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Does there ever come a time in a Black persons life when their love for their culture can go from a respectable pride to taking things overboard?

Yes.

Not too long ago… matter of fact it was just yesterday, I got together with some friends to have an adult discussion; a casual meeting of the minds, coolly shared over some cheap wine and the soft spins of Boney James and Dwele.

Things were going well until a friend of a friend, who shall remain nameless, turned a healthy discussion on a plethora of topics, into a full-fledged war against anything he considered anti-African, or not Black enough to deserve consideration.

You know the type: only rocks the fist t-shirts, wears his fro proudly, (like most of us naturals do) and only listens to conscious music, because everything else is ear poison. They’ve dropped their slave name, cause they’re no ones “Toby.” They believe everything is a conspiracy for the White man’s gain. They rant and rave about the death of the Black man every time they see an interracial couple. And any issue that doesn’t come full circle with the Black existence, is a waste of time and keeps us from getting ahead in America.

To put it plainly… their love for being Black is an uncomfortable extreme and has gone from being a welcomed presence, to a perfect reason for you to either run or plug your ears.

Now, before any of you start in on me, or even form your lips, or your key pads, to accuse me of being a reverse racist, or a self-hating African American, I’m only examining an issue, not ridiculing anyone for their love for Black Pride.

I too… am proud to be an African American, but let’s all face it… there’s a thin line.

No. You can’t equate an afro with defining extreme Black Power, nor does listening to hip hop, or reciting slam poetry at the Black coffee house mean you’re an extreme Black Nationalist. But… there’s a serious difference between the celebration of our culture, to feeling the need to define your life and everything you do or say, solely by your Blackness.

The individuals I’m referring to, are the perfect poster children for the ideology that if it isn’t Black, wasn’t made by a Black person, or has no relation to Black people in general, then it’s not worth anyone’s energy and is likely taking up valuable time that could be spent discussing important Black issues, and building awareness for “The Cause.”

Not everything we as Black people discuss, has to trigger a pro Black response. Not every topic we examine, has to be coupled with a spoon full of strong nationalist medicine. Yet time and time again, many of us feel the need to push the envelope with our Blackness, by trying to reaffirm our pride to the world within our actions and our conversations.

We can love ourselves and still pay homage to our heritage, without having to push our pride on others like it’s the world perfect drug, or the solution to every problem.

Not every relevancy in the world has to be bookended by “the cause,” or centered on Black People and Black Issues.

When you have to constantly push color politics through every discussion or impose and promote your Blackness 24/7, then you’re forgetting one important factor… we’re people first, and our color should come there after.

Do you think there such a thing as being too extreme with Black Pride?

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  • Sometimes I think the best way to show ‘black pride’ if you like, is through your actions, ranting and raving is just boring.

    • choklitnluvnit

      I am the type of person this article is describing. I add my blackness into every activity I do and apply it to every subject I expound on. One reason “pro-blackness” is very uncomfortable to some is because they want to believe that America is the land of opportunity and if you try hard enough at something you can achieve it. Period.
      While this is very true indeed, the fact remains that for Black people we are missing something even after that success is achieved. That is our identity. If you have no identity you are lost. So whatever you do achieve, you ultimately praise and return that wealth right back to white society. That is why we subconsciously and consciously continue to try to dilute our melanin content by actively seeking non-black mates. We continue to judge and categorize ourselves by white standards and fail to create unity amongst ourselves. Look at all the rich Black celebrities who have achieved success and then look at who many of them are with romantically. Look at what some of them stand for (lyrics in music, movie roles). That is not just a choice. It is much deeper than that. We value men and women of other races more than our own because many of us do not know that our past does not only consist of slavery.

  • Elizabeth

    I agree. There is a fine line between having black pride and being ethnocentrist. Not everything in the world is revolved around racism, I would think that the world revolves around money. Well not think, know that the world is revolved around money. The very concept of race evolved from money. Before the export of African slavery around the world no body thought in terms of race. nobody thought of themselves as Black, white, Asian, etc. They didn’t even think of themselves as Mexican, Sudanese, Thai. Countries were established becasue of money. This doesn’t mean that racism doesn’t exist but it is a by product.I think people need to see the larger picture. Being ethnocentric doesn’t solve problems, it kind of makes more problems. Especially when it comes doen to relationships.

