I have spent quite some time observing from
the sidelines, everyone's comments on racial
identity. It would seem, at times, despite
historical justification of our feelings
toward whites, that our hurt reigns as nasty
in our views toward them as we criticize
supremacist indifference toward us.  As the
years have gone by, the white monopoly on
has pretty much evolved to a well-integrated
mutual racial contempt.  Since this board is
about sharing perspectives, I’d like to give
some food for thought.
	I am now 32 and having grown up in the post
civil rights era of the 1970’s, I was
under integration.  My grandfather, as with
others in my family, was a schoolteacher. He
attended an all black teacher’s college and
taught in the segregated school system. 
the many stories of racial hatred that they
experienced at the hands of the whites in
power, was a tale of solidarity of purpose
within the black community to prevail and to
begin their own legacy of excellence. 
being grossly underpaid and under funded,
black teachers and schools took pride in
challenging the minds of youth.  They didn’t
know anything about being Afro-centric.  They
were just people of a common color under a
common experience of hatred and hostility
grasping whatever spiritual strength passed
from their slave ancestors and new world
cultures to create a common thread of decency
and moral order in the fight toward freedom. 

What is important about that thread is that
it made us unique as a people.  We became a
one tribe or family.  There is no such thing,
for us, as being African.  Africa is as
diverse in its cultures, its history of
and legacy of evils as any other land.  There
are peoples who hate each other there as much
as the white Irish Catholic and Protestants. 
There are people of pagan and satanic tribes,
Muslim, Hebrew, and Christian; hardly a
continent of monolithic people and beliefs.
we were all able to fully trace our direct
ancestry, would we really be at home?  For
whatever purpose, we are an enigma to world
culture.  Our legacy was birthed from the
death of our African tribe affiliations under
slavery and we have accomplished, through
great evils, a commonality that we have yet
fully comprehend or identify its purpose.
When we made the first steps toward freedom,
I believe that we became entranced by all the
trappings of the white world, much like God
warned against when slaves made their exodus
from Egypt.  Culture is much more than
and artifacts.  Those things are normally
byproducts and reflective of a common
spirituality and belief.  Bowing to a golden
calf today means the same as it did thousands
of years ago even though you bought it from
Macy’s.   We assimilated much of this
pot” culture without exercising wisdom in
considering the effects of its content on our
spiritual health.
Although I have benefited greatly from the
strides made during the civil rights era, I
believe that integration, as it was
implemented, destroyed much of our potential.

Our schools were raped of their best teachers
while our kids were thrust into hostile
environments with white teachers who didn’t
give a damn. Athletic blacks were exploited
and not educated.  Intellectual blacks were
separated to be further assimilated into
culture.  The backlash created by this
practice fell upon me greatly as a precocious
young intellectual. 
 Before I had even my first sit down
conversation with a white person, I was
accused by my own of being or sounding too
white simply by the content of my vocabulary
and ability to speak it.  Not being old
to know what racism was, let alone how to act
white, it was a daily spectacle for someone
black to come up to me, ask me to speak, and
skip away laughing saying,  “I told you he
sounded white”.
Entering elementary school out of the
projects after 5 other brothers and sisters
who were considered ‘normal black kids’, I
found that white people, for some reason,
very much interested in me.  A specialist was
provided to correct any remaining flaws in my
speech through unprecedented tutoring; I was
recruited into special clubs, and invited to
all the parties.  They even drove into the
hood to pick me up.  I found that it was
trendy for white people to invite the black
they’d most likely bring to the country club
if he were white, to events.  At the time, it
was a welcomed break from feeling inadequate
as a black male… til the summer of my 2nd
of elementary school.
I, along with a few of my brothers and
neighborhood friends attended summer camp at
school and had to walk roughly 3 miles to get
home.   The trip took us down a road
a white neighborhood.  I was only 7 but
recall vividly the terrifying reality of
racism as 4 men in a white truck chased us,
trying to run us down.  My brothers dragged
like a rag while these men yelled racial
slurs.  We found a shortcut and ran through a
patch of woods bordering our own
 That was my indoctrination to racism of the
white perspective.  Through the 70’s and into
the 80’s my friends and I were chased no less
than 5 times by whites in vehicles, I was
knocked off of my bicycle riding home from
school, and became a part of a growing number
of black males with an eye toward
 My Christian upbringing tempered me.  Many
of my contemporaries are jailed to this day.
