Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Freedom To "Be"

Hey peoples, what's what? I've relaxing, reading, and giving myself the opportunity to comtemplate big picture shit. When I was on vacation, I was watching C-Span (nerd alert) and I got into an interview being conducted with author Shelby Steele. If you don't know this cat, it doesn't matter. He's a fuckin' black conservative like Armstrong Williams, Larry Elder, and a buncha other Africans I can't stand.

Anyway I'm watching it 'cuz anything writers discuss in interviews I take note. He actually said something that hit home. Steele was asked about the Dyson/Cosby feud and he had an interesting take. He said Bill Cosby was challenging Black people to be free, to pursue greatness without asking permission, to do unusual, stimlating things without fear of failure or need for affirmation. I don't think that's what Old Bill was doing but I think Steele had a point in one area.

Any Black person who has lived for more than two minutes amongst our own knows one thing: We constantly define what is or is not Black. At a young age, muthafuckas will shame you out of any activity not deemed "African acceptable". I've heard the bullshit about Black kids being shunned in school because they were doing well and cats said they were "Acting white". That hasn't been my experience. You might not have gotten respect for being a street cat, but you got respect for being book smart. Where I'm from you take respect where you can get it.

The thing is we limit our own freedom by limiting what's acceptable for our people. We need to take those bullshit walls down and allow ourselves to do anything we want to do. White people limit our shit enough without us putting up barriers to what we can or can't do. If a cat rejects the barriers and becomes an iconoclast, like Shani Davis, he or she lives in virtual no-mans land. Black people don't respect what he does, white people just hate him.

We are excellent in every field of human endeavor we pursue, we just need to allow ourselves the freedom to pursue it.

Stay Ready,
KZ

25 comments:

The Stiltwalker said...

*stands up and applauds*

LOL- "african acceptable"

Ming Houser, Realtor said...

Thanks for the upliftment!

Serenity the SistahGeek said...

great food for thought this morning -- excellent post!

i like liquor and tv said...

Dopeness.

And I agree. I don't know where that "if you're black and smart, you're an outsider with your peers" junk came from. They were talking about that on Dateline (or 20/20) last week and I was outraged. That's not the real. It wasn't like that at all in school.

and lol...I agree, I don't think that's what Bill Cosby was trying to say all all, but the other dude had a point.

Little Brown Girl said...

Right arm extend, fist in the air!!!

I LOVE IT...

chele said...

I don't know if that's what Bill meant either, but we have to learn to shed the fear and know that our possibilities are limitless.

Thanks for this.

Robert L. Mack said...

KZ,

Very good big bruh...I dealt with this issue all thru school. Its part of why I am the way I am now. Females that didnt like me because I was too nice or because I wasnt a thug. I would love to see these people now as I'm a year away from my 10 yr HS reunion.

And who said it was cool to be dumb?

Anonymous said...

Great post, Zed.

My beef is that blacks folks build these walls around bullsheyot...they don't even reach for the hot shyt, e.g. all the folks who think certain jobs are for whites and blacks...

It's crazy how black folks have continued to enslave themselves over the years.

sj-the-infamous said...

I'd like to believe I am quite the liberal but over the years, I've taken less issue with Shelby Steele than Armstrong Williams...I dunno, Steele's writing makes me think without all the emotion, but I can't even say/type Armstrong Williams without rolling my eyes
*eyes rollin*
and the black dude that got arrested for credit card fraud at Target that used to be Dumbya's right hand man on domestic policy??? Now THAT AFRICAN is on some SPECIAL SHIT. But to say that even the positions and views conversatives hold are "not Black" or to disrespct them for it...is that not limiting their freedom? I may not agree with them for the most part, but I have to respect their stance, even if it makes no damn sense....

Am I making any?

Prophetess said...

Now that was right on, brother. That there was the shit, Zed, and you know I mean it.

My thing is this: I love to see peoples' Lights shine. I really do. I love it. And if you're steady reaching for your Star, then I say good for you. You know Whitey has spread the bad word about negroes so far and so fast that even now Mexicans have the nerve to look down on Afro Americans. In our own country... Yes. It is true. And all the other nations of people in this world look down on Blacks as well because this is what White America wants them to do.

It so bad, that negroes really believe that is okay to say and do the things they do in Rap videos and songs. Just gotta keep being buffoonish entertainment for the Man. That's all we've ever been for Whites and that's entertainment. That's why we don't get taken seriously on other shit in the World today.

Where's that little Black boy from back in the Day with his school books in his arms and his eyes on the Prize?

I find it strange and thought-provoking that it is nearly impossible for a young Black male student to find funding for his college career, but rapping ass thugs from the streets be sitting in million dollar mansions, wiping they asses on $100 bills. Kind of shit is that?

