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?
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?