When are we as a people including our first Black President going to stop burdening our future on the narrative & symbolism of the constant “struggle” of Blacks to always expect to do twice as much for equal or less? If the majority of living while Black is about “Struggle”, having to always be twice as good as White people to attain the same things, and pretty much never finding equality -then damn no wonder so many have all but given up or just adhered to the system that controls Blackness to always be lesser and so many more run away from all association as soon as they get that pass out of “Black Struggle”.
as Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie coined: “Show a people as 1 thing, as only 1 thing over & over again & that is what they become. Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story…when we reject the single story, when we realize that there is never a single story about any place, we regain a kind of paradise…for all the people who are eager to tell our many stories, Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign,but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity…“
Anyone who knows basic Behavioral Psychology and the conditional reflex theory of Pavlov knows that this idea of generations teaching Black children that they will always have to work twice as hard to achieve the same or less than their White counterparts is self-defeating at best and encouraging an unbalanced unequal society and system to stay the same at worst. We have gotten so used to hearing and repeating this narrative generation after generation that we rarely stop to think about the effectiveness or damage to the psyche of generations of Black children who have to carry the burden that somehow they have to be twice as good to be equal and even when they do twice the work there will be no guarantee of equality to show for double the work. I really hope that for the sake of future generations that we eradicate this thought and teaching from the rearing of our children. We can’t talk about wanting equality outside when at home all we do is instill in our children that they can never be equal without doing double the work of who they are supposed to be wanting to be equal to in America. If you do the math doing double of what someone else does is not equal. It was not equal nor okay during slavery and Jim Crow and it is surely not okay now in a progressive America with its first Black president
It is utterly ridiculous to me when President Obama’s staunch and unwavering supporters particularly amongst Black Americans get irate about stereotypical images from anti-plan parenthood groups depicting Blacks as an accumulation of having babies out of wedlock when we are not aborting them because after all we have an epidemic of deadbeat fathers and single never married mothers that we just can’t seem to shake in our communities, in the minds of the prejudiced and racist nor in the mind of our first Black president. Is there any wonder why Black abortion rates are so high when this is the narrative of life that we have to offer to Black babies with or without the financial means to support them fully and soley? President Obama’s supporters will say his constant narrative of dead beat Black fathers, never-wed single mothers left to fend for self and children by dead beat Black fathers along with the narrative of stop blaming anyone but yourself for your hardships and pull yourself up by the bootstraps as many before you have done in far more hostile circumstances when speaking with majority Black groups is telling the uncomfortable truth and leading by example, but somehow when someone like Bill Cosby or Non-Blacks repeat this same narrative about Blacks in America then we somehow find our outrage and venom to shut it down and to reprimand that we are much more than that as a people. In one breath Black America tells us that President Obama is the best thing to have happened to America and in particular Black America to build enthusiasm for his presidency and in another breath when challenged to do more for Blacks in America we are told not to look for saviors beyond ourselves.
Once again during his Morehouse graduation speech Potus cued his favorite Al Green song to set the Black soul groove in motion and channeled Dr. King’s voice in his oratory to let Black people know that we have been and still are second class citizens in America, who will always carry the burden of “the struggle” to work twice as hard just to get the same or often less than our White counterparts and we do not have the luxury to complain about it because those that came before us struggled harder. I won’t go as far as saying “Obama is not just a failed president. He is a failed Black president.” as the author from breakingbrown.com stated in her analysis of President Obama’s “danger of a single story” when speaking to crowds of Black people; however I agree with her that this single “Struggle & Must Work Twice As Hard” narrative of Black positioning in America needs to stop because it is very dangerous in aiding in our own limited expectations in what we can achieve and be as Blacks in America and our place in proactively balancing the same system that has only continued to work for generations with Blacks being at the bottom in an endless struggle to do twice the work for the same compensation or less. If we are ever going to see real change in equality then as Dr. King said “We must get the language right“!
