that is used to things being a certain way. And usually when things are a certain way, it only benefits a chosen few. And rest have to deal with whatever they get in life.

does it ever stop

I wonder will there ever come a time where people just exist in a space of existence. The sad reality is that as long as there is a group that feels underrepresented and pushed out there will be tension. But the reality is there will always be a group. Not just because of the inequality, it’s the numbers of are society. You are just going to have this segment, as well as a group that deviates from the norm. My only concern is what will be the next major fight in America? We have seen income disparities, race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. But we have yet to have a major fight in this country over relationships. What will happen when we finally start to challenge marriage? How will that effect dating and marriage in this country? Maybe people will fight what marriage is in America? Because people themselves need a reason to push back against something, no matter how mundane.


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THE PARIAH PEOPLE: WHY WERE BLACK PEOPLE CHOSEN TO BE THIS PARIAH IN HISTORY

Man's Face

“Chosen, yet why?”


the history

The African American population has inhabited the United States since the original Africans were brought to America in the early 1600’s. And since then there has been consistent discrimination. But my question would be, “Why our group?” There has never been major invasions globally of African people conquering people and destroying their culture. When was the last time anyone of African descent invaded a country and robbed them of their resources? Or better yet, show the recent evidence of the African on European, or African on Asian, or African on Australian genocide. It has not happened yet we are more disliked than groups who doled out the actions throughout history.

not about “us” but about “us”

When the Americas’ was in the process of being built. Or better yet, when the land was being sought for control by Europeans from Natives, we weren’t here. What was the decision behind the groups being chosen. Were other groups taken into consideration when looking to build this new land? Well, for one, Africa and Europe are so close, especially the groups that took part in the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Another aspect of the chosen group would be who has the least ability to defend ones self. The technology was at a higher scale for that of Europeans for the time period. So being able to thwart off an enemy was more difficult for Africans. Ethnic conflicts that existed between tribes in Africa that didn’t exist in close European groups aided in the exploitation of groups of Africans. The numbers of people who were in close proximity to Europe was an advantage as well. But also, trying to use Europeans for slaves would have been impossible considering the owners were White. Difficult to establish a system where Whites are in power, subjugating Whites without a buffer group.

psychological takeover

There was one point in time where a 16 year girl could marry a 30 year old man. But that is considered statutory rape with a minor today. Yet we don’t have a special group of people who are different from the past. We don’t all of a sudden have morals now, we were just born in a time where that’s not ok. We think it’s our morale, yet when you’re born a system on this is how things work, it shapes our point of views and perspectives. So the systemic construct was this group is this way, this is how you shall feel about them. Meaning for the longest time, Black people were considered 75% people and 25% property. How do you convince an entire society that a person is only three-quarters human? You place science behind it, considering the average person is laymen and not well-educated they follow those who appear to have the extensive knowledge.

Here is where that logic fell apart, it was illegal for Black people to read. An offense that was nearly worse than escaping from a plantation. 75% human, but so much fear in letting a person read. It’s because they weren’t 75%, they were 100% and reading could make you aware of the intertwined construct. But outside the science, is the idea of the dominant learned ones in power knowing more than ourselves. We follow to a great degree what those in higher position think and feel because we “perceive” them to be better or more learned than self. Especially if the system we are living under is working. We say, “It may be wrong, but it’s working.” “So they must be doing something right.”

the control of ones likeness

I have watched countless videos of people giving their perspective on Blacks in America from outside the country. And somewhere in the video, they are asked why they feel this way. And time and time again it has always been, “It’s what we seen on television/cinema/music/etc.” So I think to myself, are we this really hated group, or is it that the world knows what is shown to them. Because close to 100% of people outside America will never come in contact with us (Black people) here in America. And since Black people in America are so communal, we rarely leave our neighborhoods. So the only insight into who were are comes through the medium of T.V. and film. Yet we are not the major exporters of our likeness globally. And that is almost an even bigger problem than issues here in America. The need to have a say in self is very important. We are the only group where another group tells the world at large who we are without the input of that group. And that is something that shall be curbed. But it must be curbed by the people themselves. And when I say people I mean Black people. It shall never be left up to White men and women to interpret us to the world, that is our job. You never look to another group for affirmation as to who you are as a person. Because your likeness will be expressed based on how I see you, not necessarily based on who you are as a group.


