Monday, July 20, 2009

New Peace Corps Director...A BLACK MAN

The following entry is an email correspondence sent to fellow Returned Peace Corps volunteers.

Some of you reading received an email from me with the first link below. For you, I have a confession:

I did not click on the link before I sent it. That means I HAD NO IDEA that our new Peace Corps Director is a black man.

Yes, I admit that I send links/emails onto others without reading or viewing from time to time. I am GUILTY. So after I decided to open the link, simply because 'something' was nagging me to, I was AMAZED that a black man was selected.

Why?

Because it is rare. Rare for a black man to lead any international relations/affairs/development agency. I can probably count on my hands the number of black men who I know that have lived and worked overseas. There are many around the United States - but the number is extremely low (out of a group of 66 men and women I was the ONLY black man in my Peace Corps training class). Heck, there are not that many black men who have traveled over waters to donate a week of time to the underprivileged.

Those of us who have served for lengthy periods are not more evolved. Better. Nope, not in the least! However, I must say that I am more well-rounded as a result of me joining the Peace Corps; and then working for Peace Corps for 8.5 years.

And, to now witness history: The First Black man to lead the agency that I respect and love is not only remarkable, it is emotional for me. Now, when those less fortunates that Peace Corps volunteers serve worldwide, an additional statement is being made:

From the top, a BLACK man cares about the countries so many of us western-polluted Americans NEVER think about.

I am proud. Very Proud.

*I have to acknowledge that this would have not been a reality if it were not for President Barack Obama. I am not a euphoric emotion-driven fan - but I do give a 'Big-up' when it is due.

Aaron Williams - First Black Male Peace Corps Director http://peacecorpsconnect.org/bio/aaron-williams

Carol Payton - First Black and First Female Peace Corps Director:

Brian E. Payne
RPCV 1994-1996
Antigua, Eastern Caribbean

6 comments:

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader response:

Whaaaaat!

-LE

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader Response:

A brother! I can just hear Bpayne hollering "praise the lord." No seriously, what's your take? He seems like a pretty stellar choice from the looks of it.

-SE

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader response:

Brian, nicely stated slice of humble pie. Did you know Carolyn Payton while you were at Howard?

-JK

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Response to JK:

No. I think she was gone by the time I got there. Yeah, she died while I was working at HQ...I think.

-Muata

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Read the brief exchange a friend and I had after she received my email of excitement about Aaron Williams.

thanks for sharing but that’s not really all that impressive!! –Friend
not my writing of course. but, the first black man leading the Peace Corps. why can't you be happy with that? i am happy about the surgeon generla selection too. –Brian
not about me not being happy!! i said i am not all that impressed. I am neither happy nor unhappy!! it is just another position that is part of this corrupt government. –Friend
well thanks for your black power cloud and black power rain on my excitement. –Brian
be excited! i was not trying to cloud your excitement!! be proud of the brotha!! -Friend


This made me think. The dialogue.

I share my disdain/dislike for the United States government all the time. Actually, I do not hold much respect for the government at all. Never have. Born and raised by/with militant uncles and an on-point grandmother who forced me to watch the world news and to read the paper so that I would KNOW about America and the rest of the world. With my militancy, I still served this nation via the Peace Corps (overseas and domestic). And, have plans to return to the agency that help change my life.

My militant views are shared with you on the regular. And, today, it HIT ME again: elatedness/proud moments can be ruined (if allowed) by mindsets such as mine. I doubt my views will change. I am unashamed by them. I share them with COUNTLESS men and women who attempted to SHOCK this nation into a needed understanding. My mind is made up about the United States. No need to have that conversation...However, I will attempt to tame my viewed as 'truthful' rhetoric. I will do it in such a way that I will continue to acknowledge the good, highlight the bad, and fight for a change. No worries. This does not mean that I will not be me: A Black Rebel with a Cause.

-Muata

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader response:

sucks when someone squashes your enthusiasm huh?

-TK