It is not only Blacks in America that are faced with deadbeat fathers, never-wed single mothers and come from a culture of inequality in America where they have had to work harder than others to balance the playing field, yet when President Obama speaks with these different groups these same narratives that they too experience are nowhere in his address. Jews, Irish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese etc. have all at one point or the other in their migration to America have had to fight this societal inequality, prejudice and racism battle, but for some reason Blacks who even without the promise of the 40 acres and a mule have had more contribution and ownership in building America as we know it today can’t seem to shake this narrative of our president’s single story, which we ourselves have proudly been card carrying members of the club for generations in keeping the mental institution of societal inferiority and being seen as less than going. While others on the basis of color alone have been able to overcome American prejudice and racial discrimination to be accepted as part of the “White majority” based on the institution of race classification, Blacks in America based on color alone have not been so lucky. I will be damned if I will tell my future children that they have to work twice as hard to be seen as equal in getting anything in life to their White counterparts and I will be damned if I do not tell them that certain systems have been put in place to keep Black people like them from equality in America and the world at large. It is not about them picking themselves up by their bootstraps and doing more than most, but about fighting for a more just and equal society starting with Blacks defining equal as equal not some new modern day separate but equal nonsense that tells them that as Americans they have to work harder than the majority because guess what? Those generations who came and suffered unequivocally before them did that in tenfold so they wouldn’t have to -just like their Italian, Irish, Japanese, Jewish, Chinese and other counterparts who were once treated as unequal in America.
“Our notion of what constitutes “white” and what constitutes “black” is a product of social context. It is utterly impossible to look at the delineation of a “Southern race” and not see the Civil War, the creation of an “Irish race” and not think of Cromwell’s ethnic cleansing, the creation of a “Jewish race” and not see anti-Semitism. There is no fixed sense of “whiteness” or “blackness,” not even today. It is quite common for whites to point out that Barack Obama isn’t really “black” but “half-white.” One wonders if they would say this if Barack Obama were a notorious drug-lord….When the liberal says “race is a social construct,” he is not being a soft-headed dolt; he is speaking an historical truth. We do not go around testing the “Irish race” for intelligence or the “Southern race” for “hot-headedness.” These reasons are social. It is no more legitimate to ask “Is the black race dumber than then white race?” than it is to ask “Is the Jewish race thriftier than the Arab race?”….The strongest argument for “race” is that people who trace their ancestry back to Europe, and people who trace most of their ancestry back to sub-Saharan Africa, and people who trace most of their ancestry back to Asia, and people who trace their ancestry back to the early Americas, lived isolated from each other for long periods and have evolved different physical traits (curly hair, lighter skin, etc.)….But this theoretical definition (already fuzzy) wilts under human agency, in a real world where Kevin Garnett, Harold Ford, and Halle Berry all check “black” on the census. (Same deal for “Hispanic.”) The reasons for that take us right back to fact of race as a social construct. And an American-centered social construct. Are the Ainu of Japan a race? Should we delineate darker South Asians from lighter South Asians on the basis of race? Did the Japanese who invaded China consider the Chinese the same “race?”…Andrew writes that liberals should stop saying “truly stupid things like race has no biological element.” I agree. Race clearly has a biological element — because we have awarded it one. Race is no more dependent on skin color today than it was on “Frankishness” in Emerson’s day. Over history of race has taken geography, language, and vague impressions as its basis…”Race,” writes the great historian Nell Irvin Painter, “is an idea, not a fact.” Indeed. Race does not need biology. Race only requires some good guys with big guns looking for a reason…” READ MORE
“the Morehouse speech: That a man who proclaims himself to be the president of all people, not just black people, would be so bold as to give a ‘credit to your race speech’ at a historically black college.
Here’s President Obama in his own words:
You are the mantle of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington and Ralph Bunche and Langston Hughes and George Washington Carver and Ralph Abernathy and Thurgood Marshall and, yes, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. These men were many things to many people and they knew full well the role that racism played in their life. But when it came to their own accomplishments and sense of purpose, they had no time for excuses. Every one of you has a grandma or an uncle or a parent whose told you at some point in life as an African American you have to work twice as hard as anyone else if you want to get by.
Sometimes I wrote off my own failings as just another example of the world trying to keep a black man down. I had a tendency sometimes to make excuses for me not doing the right thing. But one of the things that all of you have learned over the last four years, is there’s no longer any room for excuses.