But it wouldn't be like that unless we (the Black race) change it. We have to strive for bigger and better, more intelligent things.

And the sad part is that we don't even recognize and accept our own Power...

Knockout Zed said...

@ All y'all
Thanks for the appreciation! I'm gonna comment to some individuals that demand answers. Inquiring minds wanna know!

@Mack
You know what was funny about my 10 year reunion? I was valedictorian and I was pretty "middle of the pack" as far as actual post-school achievement goes. Two knucklehead cats were a doctor and a lawyer. This chick I used to shit on for being dizzy was a fuckin' real estate mogul. This girl I used to kick it with was an English professor at Penn State. It was sick!

@CG
That little job "box" shit has got to stop. You ever notice how the VP in charge of nothing is always a black person? VP of Community Relations = Black job.

@SJ
You know, there's nothing inherently wrong with being a Black conservative. I probably hold more conservative views than liberal ones myself. The issue I have with certain Black conservatives is the fuckin' free pass they give YT. For instance, they'll dismiss slavery and racism as excuses, minor annoyances. "Well slavery's been over since the 1860s. We've done XY and Z to ourselves. Look at how we act!" Nigga, slavery is WHY we act the way we act! How you gon' blow that shit off? You don't have to be monolithic thinkers, but you gotta be a thinker.

@Insanity
We're living in the Coon Age. Ain't no escaping this shit. Muthafuckas will get rich jiggabooin' and shit and think they can't get called on the carpet. That's that 90's shit. The amount of money you make justifying you showin' yo' ass like a proverbial monkey (not munkee!). "I'm paid doe!" These muthafuckas...

KZ

Honest said...

Thanks dude. Classic...oh and "your comments" in your comment section, the reason why you're on my must read list.

Phoenix said...

You put it so well. I was (and soometimes still) am teased about "acting or talking" white. What the Hell does that mean? so now my answer to those who may say that to me is, "no I'm bilingual - I speak standard english and ebonics."

Anonymous said...

great post. i can't stand shelby steele eith, but sounds like he made a good point.

Superstar Nic said...

Ain't nothing wrong with watching C-Span! I watch it along with most of the other news channels. What better way is it to know about whats going on in the world?!?!?

Good post!

Disco said...

love this post Zed, and you areright. And you know growing up in the "D", seeing as though eveeerything is racially polarized here, nigga's hate on you if you "act white" and like you said the whites don't want your ass up in Country Day, Liggett, or Cranbrok. But my thing is this: I'm here bitches, deal with it! I refuse to limit my shit! And since I am raising this lil boy to be a forward thinking individual,.....this shall BE the norm for him....not accepting what OTHER african's say and make the rules for YOURSELF as to what you want to be and where you want to go.

Loves ya!
R.

A.u.n.t. Jackie said...

well that was appropriate and on point African!

I was teased for talking "white" listening to "white" music and all of that stuff growing up, but mean while I just never thought highly of being anything but myself..I wasn't from the hood, I couldn't fake it.

That was that!

Luckily by high schools my Valley Girl style was finally in style.

I thank my parents for raising me to be an individual and not a rat in the race or a monkey in the circus!

Sangindiva said...

This post is yet another reason why I love you.
It is true that whatever we get into we (as black folks)
take over. You brought out an excellent point-
Stop holding yourself back with thought of failure!
Great post!
P.S. I gave you a public shout out...
'cause we cool like dat :)

Mr.Slish said...

When ever you're ready to start the Free Yo Mind revolution....I'm behind you Son

nikki said...

EXCELLENT POST!

i agree. the definition of "blackness" should be "the freedom to pursue all that will empower us and uplift our folk"

that isn't limited to being a member of the democratic party or a fan of hip-hop. we've got to represent in alll facets of politics and music and art and the corporate world. there is no such thing as 'one view' among black folk because we've all come up with different life experiences that shape our belief system.

ILL said...

I Just Rolled Up On Ya Blog Today, And I Must Say... Good Stuff, Cousin...

Anonymous said...

I like that, I agree.

So...Wise...Sista said...

Indeed!

Just like your experience is with getting respect for being book smart and others' may be the exact opposite...Black folks represent so many different possibilities and realities. You're so right, the sky's the limit...but it's all about Opportunity.

the prisoner's wife said...

very well said.

i've often wondered why white people can get away with being "different," while as black folks we are constantly put into boxes (hair, complexion, diction, family status, education, etc, etc...). i'm one of those people that "learned" early on that i needed to have a silver tongue to go with my sharp mind if i wanted to make it as a private school kid living in the 'hood. never really fitting in in either setting.

great post.

Chubby Chocolate said...

Doing my happy dance..So there is another African out there who isn't afriad to say it....LOVE IT!