Challenging Black Inferiority
The early morning phone call, the searing sounds of clothes being washed coming from the laundry room, the not so good coffee, all of these negatives I've dealt with this morning, but they haven't bothered me as much as the conversation I had last night. I woke up this morning with his voice still ringing in my ear, alongside with everything he had said, still echoing in the furthest parts of my brain, "Blacks will never own things, like white people do! It was setup for us to fail because the "American Dream" was not built with us (black people) in mind."
I mean damn! I know that to be true, but for it to be said by such a successful black man himself, a microbiologist at a private owned facility in North Dallas seemingly sealed my fate last night. Having thoughts to myself of just giving up on everything that I am doing right now to make a life for myself and my unborn children. I am a man of great faith, a man who believes that if you work hard enough, things can actual come to fruition, but his words took the steam right out of me, even if it was just for a moment. I positioned myself in bed last night dissecting the conversation I had previously had with him in an attempt to rationalize what was being said; to see if there was any truth to it at all, and justly it was.
Though there was truth to it, something in my spirit still wanted to confront, pushback, and rival his statements. I've been a fighter all my life, and deep within my alter ego something became cognizant.
Amongst all the things that was said to me, the one that hit home the most was when he spoke out in his comparisons of Oprah and Bill Gates, saying, "Look at Oprah, she's worth $2 billion after all those years of commission, and Bill Gates is worth $70 billion! Look at the scheme of things, she's worked just as long and hard and her 2 is a drop in the bucket to his 70!"
He was right! In that moment no lightbulb went off, he wasn't informing me of anything that I didn't already know, but I still decided to challenge him in this debate that blacks could never grow to be something bigger than what we are in this instance. As always when I'm faced with a problem I look for solutions. So how do we change this you might ask. I say we start with creating a stronger brand, not just a black brand, but a brand! Through STEM programs in our communities let's create more mathematicians, scientist, architects and engineers. Let's create companies and build on them instead of selling them to the first potential buyer for a piece of change. We have to create a lane of success for our children outside of a basketball, football, or microphone, and any other avenue that allows us to make money off of a natural talent and not our brain, because tha reality is, not all of our children are going to make it pro!
What I'm saying is this change has to start with us! Not looking down on our people, not looking down on ourselves; we can't continue to live off of the status quo and feel like just because we make enough to survive we're ok! I wanna live, I don't want to just exist and you shouldn't either and you don't have to! So my challenge is to think bigger than yourself, think 20 years down the line, create something that your community needs! To the black barber, think about a franchise and not just a chair, to the junior partner at a prestigious law firm, think about owning your own law firm, to the corner store owner, think expansion outside of the neighborhood, and to all of those who make it out of the ghetto or your neighborhoods, give back even if it's just a few hours a month. That consistency can change some young boy/girls life.
We have to be the panacea of what ails our communities.
Are you ok with just enough? Do you challenge the status-quo? Are you one that always address the problem with no solution?