….you have to remember that whatever you’ve gone through pales in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured – and they overcame, and if they overcame them, you can overcome them too…..” Read More
While president Obama had some good and encouraging things to say outside of the usual “don’t complain about inequality, the system and society – just work harder narrative”, I am hoping that the push back on the usual narrative leads us all to think about the psychology of speech that we readily consume without deeper thought into whether it is healthy or not to consume so much of it. President Obama in his speaking engagements particularly where Black Americans are concerned seems to be genius in having the midas touch in getting the most bang for his buck in rallying the Black community in symbolic associations as his second term inauguration in fell on Martin Luther King Jr’s national celebration day with the hoopla over being sworn in by Dr. King’s bible as some realization of “The Dream” and American forward movement. The recent Morehouse graduation speech also fell on Malcolm X’s birthday with no mention of X, his symbolism nor the Koran because after all his Black truth is not acceptable in the American story of freedom, religion and equality. As Malcolm X addresses in his ballot or bullet speech, Why should we be so staunch for one political party, politician or another when often more times than not all we get is more of the same with Blacks left to fend for themselves by any means necessary outside of the construct of the majority in America!
“And you and I have to make a start and the best place to start is right in the community where we live. So our people not only have to be reeducated to the importance of supporting black business, but the black man himself has to be made aware of the importance of going into business. And once you and I go into business, we own and operate at least the businesses in our community. What we will be doing is developing a situation wherein we will actually be able to create employment for the people in the community. And once you can create some — some employment in the community where you live it will eliminate the necessity of you and me having to act ignorantly and disgracefully, boycotting and picketing some practice some place else trying to beg him for a job. Anytime you have to rely upon your enemy for a job, you’re in bad shape. When you have — He is your enemy. Let me tell you, you wouldn’t be in this country if some enemy hadn’t kidnapped you and brought you here. On the other hand, some of you think you came here on the Mayflower. So as you can see brothers and sisters, today — this afternoon, it’s not our intention to discuss religion. We’re going to forget religion. If we bring up religion, we’ll be in an argument, and the best way to keep away from arguments and differences, as I said earlier, put your religion at home — in the closet. Keep it between you and your God. Because if it hasn’t done anything more for you than it has, you need to forget it anyway. Whether you are — Whether you are a Christian, or a Muslim, or a Nationalist, we all have the same problem. They don’t hang you because you’re a Baptist; they hang you ’cause you’re black. They don’t attack me because I’m a Muslim; they attack me ’cause I’m black. They attack all of us for the same reason; all of us catch hell from the same enemy. We’re all in the same bag, in the same boat. We suffer political oppression, economic exploitation, and social degradation — all of them from the same enemy. The government has failed us; you can’t deny that. Anytime you live in the twentieth century, 1964, and you walkin’ around here singing ‘We Shall Overcome,’ the government has failed us. This is part of what’s wrong with you — you do too much singing. Today it’s time to stop singing and start swinging. You can’t sing up on freedom, but you can swing up on some freedom. Cassius Clay can sing, but singing didn’t help him to become the heavyweight champion of the world; swinging helped him become the heavyweight champion. This government has failed us; the government itself has failed us, and the white liberals who have been posing as our friends have failed us. And once we see that all these other sources to which we’ve turned have failed, we stop turning to them and turn to ourselves. We need a self help program, a do-it — a-do-it-yourself philosophy, a do-it-right-now philosophy, a it’s-already-too-late philosophy. This is what you and I need to get with, and the only time — the only way we’re going to solve our problem is with a self-help program. Before we can get a self-help program started we have to have a self-help philosophy. Black Nationalism is a self-help philosophy. What’s so good about it? You can stay right in the church where you are and still take Black Nationalism as your philosophy. You can stay in any kind of civic organization that you belong to and still take black nationalism as your philosophy. You can be an atheist and still take black nationalism as your philosophy. This is a philosophy that eliminates the necessity for division and argument. ‘Cause if you’re black you should be thinking black, and if you are black and you not thinking black at this late date, well I’m sorry for you. Once you change your philosophy, you change your thought pattern. Once you change your thought pattern, you change your — your attitude. Once you change your attitude, it changes your behavior pattern and then you go on into some action…”
Now to loosely quote American hero and straight talk social commentator Charles Ramsey -You know there’s something wrong…When a privileged White person runs to the arms of Black men in embrace and solidarity against what he feels is maltreatment and unfair representation by another Black man who happens to be the president of the United States as Time Wise did below.
