“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is
ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion;
that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him
but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
We are better.
Clarity doesn’t hit us all at once or at the same age. Clarity is a gradual occurrence that some may never experience, but we can actively strive for a day where they may.
I’ve always felt a responsibility to our generation and our culture to express the highest possible degree of education and worth in my entries, during events, on social media, in what I publish both for journals and for literature. A great deal of that responsibility comes from being an aunt and watching my nieces’ friends converse eloquently and fondly about where we come from. We’re of Cameroon, Ivorian, Ghanaian, and Scandinavian descent and upon discovering that our immediate need for action increased. Why? Because that broad term “African American” suddenly had a “native” significance to it. We learned just an inkling of our heritage and our self-worth and value amplified.
I fault no woman or man for their ancestors, but I fault all individuals who continue their tradition of hatred, loathing, stealing, and violence. Those who grasp right from wrong and still take part.
My nieces have walked up to me in dismay regarding their history classes and how they’ve called their teachers on countless “true and timeless historical accounts”. Needless to say I am immensely proud of my young women. (I love you babies!) They extend the knowledge they have to their friends, cousins, and adults alike. We all give special attention to our elders, because they were schooled back in the day when questioning adults was frowned upon because that’s what they were taught. This generation is unlearning all those things.
No. We don’t know everything.
How could we and why should we pretend to? The thing I want you to focus on is the need to question everything you think you know. Every stereotype and bias has to be shed across the board. Don’t take past values and think they apply now. We’re always evolving, so let your mind catch up, let your spirit roam free of constraints placed on us over the centuries.
I’m taking a course right now that reveals much of what the media and government has covered up, most of which will be shared here. I’m a strong believer in relaying knowledge and taking what I’ve learned to better myself and others. The more we loosen these chains the better we become in our respective fields and in our daily lives. To know that we truly are more than what we’ve been told we could be is going to lead to us taking back all that is ours.