I spent the better part of my elementary
school days adjusting myself  to make myself
more palatable to my own- hey, they were all
had;  and being skeptical of the intentions
of anyone white.  My maturing enough to see
the treatment of my mother as I tagged along
while she cleaned white people’s offices and
homes, and my father, who worked in a state
job with an illiterate white boss who called
him in to read items for him, reinforced this
mentality.  We’re talking 1970’s through
80’s; not ancient history as some whites
would have you to believe.
I recall calling a white friend at home in Jr
high only to hear her brother tell her
father, “it’s her n-gger boyfriend”.  I don’t
know what she could have said or done at age
13, but I didn’t forgive her for not taking
for me and never spoke with her again.  We
also had riots between students from my
predominately black school and rednecks from
the other Jr. high school. We didn’t attend
many school dances because the committee
forbade that “n-gger rap music”. Then Vanilla
Ice and the Beastie Boys made rap acceptable.
 My black sistahs seemed only after the bad
boys and didn’t know what kind of creature I
was, looking black but not sounding quite
black.   My brothahs, even the bad boys,
thought I was cool.  I was into books but I
wasn’t a nerd.  My father, though divorced by
Jr. high, taught me to fight and I was a
S.O.B. who would just a soon bust you over
your head while calling you names in more
syllables than you thought there were in any
word.  And I learned to use the toughness of
There were many schools of thought in what
freedoms the civil rights struggle should
produce.  It seemed to me that we fought for
the right to be assimilated into white
as though our own legacy had produced no
redeeming value beyond entertainment and
servitude.  Funny how some things still haven
t changed.  We still strive to live up to
standards and values set up by a culture
hostile to us and whose values are beneath
what we learned through our captivity.  
are signs of hope as visionaries have
embarked upon non-compromising ventures from
black perspective.  
Anyway, throughout high school I found myself
in upper level courses with very few blacks
and me usually the only black male.  I
remember giving oral reports and, unlike
others in the class, not being allowed to
my seat until the teacher was through
quizzing me on whether I actually could
the words I used.  It so angered me that
grades became secondary to the more important
social disparity I had noticed around me.  I
became more of an activist and less of a
student.  And it frightened the powers that
Even as a really know-nothing teen, I was
discovering the true roots of our black
legacy… and it wasn’t necessarily straight A
in someone else’s subject, to become the
government’s or someone else’s employee in
someone else’s company whose great great
grandfather founded off of the backs of
or emancipated, underpaid, and exploited
blacks- but oh, I’m sorry, the history of one
s attainment of wealth has no correlation to
the socio-economic history of the people
exploited.  Or better still “That yo great
great granddaddy robbed the bank 100 years
that had all my great great grand daddy’s
money in it, has nothing to do with the fact
that yo granddaddy invested some of that
and created a family fortune which created
opportunity  for your generation while my
granddaddy was so underpaid having to work
your family that I’m still a generation
behind you in economic equity.”   I don’t
a handout, just great great granddaddy’s
money with 100 years’ interest.
I remember my father telling me how he could
never trust the whites of his generation
because they only relented in their overt
racism because they had to relinquish power
they didn’t.  He saw the same ones who spat
and cursed him while he was growing up, in
judge’s robes, wearing badges, and owning
shops.  He didn’t like white people; but he
would not and did not discourage us from
cautiously optimistic despite his personal
A pastor once succinctly defined racism as
not a skin problem but a sin problem. Our
morals, values, ethics- all that we
spiritually or otherwise view as right or
wrong are the culmination of generations of
experiences measured against our view of God,
how he works in our lives, and how we define
our purpose by that relationship.  From that
we create a culture of living that reinforces
and standardizes the wisdom of our years by
which future generations can avoid the
pitfalls of the past.  
Those who share a common culture normally
share common physical features because people
who believe the same way or choose to live
under the same mores or ethics are the stuff
that early tribes and nations were made of.
the Bible, it was not uncommon for
non-Israelites to join the nation of Israel.
But the process of assimilation came with men
adopting circumcism as a permanent pledge and
testimony to abide by the divine laws of the
God of Israel.  The high cost of assimilation
sought to ensure that only those truly
and worthy to advance the essence of the
culture became a part of the culture.  These
rights of passage exist in many ways
throughout the cultures of the world with
color not being a factor.