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PAPER BAG TEST: IS THE TEST STILL RELEVANT TODAY

Image result for paperbag

“Who should receive the better treatment?”


the test

The paper bag test is a test that was given to Black people in the past to figure out how much privilege should the person truly have in society. It not only is what enabled certain Black people to go to schools, it aided in controlling who worked jobs, dated/marriage, and who lived in certain neighborhoods. But what it ultimately did was create a divide in the Black community. Because now it was a way to pin two sides against each other even though socially and ethnically they were the same group. This would go on to create decades of turmoil in America.

dating in America

Now, as we put this in its proper context today, we have to acknowledge the fact that this is not how things are done today. But what about dating in society, is this still a reality? Because there is still this coloration mentality of who gets treated better, the dark skin or the light skin Black people. And there are still people not only in Black communities, but also outside that choose to go with the light side. Black people choose for the idea of having children that look more racially ambiguous as to thwart off issues that child will face in life. And any other group so that their child don’t have to deal with the racial tension. Because people will automatically assume that person who is lighter is non-Black.

employment

Hiring someone that looks more biracial is seen as being very neutral in respects to color. The darker the person, the more intimidating the person is seen as. So you hire the lighter person because they will make people feel a lot more relaxed on the job. And what this does is creates a friction as well within a community. Where now if you are lighter, then you feel tension from within your own group. Yet both of you are still in the same social position. Because that lighter person attaining the work is still on a conditional basis.

community living

Living in certain neighborhoods, you may be seen as more accepting than if moving into the neighborhood being darker. Because the lighter you are, you’ll be perceived as a couple that is more racially ambiguous. And if your children are born, chances are they look more like they are “supposed” to belong in the area. Then again, walking around that neighborhood when your child is dark as night can tend to arise suspicion. And now you are faced with a decision to stay and deal or to move from the area. So to be honest, there are still social aspects of the paper bag test that still keeps two groups within a group disconnected and bickering.


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RACIAL DISCOMFORT: WHY ARE BLACK AND WHITE PEOPLE SO OFFSET IN EACH OTHER’S COMMUNITIES

Image result for black and white people

“Still discomfort after so much time.”


not your community

I live in Harlem, NYC, and I can tell you first hand there is a discomfort and a heightened awareness when White people are in the presence of Black people. But that awareness increases with us in predominantly White environments as well. How does two groups who have been in a country for so long still feel such discomfort around each other? Now, you can point to the idea that most people feel more comfortable around people that look like them than those that are different. But there is real social construct to the American landscape.

segregation alive and well

Like I said earlier, I live in NYC, a city with an array of diversity. And if you are someone not a fan of diversity, you are going to be miserable here. Because you are constantly in a position to have to deal with someone different than yourself. But I am from the Midwest, and you really don’t have to deal with too many people that don’t look like you. So the tolerance is a lot lower elsewhere in America. So for the most part the vast majority of your daily life is communicating with your own group for the rest of your life. From your school life, to social life, to dating, to what neighborhood you raise children within.

everything isn’t bigotry

Wanting to live around that share the same culture as you is not all hatred. Everything has to be looked at in context. But in a society where context is slowly going away, saying anything that is not the status quo can land you into trouble. But who decided being comfortable was bad. Like I said, context, if you are forcing someone from a neighborhood because ethnicity, now you’re in a really weird position. But discomfort will always exist in America because of the social construction.


My Personal Website: www.faheemjackson.squarespace.com

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My Personal Website: www.faheemjackson.squarespace.com

Instagram Me: @theefaheemjackson

Twitter Me: @2320howe

Medium.com/@faheemjackson

Tumblr Me: @fjackson44

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.


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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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