JUNETEENTH DAY: WHERE ARE WE NOW FROM THEN

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“The descendants of blood, sweat, and tears, still going strong.”


Today marks the 152nd anniversary in which the first Juneteenth Day celebration was held in Galveston, Texas. And for those of you that are unfamiliar with Juneteenth, it is the celebration that marks the freedom of slaves in the United States. And in this time period, so much has taken place in the United States. From leaving slavery and entering Jim Crow south to electing the the United States first Black president into office. There has been a lot of ups and down over the past 150 years, but what has changed? Recently, there was an acquittal of yet another police officer for shooting and unarmed Black male.

But, the question I want to ask for this post is, what further must be done to insure that we are not relegated to the past. Now I know slavery is a jump, but man has a way of repeating history. And it may not even be us, but someone else. Which is why the conversations should always be around because once we forget, it is bound to happen again. I know for a fact I don’t want to wind-up back in subjugation. Now, some may say, that is just ludicrous. We are in a different time period than the past, and another slave trade could not possibly happen. Yes, that is true, I don’t see another slave trade in America, but what about somewhere else?

What about sex slavery? Sex slavery is not only still a big issue, but there has been cases of this in United States. Holding people against their will and making them sell themselves in the form of sex for payment. The person gets no money and the other using them takes everything. Yet even though this is a problem, it is not the biggest concern of Black people or anybody else for that matter in America. So concerning Black people in America, what does our future hold for us? Will things get better in the community or will they worsen?

I have been taking notice to the state of Black America, and I would love to think that the community is getting better. But it’s hard to see because in the now, it doesn’t seem that way. It seems as if the issues are worsening, especially with the slow economics of America. I don’t like being pessimistic, but it’s tough to say. And in the end, that is the reality as it pertains to our future. Because there are so many White men and women struggling themselves, so I know we are having hard times. But hopefully I am just being paranoid, and the future holds something for us. If not, we could see a role back of everything we have fought for in this country.


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RELIGUGATION: HOW RELIGION HAS BEEN USED AGAINST THE BLACK COMMUNITY

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“Why we worship.”


Throughout American history, Black people have always turned to the church as a way of coping in this country. It has served as a sanctuary for us to congregate to praise God and also a meeting place for community issues. But with what has come of the church that is good, there is a darker side to Black people and religion. And that downside comes with subjugation from a time period when we were considered less than human. So why do so many of us believe in the Christian beliefs of America given our volatile history of the past? Well, it first starts with the way we were inundated with the belief.

When Black people were first brought to the New World, we were bought and sold at different ports throughout North and South America. And depending on what country you were sent to, you had a belief that effected you in a different way. As far as the United States, beliefs that Black people took on were either forced or we assimilated to. But just the believing is not enough to understand our relationship with it, but how it effects us. One way is how we have raised our children. And one of those methods of dealing with children is chastising your child/children. Whooping your child is commonplace and not necessarily because they did something really bad.

For example, I remember asking elders say that you couldn’t question adults. You couldn’t just ask an older person a question regarding adult things in life. But if you look at African cultures where young people are supposed to ask elders questions, why do we here have such adverse reaction to our children. During slavery that link between old and young was cut. So the elders in America whooping children is what was done here in this country as a means of surviving under duress. But is that a good thing to whoop a kid for something so simplistic. No it isn’t, but the whooping was to put fear of the “idea” of what White people “could do” to our children.

This is scary because it aims at understanding the fear, guilt, and shame. That same fear, guilt, and shame is correlated with the bible. So it was a perfect combination to keep Black people mentally impotent. So with what has been said, do we continue to believe? Or, do we ditch the faith base all together and start fresh. Because we are no longer slaves and why not. Well, one reason to continue to this is all we know. and the other is the loyalty to the people who came before us. Those past people used Christianity, even if forced on us, in our own way to create joyful music, raise children, and get us through troubling times. In the end, the choice will be up to the person believing in the faith base. But as Black people, we cannot hide the fact religion has had a strong impact on the Black community.


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What’s Black and White?