“The Great American Melting Pot” is
assimilation without righteous meaning or
resolve. To abandon any and all aspects of
s culture of origin which prove to be a
hindrance to this culture driven by material
success. When money replaces God, then those
with the most seek to empower themselves as
God.  And as such they seek men made in their
own image.  If the culture is of monetary
worship, founded by European ideologies, what
do you expect the power base to consist of?
Or, better still, what color people would
dominate and what bar of assimilation would
guard the gates of their heaven?  The true
question is why would we ever seek to enter
in? I have learned that the battle to be won
is not based on the dominant color of one’s
skin- which is not a reliable basis of
indignation; but rather the unequivocal hue
the heart.  A dark soul wears many outer
I am still young by most people’s
perspectives and have a lot left to learn.
I do know that our purpose is not that of the
Japanese- to become better at the European
economics game than they are.  With it came
cultural and moral bankruptcy that is
destroying their youth, though at a far less
rate than what is happening in our culture. 
The best of who we are cannot continue to be
measured by how equally black we are
represented in a culture bereft of the
spiritual foundation by which we ought to
I recall hearing a white talk show host
defending the legacy of the white male by
stating all the advancements we would not
were it not for white contributions.  And it
is true that most indigenous cultures would
not have polluted the earth with gas powered
vehicles, nor spared the lives of Nazi’s and
give them place in our government for the
of advances in rocketry, nor gather the best
and brightest of Nazi and Japanese doctors
whose inhumane war atrocities and experiments
on POWs warranted their burning in hell, and
give them prominence in the American medical
community for the sake of medical
 I guess, like slavery, these were “necessary
evils” for the good of this culture.
Would black people have ever made the
advancements that white people have made in
this world?  No.  I believe our advancements
would have been; and will be, more holistic.
The decimation of our youth has brought about
a sense of urgency in determining what our
future should entail. I don’t exactly know
what the answer is but it is definitely not
trying to further infiltrate a culture which
has proven to be poisonous to the very soul
our being.  I am as spoiled by the trappings
of this culture as the next.  As everyone was
wondering if Y2K was going to bring the doom
predicted, I watched as the news went from
country to country with wondrous sites and
celebrations.  They sent one guy to a tribe
Africa whose only lights were the stars and
that which was atop the camera shining on the
reporter.  In solemn voice he labored over
these people’s obliviousness to the new
millennium and the impending troubles that
would impact computers and civilizations
worldwide.  I wished I had the strength to be
But then I thought… how wonderful an
opportunity we have in our understanding of
the world along with the spirit we’ve been
blessed to possess.  For better or worse, we
pose the greatest challenge to world culture
for we are the provocateurs of mind and
spirit.  You can see it in the recent
dominance of our music and the higher
platforms from which we now project our
ideals; even in this forum, which is also
by whites.  We’ve already said all that could
be said about our experience with whites. 
Echoes of disdain toward whites resound and
abound in every thread.  But when the fabric
of our being is woven from these spinning
wheels of words, what will the tapestry
as to who we really are?  Bitter and ugly; or
victorious and magnificent.  I challenge each
of you to weave the latter.
I love God above all else.  I know I fail to
show it everyday as much as I should.  What
important to me, as should be to you, is that
if you believe your cultural manifestation of
loving and living for God is true, that you
accept anyone who is willing to live with you
by that spiritual standard of commitment.  A
true sellout must also be also an infidel to someone else’s God.  
Not many whites are
willing or ready to suffer that wrath. Those
who do, should count as no less than
 Just as those of us who sell out to white
culture should not have a right of passage
simply by skin color. Many of our best
efforts and leaders have been figuratively and
literally slain through the use of such blacks.
Our emergence into cultural prominence is
being met by a resurgence of the old guard
who spat upon and cursed my father.  They are
concerned about the assimilation of their
grandchildren into our culture and have
filled the airwaves with rhetoric I only heard my
elders speak of; and from their positions of
power and influence, which they quietly
maintained their racial hatred over the years,
they are now feeling free to, once again, speak. Are we to be echoes of a different shade? 
I confess that in private anger, my
echo booms loud; but mostly in the silence of
my prayers.
I love my life for what I have been blessed
to learn and what I have been humbled to be
able to give to others.  It’s not much, but
hopefully enough to fulfill my purpose for
being here.  Which is not to be black; but as
best I can, to be Godly.   Blackness just
helps me get there a little faster.