  • mia

    I’ll charge this to humor…who is writing these articles? What is the purpose of ‘black voices’ if it is subliminally ingraining a failed sense of what it means to embrace and honor your race. The nerve of you to degrade and downplay those who are free enough to fight for you as you allow yourself to be whitewashed.. the nerve of you to label black power as extreme while a struggle for equality is never ending, and the sadness I take in the fact that you fear the pride of your own nation. There will be more sheep than shepards and there will be more ants than lions. Grow a backbone…or rather ‘black’bone.

  • Olohi

    By all means have pride and dignity in your race but balance is necessary. Extremism for the most part defeats the cause. As a Nigerian living in Africa, i sometimes get amused at how far ‘afrocentrism’ is taken in the west. Through the ‘black pride’ i constantly catch glimpses of an enduring insecurity.Want to reconnect with your African roots?By all means come to Africa, learn about the local culture, visit the shrines of our gods and goddesses,buy a house in Africa!Spend less time ranting and raving about victimization and feed the African in you.
    The motherland awaits with open arms.

  • DyelveDup

    When the age of the modern tablet was ushered in just over a year ago with the introduction of Apple’s iPad, tablets were called a “third class” of personal gadget to complement the laptop computer and the smartphone. The implication was that a tablet will be just as essential as those other devices have become — but is that really the case? Do tablets do anything you can’t already do if you already have a laptop or a smartphone? Let’s go over the facts to find the answer.
    A unique angle?
    Does a tablet do anything a laptop or smartphone can’t do? There are plenty of things laptops do that smartphones can’t, such as word processing, software and web development, tasks that require a ton of multitasking, and anything that demands a lot of processing power, a physical keyboard, or a large screen. Likewise, smartphones offer functionality your laptop will never offer — GPS directions when walking the streets of New York, entertainment on the train, and the ability to receive emails at a bar with no wifi.
    Tablets are another story. There’s not much basic functionality they can offer that’s not offered by either smartphones or laptops. Tablets can give you GPS maps on the go, a full-featured web browser that’s comfortable to use, and if you’re accustomed to touchscreens, they can even handle word processing or photo editing.
    If the $500-$1,000 cost of a tablet is only justified to you by new abilities and functionalities, you probably won’t want to buy one. Other than a very strong battery life and the ability to surf the web on a large screen from anywhere — both of which are absent from most but not all laptops — there’s nothing new here.
    The performance advantage
    Does a tablet do anything better than a smartphone? The answer to this question is a strong “yes.” Even though a tablet like the Samsung Galaxy Tab doesn’t do anything you can’t do with either a smartphone or a laptop, it does so many things so much better than either of those devices.
    Take GPS maps as an example. You can take your iPhone or Android phone with you on a trip and use it as a GPS navigation device, but you’ll be squinting to see the maps. The large screen on the iPad makes apps like Google Maps that much more powerful. The same goes for anything with a strong visual element, like movies and games.
    Even productivity apps are better on a tablet — more screen space means more real estate for options and features. That doesn’t give a tablet an edge over a laptop, of course; laptops usually have even more real estate to work with.
    Tablets vs. laptops
    Does a tablet do anything better than a laptop? Surfing the web is better on a tablet. This doesn’t make a lot of sense, since most websites are designed with laptops and desktops in mind, but it’s true.
    The physical form of a tablet is more comfortable to hold and interact with in almost every environment, and we can’t say enough in favor of the multi-touch interface used by most tablets. It’s that interface that sets tablets apart from laptops or desktops, in most cases. It’s more powerful, making a mouse or a trackpad seem like a limiting relic of the past. Touching is more intuitive anyway, and a mouse only gives you one virtual finger with which to interact with the digital world; a tablet gives you 2, 3, or even 5.
    Laptops are better at multitasking than tablets are, but focusing entirely on one application or task has its advantages, especially for creative types. Sure, multi-touch trackpads are becoming more common on laptops, but since they’re not integrated with the screen, they’re used only for gestures. That’s nice, but a multi-touch tablet lets you interact with the content directly.
    We’ve already noted that tablets have better battery life. Between that, their always-on internet (on 3G models, anyway), and their comfort of use on the sofa, in bed, or on the bus, it’s clear that tablets are more fun to use for light computing tasks.
    Should you buy a tablet?
    Tablets won’t add anything new to your life that you don’t already get with your smartphone and laptop. If you can afford one, though, it will make your life a little more pleasant. They’re more fun and powerful than smartphones across the board, and they do light computing tasks like web surfing better than laptops.