Recently in the news, the topic of race and racism has popped it’s head once again. Let’s first be clear, Race is the classification of a species with similar physical characteristics. We as humans are one race that belong to the same group. Now there are other species that are similar to humans; the obvious being Apes. There is a one percent difference between us and our Ape friends, which is fairly close. Racism is the prejudice against a race that is different than your own, more often seen as ones’ superiority over another race. So let me get this straight, Humans are racist against chickens. No, humans are racist against cows, but that doesn’t make sense either. So how can two people from the same species be seen as racist against another. Well, that’s where social relationships come into place. A human is not capable of being racist being that we belong to the same race. But man has figured out a way to get the same species to feel that one group within the same species is better or the lesser in comparison to the other. How does manage to happen? If we evolved together how do you convince people that race is different? Well, from the out of Africa theory that stated we evolved in present day Ethiopia, and later ventured out into the world. Given that we didn’t have internet to connect us, as time went on, and we evolved, we eventually met up with our long lost ancestors. But there were no records of the out of Africa theory, they just ventured out. So with that said, there’s no wonder why groups of people clashed and fought with each other. Eventually conquering lands and forcing each other in slavery and other forms of subjugation and persecution.

As far as America is concerned, we have a color construct that exist in our nation. This color line has been in this country going back a few centuries. It didn’t start with the Native Americans, but with the Trans Atlantic Slave trade. There had to be e method to keep people from blending together because had this had happened, the slave owners would be wiped from existence. How, well for example, Black and White gives way to a more Black looking child. When that child is with Black, then the is still related to the White relative by blood, yet the stand a chance of being full Black. Now those words pop up again; Black and White. What is Black and White? Is it a color or more so is it an idea of some sort? Because yes, skin color can be classified as White of Black, but the idea of Black or White in America or the Americas is a social construct. For example, a man from France and a woman from Italy are actually interracial because they belong to two separate groups within the race that is human. But in America, they are seen as a White man and a White woman. How and why does this happen is a topic of discussion. From my understanding this is done so as to make people think they are different for self preservation reasons. Ethnically, America is extremely diverse, but color boundaries make creates fewer groups in the country. This is where you get the fight between Blacks and Whites.

Black people for the most part, due to the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade are unable to trace their ancestry. So anyone who bares our resemblance typically falls under that category. Germans, Polish, Dutch, Irish Italians, Sicilians, Spaniards, English, Portuguese, Swiss, etc. fall under White. Now Asians are different than Europeans, but Russians who are Asians, fall under White in America. Africans new to America fall under Black, and anyone East of Russia and the Middle East are considered East Asian. Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Tai, Vietnamese, Cambodian, etc. belong to the East Asian community. Now Latinos are interesting because Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, Colombians, Venezuelans, Chileans, Argentines, and Brazilians all are under this category. But some of these people look more African so they fall under Black in the Americas and those that bare the resemblance of Europeans fall under White. So a Cuban that looks European is White in the United States and a Cuban that looks African is Black in the United States. Now both of them are from the same country, but become different as they come to the U.S.A. And why is this you say, once again self preservation.

But not also self preservation, but also as a way to designate your enemy. We place a color label so we can keep almost like a tab on groups of people we perceive to be different that ourselves. What ruins this whole plan is Latin America in the United States. Because a Dominican can be considered Black in America or White in America, but are of Mixed ancestry. You see how confusing it all is to someone who is from America, so understandably it will be to a foreigner. Another wrench throw into the game is religion. The United States has become so enthralled with labeling by way of skin color, we try to capture this same judgement with religion and it can fall short. This is why the fight against radicals using Islam to push their cause can be tough. Religion is a belief, with less than 1/3 of Muslim from Saudi Arabia and over 1 billion worldwide it’s nearly impossible to label. In the U.S.A., color constructing allows for you to go, this group is to blame for this and that group is to blame for that; how can you do this with religion. For example, Islam states that if life is threatened and death is imminent, act as your enemies to stay alive. How do you label a group that can easily blend into society if worst comes to worst. I’ll tell you how we come up with labels because we do it through Black and White. We use Black and White to categorize so much that we try to implement it via religion and it falls short.

The confusion of not being able to label puts some groups at what they consider a disadvantage. If we can not say what’s Black or White or Brown, how can one continue to oppress or place blame on another. Well Black and White are slowly moving away from color to an overall idea. Black is perceived as the lesser and White is seen as more in charge. With these color constructs slowly fading, eliminating into nonexistence, man must now choose a new paradigm. The new paradigm socially is class to place people in groups. Black and White will still be the idea for what’s rich and poor, good or bad, but social class will make it so that a poor White person (skin color) is Black (socially) and a rich Black person (skin) is White (socially). The confusion will forever exist as long as man continues to find ways to control the masses by making us feel we are more different than we are similar.