Friday, October 15, 2010

Are We Realizing our Self-Worth?

Each time I reminisce about the struggles that my people have endured over the years, it pains me. The idea that my predecessors in the past made my present and future hopeful and productive is enough to motivate me to be appreciative. Although I was not present during slavery and the civil rights movement, I am completely aware that without certain individuals' courage, determination, and passion, life would cease to be as I know it. Today, it may be hard to grasp the concept that we as African Americans were not always allowed to speak our minds. A century ago, if we would have attempted that, we would have been lynched. We take for granted our civil rights although I can remember a time in history when we had none. We as African Americans were viewed as less than human. In the early 1900s, we could simply be walking down a dirt road whistling to ourselves. If a white person or group came along and saw us, there was no telling what could have happened. The fact that the white people could decide to torture and murder us without any repercussions is horrific. The unintelligible part of this is that they could do this for apparently no reason at all. What then, was our crime? The answer is simple: being Black.
To them, Blackness screams inferiority, savagery, ignorance, and licentious behavior. The Black person was constantly reminded of their "place" within society. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Black person's mentality was self-defeating in the sense that some may actually have believed this. It is a sad, but true reality. I am proud of my race for the gains that we have secured over the decades. It has been a long, hard struggle and we still have a significant way to go. That brings me to the present day. If you turn on the tv to BET, what are you more likely to see? Is there a special on about the civil rights movement or is it just a typical rap video in which women are "shakin what they momma gave them?" I look at that in disgust because we as Black women have been our master's mistresses, the mother of his kids, and the basic property of men in general. How dare they subject themselves to such demeaning behavior? To me, Black women have had to deal with their own personal struggles in society because they were seen as more inferior than the Black man. They had to substantiate the fact that they are human, that Black is beautiful, and that women can do the same tasks that men can, if not better. Knowing this, I can't understand how a woman can demean herself on camera just for a paycheck. Where did our self-worth go?

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