“Sometimes, white privilege isn’t about stuff. It’s not always about better opportunities, or more money, or even greater access to those things than people of color.
Sometimes, white privilege is as simple as knowing that, generally speaking, if you’re white, you’ll be perceived as competent and hard-working until proven otherwise, while people of color — even those who have proven themselves competent and hard-working — will still be subjected to presumptions that they just might not be, and that somehow, they (but not you) need to be reminded of the importance of hard-work and personal responsibility, lest they (but never you) revert to some less impressive group mean.
To wit, President Obama’s commencement address today at Morehouse College — one of the nation’s preeminent institutions of higher learning, and perhaps its most famous historically black college or university — during which, among plenty of rather standard commencement speech boilerplate, the president lectured this year’s graduates about the importance of taking personal responsibility for their lives, and not blaming racism for whatever obstacles they may face in the future.
It’s hard to know what’s more disturbing.
Either that President Obama thinks black grads at one of the nation’s best colleges really need to be lectured about such matters; or, alternately, that White America is so desirous of exculpation for the history of racial discrimination that we need him to say such things, and he knows it, thereby leading him to feed us the moral scolding of black men we so desperately desire, and which he must know will be transmitted to us by way of media coverage of his talk...Either way, the result is tragic.” READ MORE
“Today, more than 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, more than 50 years after the end of ‘separate but equal,’ when it comes to getting an education, too many of our young people just can’t be bothered… Today, instead of walking miles every day to school, they’re sitting on couches for hours, playing video games, watching TV. Instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader, they’re fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper,” ….A few things to think about.. First lets just go on record and note, those ballers and rappers that many fantasize about, played a key role in getting Michelle and her husband into the White House, not once but twice..From Lebron James to Jay-Z to Will I am to Common to Beyonce who the First Lady famously asserted was role model for her daughters, were all up in the mix during their campaigns and subsequent inaugurations..These rappers and ballers went out and engaged their fans, by doing songs, concerts and special appearances to go to the polls and vote in what we are now seeing to be record numbers… If we really wanna keep it 100.. I saw Diddy and Jigga hanging out at the inaugurations in 08 and not prominent scholars like a Cornel West who actually went and campaigned in 60 + cities for the president. We’ve seen countless pictures of rappers all up in the white house..Why wouldn’t a kid fantasize about being a rapper or baller when its them hob nobbing with the Obamas not his teacher or preacher? ” READ MORE
It seems Mrs. Obama took a page from her husband’s playbook with her subsequent danger of a single Black story that was subsequently somewhat bordering on disingenuous considering her praise of artists like Beyonce as role models -when she was one of those who bypassed education for riches and diamond rings into making enough money to rub shoulders with and to help bring out the vote and donations to get the president elected and reelected. What happens when Sasha or Malia decides they would rather take their role model Beyonce’s talent for money route instead of their mother and father’s path through education? I hate to be overly critical of our First Black family in the White House because they are human and have faults like anyone else; however it would be unfair to those who came before them, those who will come after them and most of all to Black America if we continue to make them beyond reproach and critique just because they are Black- and after all unlike “others” they really don’t mean their words in “that way” – as argued by supporters angered that their words have been misinterpreted. Words are powerful and should be chosen wisely as to not get lost in translation, but actions will always speak louder than words. As one writer said we need to encourage the Obamas to “please complicate their analysis” when it comes to addressing the struggle and future success of Blacks in America. While I agree with most of what the first lady and the president had to say about the importance of education on many levels and not just institutionalized degree granting education, I can’t cosign chastising young Blacks about not taking education seriously in place of so called “sitting on couches for hours, playing video games, watching TV. Instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader, they’re fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper”, because for far too many Blacks in America and globally higher education is only but a dream with creative and physical talent being something that many don’t have to buy nor be denied of or from just because of color. If President and Mrs. Obama are the president and first lady of all of America then they and we have a responsibility to employ upon the entire nation the same standards of doing better for the sake of our shared history and a forward moving nation.
