by Gray Graham
The African American community in America needs to understand that they need to become organized. They need to seek out and find a group of leaders that are willing to fight for the issues that directly impact the African American community. These leaders need to do more than say things ranging from I hate White people to just work really hard and it will all be ok.
The African American community needs to be done with people that have a problem with being African American, they need to be done with people that believe that African Americans do not need leaders, and they need to be done with people that are not trying to support the African American community as a whole.
African Americans have got to understand that they need to support each other. It is more than just buying from African American owned businesses, those businesses in turn need to support the African American community. If you make it as an African American you need to understand that you need to make sure other African Americans make it.
Everything I am saying takes money and African Americans hate giving other African Americans money for anything other than hair, clothes, music, clubs, movies, plays, and shoes. We need more businesses in the African American community besides car washes and hair salons. We need banks, technology firms, hospitals, clinics, private schools, colleges, construction companies, and energy companies.
Until the 12+ million African Americans decide that these things are priorities and demand that we are treated the same as everyone else on all levels, nothing is going to change. These are not new ground breaking ideas. These are things all other groups already do in America. If some people don't want to get on-board then we need to leave them behind.
The problem we have in the United States is that until recently, African Americans were not allowed to self identify themselves as the government and those in power placed labels on them. Even today you still hear those of other ethnic groups that call African American the Blacks, instead of African Americans or even Black people. Our humanity is always called into question as we always have to justify why we should be allowed to do anything by those that hate us.
Many people do not understand that in the past it was deadly for too many African Americans to be together. They faced attacks from hate groups such as the Klu Klux Klan and even the police and other government officials. This created an environment where many African Americans prefered to try and go through life on their own instead of congregating with other African Americans.
Even today you hear many people ashamed of identifying as African American and instead preferring the slavery labels of Black, Colored, and Negro instead of accepting their African origins. To go one step further there are many people that would prefer to be called a nigger by other Black people than be called African American.
You would think this phenomena is something that would affect those in lower economic classes or lower educational backgrounds but in my experience it is just the opposite. It seems the more educated and the more successful an African American is the more they reject the African American culture. Many African Americans have accepted the fact that life is much easier when you reject anything historically African American for a more American way: translation a more White American way.
Lastly let's clear something up. The term African American was not started by Jesse Jackson. It is not new. It is what the former slaves called themselves along with Afro American. They wanted to make sure that it was known that their origins were in Africa and that they were born in American and part of this country just like all the other ethic groups of America.
It was former slave owners, the government, and the media that used the term Negroes or Colored to describe the former slaves until just after the Civil Rights movement. At that point the terms African American and Afro American were used by the media, universities, and the government as it always should have, but the damage has already been done. It was not until the mid 1960’s that people began to reject being called Negro and instead accepted Black. By the 1980’s the general public began to go back to the more accurate African American.
People forget that the African slaves were treated as animals and not as human beings. Slavery was not a new concept but treating other human beings as animals is. The African slaves were breed like cattle and often not allowed to form families or keep any part of their ancestors. The life that they endured would not be allowed today for dogs yet it is how human beings were treated for hundreds of years.
It is really sad that there are more non African Americans that care about African American culture than African Americans themselves. It is a problem that will take a lot of work and a lot of coming together to change.
Praying is always good. Praying with no work behind it is dead and pointless.