In 2019, What Black America Must Do To Correct The Damaged Brand Of Blackness.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

In 2019, What Black America Must Do To Correct The Damaged Brand Of Blackness.

June 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Education, News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( The inspiration behind many topics I address on this site result from my daily travels. My pen can be activated by a chance encounter, witnessing conflict or kindness between people strangers and a host of occurrences. Anyone who visits this space frequently can attest to the fact that much of my material flows from my interaction with students at Prairie View A & M University (PVAMU). I have been blessed (yes, blessed) to serve as an African-American Studies Professor on “The Hill” for the past 15 years.

There is never a mundane day when lecturing Black students about Race in America; a topic that despite their blackness, they know nothing about.

It is strange that a people who have been the primary victims of prejudice, discrimination, bigotry, and institutionalized racism, African-Americans are no more versed in the genesis and operationalization of the above issues than their “White” counterparts. After all, Race has dogged the American psyche since the initial parcel of Africans arrived in Jamestown (1619). Unfortunately for this nation, the continual presence of this nation’s foremost social cancer has done little to increase its citizens understanding of Race. A recent discussion with PVAMU students reiterated this point for me.

The alluded to verbal exchange revolved around non-physical forms of oppression beyond lynching, rape, burning at the stake, and sexual assault.

Central to the referenced discussion was the denigration Blacks via Minstrel show performances and xenophobic literature supported by half-witted pseudo-science research. I asked those assembled if they thought that the foremost result of four-hundred years of maligning of the Black image rendered it beyond repair.

These moments where students intellectual curiosity is activated in an uncommon manner are the “sweet spot” that few educators reach. I actually pity educators who never arrive at this moment of nirvana. Not to brag or boast, I take much pride in reaching this point during every lecture that I deliver.

The assertion that “blackness” has been damaged beyond repair was scoffed at by those assembled. These young people thought that I was attacking their generations as so many before I have done. Desperate to deliver my point, I explained to my students that their generation, like others before it, including mine, are the personification of what W.E.B. Du Bois addressed in The Souls of Black Folk. According to DuBois,

It is a peculiar sensation to view oneself through the eyes of another.

Despite their natural inclinations to resist the assertion, many Blacks view their kind through the same disapproving lens that a hostile White populace has historically used. In many ways, Blacks adoption of Whites disapproving view of African-Americans is predictable when one considers that much of the formers socialization has come from institutions created to extend the privilege of the latter. Put simply, far too many Blacks have adopted the worldview of a White school system and social hierarchy that propagates Black inferiority.

The accumulation of negative characterizations of Blacks from realms as diverse as text books, music videos, popular culture expressions, and commercials produces a perspective that Blacks are hopelessly inferior to all others.

It is this mass psychosis of low self-esteem that figures such as Marcus Garvey, Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Clarence 13X fought against via ideologies and belief systems that are akin to psychotropic drugs. I am certain that a figure such as Clarence 13X would counter those who criticize his insistence that “The Black Man is God” with pertinent questions revolving around identity, Race, and power. One can only wonder what transformation occurs inside downtrodden Blacks who have become convinced that they are the most powerful species on the Planet.

It is difficult to argue against the assertion that it may be time for Black America to divorce itself from white institutions that advance advantageous historical narratives and worldviews that seek to instruct them that not only are they doomed but that God Almighty ordained their unfortunate circumstances. One thing is for certain, until Blacks begin to educate their own with a narrative of liberation, they will remain in their dire situation.

There is little room to debate the reality that “If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got.”

Staff Writer; Dr. James Thomas Jones III

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One may also connect with this brother via TwitterDrJamestJones.

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