“We shall measure our progress by the improvement in the health of our people; by the number of children in school, and by the quality of their education; by the availability of water and electricity in our towns and villages, and by the happiness which our people take in being able to manage their own affairs. The welfare of our people is our chief pride, and it is by this that my Government will ask to be judged.” Dr.Kwame Nkrumah-Broadcast to the Nation. 24 December 1957
As much as I see the first family as a great couple with Potus as a great husband and father and Flotus as a great mother and wife- they are not my role models by any stretch of the imagination outside of their relationship with one another because “No” they do not represent me as an individual within my specific moral code as an African nor as an American. They represent the American system of governance and enforcement which I as a citizen must adhere to at some level or another within my constitutional rights whether I agree with certain local, national or global policies or not. Our President and first lady being Black has and probably will never change any of that. I love the idea of any first lady being a revered fashionista since the haute couture days of Jackie O because fashion is an industry that pays mine and many other people’s bills; however I readily accept that the fashion industry serves a special interest group and not the whole of America and our needs as collective Americans. I am way more concerned with the first lady pushing so called healthy eating, community gardens and growing our own food for sustenance while having nothing to say about the plethora of GMO foods passing as healthy alternatives in a cart blanche invasion from our schools to our homes with her husband signing off on it. This is not only a Black problem but an American problem; however the majority of GMO foods end up in Black and poor communities often in a struggle to attain healthy food options in their communities without adequate education of the adverse effects nor adequate healthcare to fight said effects when they show up in our bodies. We have a generational responsibility to break ourselves and future generations from the condition of our conditioning on so many levels. As Bob Marley said “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery …Non but ourselves can free our minds”. The first lady has a lot of Black people hyped and ready to go about eating right and being healthy which I praise her for, but where is the education in letting her followers in the underserved communities that she grew up in know that that GMO farm raised Salmon, fruits and veggies loaded with harmful pesticides can become just as deadly as the so called called “bad soul food” that became traditional Black American fare that we now rally against ?
“The Reality is People Are Pushed to Poverty. The Original State of Human Beings is Not Poverty. In the Amazon, people aren’t poor in the sense they are not deprived, they have their food, they have fresh water, they have rich culture, they have medicine, their own medicinal plants. Poverty is created first by grabbing the resources of the people. Africa- a continent whose poverty is deeply linked to the appropriation of land historically and today the biggest land grab taking place in history is creating new poor people. We are living in times where the new wealth is highly concentrated in a few people’s hands and there is a new language of oligarchy emerging- the hand full of new oligarchs who’ve made it to the ten top billionaire grab the land of the people, benefited from the privatization of electricity so poor people have lost access to electricity- so the rich are getting richer the poor are getting poorer- it’s totally interconnected because if water is privatized of course 1 company makes more wealth but people get cholera because they lost their access to drinking water. If seed is patented and privatized 1/4 million Indian farmers commit suicide all related to debt, all related to mechanisms of creating wealth by taking away the commons of the people…” Vandana Shiva, Indian activist, environmentalist and scientist
“In the end, as First Lady, this isn’t just a policy issue for me. This is a passion. This is my mission. I am determined to work with folks across this country to change the way a generation of kids thinks about food and nutrition.” First Lady Michelle Obama
It is naive to have a national conversation against obesity and for healthy eating without bringing GMO education into the conversation with all the studies and global battles against GMO producing companies like America’s Monsanto, who are gradually taking over the production of the world’s food supply. I don’t claim to be an expert on any of these things, but I am an AWAKE human being who would like to have the option to know what is in the food that I am using to sustain life and I would also like to know if the first lady plants the White House garden with seeds from Monsanto since she is married to a man whose administration is eager to sell the world particularly so called “third world” nations on the idea that GMO foods are a safe way to go in maintaining adequate food supply globally. It shocks me that journalist do not ask these questions when they do all the planting of the garden and Michelle Obama healthy eating initiative press junkets when this is a national and international news story in terms of our global food supply. We revere our first lady for being an educated outspoken woman with a voice and a platform to bring about national discourse for real change, yet we shortchange her and ourselves when we do not contest in any manner the platform she is selling because we have somehow voluntarily taken on the position of being her protector from all the racist and unnecessary ignorant pushback that her and the president receive- having nothing to do with anything but the color of their skin at most instances. We rightfully defend by any means necessary against this hideous pushback but in turn lose ourselves and the demand to serve our needs in the interim. The star power of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have too many people including journalists so blinded by the glare of their shine that they forget that our job as citizens and journalists is to challenge the system for transparency in order to make sure that it is being used to properly and adequately to serve the needs of “We The People”.
