This past weekend, I attended the African American Leadership Conference at Texas State University – San Marcos. It’s always good to go back to your old stomping grounds and see that things are still going strong. It was good to see old friends and advisors still making an impact in lives of young people, just like they made and impact in mine. It was amazing to students tell me that my workshop made an impact on them or that the “the info was going to increase my leadership swag, for real my dude.” But the best experience for me was sitting in a workshop and hearing this, “I’m tired of talking about niggas and bitches! We been talking about that stuff for decades, can we move on?” – A. Curette, Jr. UT ResLife
Considering we just had a similar discussion here on The Block, I found it interesting to hear the tone of frustration in his voice. The tone of his voice was like the look on Tiger’s face when he heard his ex-wife was re-marrying…..her financial advisor!! His comment/question made me think about the conversations we have in Black America that we really need to end. Some of the conversations I am about to highlight take up way too much space and time in our communities. The more we focus on these conversations, the less we focus on the real issues facing our community. Without further ado, let’s review the conversations we need to STOP having in Black America:
Conversation 1: Should we call each other nigger or bitch?
Let’s put this conversation to rest please. Whether we own the word or put a positive spin on it doesn’t matter. Those two words are in the English vocab for the foreseeable future. Hell, even Kreayshawn and Nasty-V have picked them up! We cannot control what others chose to call us, unless it boss or employee. Can we replace this conversation with one about entrepreneurship? Let’s debate about whether we should try to build communities like Rosewood, Greenwood/Archer/Pine, and Black Wall Street or should we try to build businesses that service communities outside our own?
Conversation 2: Where are all the Black Fathers?
Stop, it!! We know where they are! They are either locked up, strung out, or making more babies….right? Wrong. Black men are beginning to take care of their families and responsibilities, but we don’t hear about them. Sometimes we can promote unwanted behavior by focusing on it too much, it’s called negative re-enforcement! I am not suggesting we ignore the problem, let’s just stop talking about it and start doing something about it. Can we replace this conversation with one about the rise of the black family? Despite what you see and hear, there are a LOT of black families that are sticking together, raising kids, and building a legacy of consistency and love. Let’s talk about how to promote the black family, support single parents, and enlighten our brother and sisters so they don’t turn to sex as a way of validation and acknowledgment of their adulthood. Can we have a real dialogue about sex in the black church instead of just saying don’t do “it” or you will go to hell?
Conversation 3: Where are Black leaders/churches?
Really? Are we still talking about Black leadership and what are the churches doing for the community? Just because the leaders in the 50’s and 60’s were reverends, that doesn’t mean the leaders of our generations will be men and women of the cloth. The leaders that we are looking for don’t exist, because we don’t want leadership, we want a savior, a cure all. And it ain’t happening, #dontholdyourbreath. The leadership we are looking for is in the mirror and on your Iphone. There are some brilliant minds in the black blogosphere with wonderful suggestions on how we can pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. There are great movements out here that young black people have started that impact the present and future of our communities everyday. And there are plenty of churches out there grinding in the community, but because we all want to go to mega churches….let me stop. Can we replace this conversation with one about what movement or cause we should focus on? Let us debate about what issue in our community we should tackle first and let the debate be waged with our time and money instead of words.
Conversation 4: Who is the greatest basketball player of all time?
It’s Michael Jeffery Jordan. No explanation needed. Go play some where I’m busy!!
Seriously, its time to move on, move up, and move now (s/o to AALC). We have to shift our thoughts from the fluff and move on to the substance. While we are arguing about how churches don’t do enough for the community, other cultures are talking about how to get more legislation passed for federal funding for their kids to go to college. While we seriously debate about who was better between Pac and Biggie, other cultures are debating the profitability of public space travel. So my question to the block is what other conversations do we need to R.I.P in the black community? And what conversations do we need to start having? I’ll meet you in the comments section.