Written by CHRISTOPHER HICKS-MARSHALL a.k.a. CHUMA
IGNORANCE! IGNORANCE! IGRNORANCE! Although this season's Kwanzaa is now in the past, the principles are meant to be practiced throughout the rest of the year. But how could this be possible when ignorance is the purveyor of some people's thought process.
My partner works at a public school as a social work intern, and he is surrounded by other black social workers and psychologists, of course holders of masters degrees and Ph.D accolades. But even with all that education, ignorance still surmounts!
Today in the presence of my partner, one of these matriculated fools had the nerve to say that Kwanzaa was stupid because it's one of those man-made things. Sadly, her colleague agreed. He watched on in awe and pissivity as one of them went on to say that she once gave someone a Kwanzaa gift as a joke, but the receiver of the gift mistook her insincere gesture seriously with great appreciation, leaving her disappointed that her joke didn't succeed. WHAT!! She took Kwanzaa as a joke! How dare she commit such mockery????
Now when he told me this story, I became livid. This lady had the nerve to say that Kwanzaa was stupid because it was man-made, even though the other holidays are as well, believe it or not. I know everyone wants to believe that Jesus was born on December 25th, marking the Christmas holiday, but this is just not true. That is a date that was created by man, and so was the holiday. But to go into the evidence of that would be a whole other article, and I just don't have the time right now.
The bottom line is this. Black folks are always willing to accept the traditions of western culture, but are never open to creating or accepting many of their own. For centuries, we have been brainwashed to promulgate western culture's values, such as many of the holidays (which are man-made). But as soon as a prominent and righteous black man decides to create one that exemplifies principles such as Unity,Self-Determination,Collective Work and Responsibility,Cooperative Economics,Purpose,Creativity, and Faith, one of us calls it stupid. But we would rather embrace Christmas which clearly promotes commercialism, greed, poor management of money, and materialism, all wrapped up and masqueraded behind the birth of Jesus. How ridiculous and shameful. WTF!!!
Today, due to the impending Thanksgiving holiday in which our school week will end on Tuesday, I decided to show my 7th grade Technology students a movie. The movie, entitled Brother Future, is about a black teenager who does not take his education seriously. He daydreams in class when he should be listening to the teacher and taking in knowledge, he skips school whenever he feels like it, and he steals goods and resells it later to his ever-waiting customers. Well the teenager gets hit by a car and is propelled—not into the future—but back into the 1820s when slavery was in full swing. The purpose of my showing the movie was to help the students identify with the age of the character and his learning that education is a vital component of being successful and is directly connected to the quality of life one will have in the future.
During the film, my students' eyes were glued on the projection screen, which enlarged the movie to such a degree that it could be viewed from almost any angle in the classroom. My students began to ask me questions about what they were seeing in the movie. For instance, one student said, "Why can't he tell them he is not going to pick cotton in that field?" Another one said, "If I was back there, I would not do it!" Another asked, "Why does that slave have to go around to the back of his master's house and not use the front door?" The questions and comments went on throughout the movie, and I answered the questions and joined in the conversations that had sparked many interests about slavery and education, or a lack of Black education, during that time period.
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, and I moved from the corporate world of business to teach—to make a difference. I am not a history teacher—although I do know history facts and can produce a decent answer when questioned. But what astonished me is that my Black students (for the majority of them are Black) did not know many facts at all about the history of our own people. Sure, some students could tell you that they were told that lynching and beatings and unfair treatment took place, but they seemed surprised about many things that were taking place in the movie. So I asked them, "Does your History teacher talk about slavery in your class?" Most of the students said, "No". "And if the teacher does, it is only just for a few minutes and we move onto something else."
I realized in that moment that many of Black America is ignorant about where they came from. Some of my students did not even know that Charleston, South Carolina, is documented as being the place where the first slaves were brought to when they landed in America.
"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, they make them." -- George Bernard Shaw
Dancing With The Devil
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SHORT STORY FICTION / EROTICA TO PREVIEW, CLICK ON THE IMAGE AND/OR PURCHASE FOR $11.99
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by Fisiwe MEMOIRS AND POEMSTO PREVIEW, CLICK ON THE IMAGE AND/OR PURCHASE FOR $6.99
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by Chuma MEMOIRS AND POEMSTO PREVIEW, CLICK ON THE IMAGE AND/OR PURCHASE FOR $5.99
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COREY delivers a defly written post entitled Audacity of Change regarding his feelings about Obama becoming our president. Check it out at his blog, I'll Keep You Posted.
December 17, 2008
QIANA MARTIN, DREAM FULFILLER
One of the most thoughtful and spiritually grounded people I know, Qiana Martin took a risk and jumped on an opportunity to go to Brazil to fulfill a dream many would be fearful to try. In these profoundly dreary economic times, quitting a job at a prestigious law firm to pursue a passion is rare and courageous. Read her story here.
December 16, 2008
MARCOS LUIS, THE ART OF GIVING
My buddy, Marcos Luis, runs an Open Mic Showcase in Alphabet City, and he's being featured in an online blog called NewYorkNightsOnline.com. He's a really special person who wants nothing but to give back to the artistic community. Check out the article here.
December 8, 2008
CLEO MANAGO, LEADING MAN
Acitivist, Cleo Manago is honored as a 2008 Leading Man in Instinct Magazine.
Odetta, the singer whose deep voice wove together the strongest songs of American folk music and became an accompaniment to the black-and-white images of the freedom marchers who walked the roads of Alabama and Mississippi and the boulevards of Washington in quest of an end to racial discrimination, died on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008 at the age of 77. Read more.