Monday, January 29, 2007

A Moment of Reflection: Honoring the Black Man

Getting excited usually causes goose bumps to develop for many of us. I typically get a rush of coldness that consumes my skin. It feels like the blood streaming through my veins is 10 degrees. I love this feeling because it reminds me that I am experiencing some level of pleasure. With all the stresses of the day pleasure is something we all need in our lives.

During the latest State of the Union address I got that feeling right before President Bush walked down the isle of the capitol building chamber. The feeling intensified as he approached the podium. When he finally made it to his position to address his colleagues and the world I began to dream. In my dream I pictured President Bush as a black man. Yes, a black man. Then I continued with my fantasy imagining him with dark skin, a bald head, and a well groomed beard. He was black! I was successful at creating a president in my own image.

Lately, I have been feeling proud to be a black man. I am thankful God decided to make me black of course. However, at times watching the news can make me somewhat frustrated with my people which makes me want to pull a sheet over my head. But, not this week.

First, to see another black man who is the epitome of humility be acknowledged by the most powerful man in the universe during the State of the Union was another bone chilling experience. Dikembe Matombo is considered one of the top defensive basketball centers of all time, but this is not the way he will be remembered by us who try to look beyond someone’s athleticism. He will remain in my memory as the towering figure who was invited to stand up at the request of the President of the United States to be recognized as a humanitarian GIANT. A man who did not forget about the suffering people in the Democratic Republic of Congo while he made millions of dollars as a basketball player. He is more than the man who blocked countless jump shots while contributing his financial fortune to a foundation dedicated to the building of a hospital for the poorest of the poor: Africans. He is a man many of us need to emulate.

Second, the pride I feel about Lovie’s and Tony’s success. These two men have made history. The Super Bowl XLI teams will be lead by two black men. They represent a species that was once called useless Negroes and Black Niggers. The species that at one moment in history was not associated with intelligence. The humans who were told that they were nothing more than athletic entertainers. Now, we have proven to the world that we have the know-how to manage players with big egos and manage a game that presents complications if you are not well versed on calculated strategy. Simply put, it takes a whole lot of coaching smarts to get to the Super Bowl.

Finally, there is that regular guy on his way to work, Wesley Autrey. This black man decided to save another life by putting his life in jeopardy. How many of us would jump in the path of a New York City subway train? I must be honest; it would have to be a non-stranger for me to risk my precious life in that capacity. No, not Mr. Autrey. He did what Jesus would have done. Wow! We have so many BLACK Jesus’ walking around today. I commend Wesley Autrey. He is that man who mumbled to President Bush during the State of the Union address, “You are the man.” What a thing! Even when he was being honored he shared the praise with a man who many believe can careless about black people.

After the State of the Union, the stimulating chills were gone. I was back in the United States. I was in “my country”. A country that's knee deep in a civil war. A country that’s not ready for a black president. A place where even black people would prefer light skin over dark skin which is the reason some black folk would rather Tony Dungy’s team wins the Super Bowl. A place that’s beginning to recognize the black man’s intellectual talents and philanthropic contributions. It is also a country that needs to understand that the black man is capable of giving the ultimate sacrifice like Matombo and Autrey.

Written by Muata. Inspired by those little bumps that preceded my dream.


Muata said...

Reader Responses:

Wow. Good one! Thanks! –JA

Good piece. –MK

Muata said...

Reader Responses:

Yeah, I got chill pumps too, but it ended when Mr. Bush began to speak. –RW

Great article by the way. –SR

As usual - your words bring power, respect and pride to a light skinned brother!! LOL!! - BS

FREEDOM said...

I felt chilled bumps from reading this oracle masterpiece of fireworks. Just brilliant, ideas put into magical words. Words that dared to dream of a better tomorrow. A tomorrow where Black Men regain their rightful positions as Kings. Exciting to read, the chill bumps are still appearing.

This piece reminds me of the movie “Akeelah and the BEE” where Laurence Fishbone plays a distinguished black professor. He gives a young black girl a reason to believe in herself. Akeelah gives black people in a poor neighbor a reason to believe in themselves and be proud of their heritage.

The film used the excitement of learning small words to build and learn large words and their meanings. Words that come from different origins. Kind-of like black people who come from different origins and backgrounds, and with the proper training we can compete against anyone

The black films of today are improving; they have come from a very long way as well as the upward movement of the black man. Now, we have movies that represent a positive outlook of black men making a Difference.

You give black men and women a reason to believe in themselves. You truly have the gift of words. Words used to empower, inspire, challenge, and uplift. Keep using this God given talent to stimulate minds. You are doing an excellent service. I believe you have found your destiny. Continue to change and shape the world in which we live through your WORDS.

This quote came from the film Akeelah and the BEE:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous. Actually, who are you not to be”?