Friday, October 15, 2010

Why aren't you Aware?

Last year during a discussion with a friend, I mentioned Medgar Evers; the purpose I am not sure of. It shocked me that he asked me in a puzzling tone, "Who is that?" I am positive that the look on my face was one of complete disbelief. I then tried to explain who he was and what he did. My friend then responded by saying, "Oh...that must be a Mississippi thing...they never taught me anything involving him." Of course I had to take a moment of silence because I simply couldn't believe that this Black male had no knowledge of Medgar Evers!! I really tried to understand because as far back as elementary school, I could always remember there being a Black History program in February. Im not 100% sure, but I assumed that other schools put on similar productions. Therefore, the issue of not knowing one of the influential people such as Medgar Evers was foreign to me. I must admit that I was quite upset by his ignorance. It especially struck a nerve because he was a Black male. That moment still resonates with me today because I feel that Black men today have no clue of how they are able to do the things they do. They take for granted simple rights such as freedom of speech. They fail to understand that at one point in history, the Black man was the most hated being. He constantly had to fight for his rights and the power to BE.
Today, it pains me that Black men are so clueless. Not only are they clueless of their heritage, but they don't care. They walk around sagging with the latest urban fashion on. With a large percentage of them being unemployed, I still don't understand how they are able to sustain themselves. (That is for another topic). The fact of the matter is should the blame for not knowing be placed on the parents, the school system, or the individual? Who is responsible educating? In my opinion, it is all three of the above groups. Our education starts with our parents. They are the ones that tell us right from wrong. They possess the power to educate us about our heritage. The school system takes it a step further and gives our knowledge more depth. It is no longer about African American history because everyone's history is taught. Lastly, it is the responsibility of the individual to take initiative and retain all that is deemed valuable, especially information regarding being Black. We have a unique history, although many aspects of it are quite sad. However, I feel that "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." We as Black people are still here in society today and hold a plethora of leadership roles. As Ghandi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." We aren't playing the victim anymore. We are taking back what's ours and earning what we call our own every step of the way. With this being said, there is no reason for you to not know.

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