Only time and history will dictate if as Yvette Carnell proclaimed “the president is a failed president and a failed Black President“. I would like to think that he is a flawed President as many have been before him, but he has the unique opportunity to make a real difference with national and global people capital in support to give a nation and a world yearning for “Real Change and Hope that We Can Believe In” for far too long. If we as Blacks in America want to stick with the narrative that we voted for the president for more than skin color and symbolic achievements, then we have to do better as citizens to look beyond hue and focus on how policy and rhetoric effects us as Americans at home and abroad first and foremost. Having our first Black president in over 200 years of American existence in a nation that reveres itself on a global scale as being the example for tolerance, equality, human rights and justice in an “American Dream” that touts with hard work anyone can achieve anything they want to achieve is both an achievement that we should be proud of and ashamed of in our global positioning in leadership in the 21st century.
As a first generation American of African parents I have seen far too many Black Presidents and heads of states who have harmed rather than helped the cause of bettering the lives of “We The People” in forward movement, improvement and development, so the star power of any political leadership regardless of color means nothing to me without seeing concrete results in the resolve of a better quality of life based on equal opportunity, justice and human rights for “We, The People” regardless of our color, class, sexual orientation or gender. While I have never had any expectations that one man can change America and the world, I was hope filled that President Obama could at the very least set us on a diffrent path in a new 21st century wind of change that others before him have led people, nations and continents through. I am tired as many are of carrying the endless burden of “Black struggle” as my destiny in life to always be put in a position where I should not complain about the ills of a societal system inherited generation after generation as my plight in life in having to continuously work harder in order to be able to have an equal or any seat at the table amongst those who put the system in place that deemed me less than solely based on color. Just as I as a common citizen have to show concrete work in improvement to prove myself as worthy of my position in life and work, I expect the same of all politicians and leaders of any kind regardless of color, class, sexual orientation or gender. I will longer accept this single story for myself or the generations after me as having to work twice as hard to achieve the same or less as my fellow human beings because I want and believe in real change where the past is the past to be learned from and not repeated and the future is in the making by those committed to changing things for the better!
“The basic and fundamental relationships are not changed at all …I often talk about the… constants in our relationships with Europeans, and it’s important that we look at the constants, not the superficial changes… down at the Institute of Technology I was talking to [some] of my students the other day and I told [them]… ‘now you’re electrical engineers, but…your fundamental relationship with the whites is no different from your grandparents who were in slavery, because that fundamental relationship is one producing profits for your European masters.’ And so if at some point, – making blacks engineers or letting them be engineers or letting them be computer technologists or even letting them be President of [the] United States will maintain that constant relationship, that change will occur. And so often people then will respond to that apparent change, and miss the fact that the fundamental relationships have not changed at all.” ~ Dr. Amos Wilson
“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant…The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy…Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable…Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals…Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve.You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love…Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men… We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools…Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere…Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation and this means we must develop a world perspective…” Martin Luther King Jr.
CHANGE STARTS WITH US!
“I come here tonight & plead with ya, believe in urself & believe that you’re somebody…nobody else can do this for us, no document can do this for us, no Lincolnian emancipation proclamation can do this for us, no Kennedisonian or Johnsonian civil rights bill can do this for us, if the negro is to be free he must move down into the inner resources of his own soul & sign with a pen an ink of self assertive manhood his own emancipation proclamation…don’t let anbody take your manhood, be proud of our heritage…we don’t have anything to be ashamed of, somebody told a lie one day, they couched it in language, they made everything black ugly & evil, look in your dictionary & see the synonyms of the word black- it’s always something degrading, low & sinister look at the word white, it’s always something pure..well I want to get the language right tonight, I want to get the language so right that everybody here will cry out YES I AM BLACK & I’M PROUD OF IT, I AM BLACK & BEAUTIFUL!”