September 3, 2008

Why Is It That A Black Man...?

This was sent to me in an e-mail by a vibrant young sistren who has a special place in my heart. She is living and working in America for now, but I hope, over time, she and her husband will return home to Jamaica.

"Why is it that a Black Man can create a filament (electric light - Lewis Latimer) that allows people to see in the dark, but can't be seen fit to lead a country to the light?

Why is it that a Black Man can create an instrument (clock – Benjamin Banneker) that people use to tell time, but people don't think it is time for him to run a country?

Why is it that a Black Man can design a place for the high authorities to meet in & a place for the President to live in (The Capital & the White House - Phillip Reid, a slave & Pierre L'Enfant), but not good enough to lead these meetings or live in himself?

Why is it that a Black Man was brilliant enough to do the first open heart surgery (Dr. Daniel Hale Williams) and show the world how to get and preserve plasma (Dr. Charles Drew), but not good enough to put a program in place where everyone can afford this surgery?

Why is it that a Black Man was creative enough to design an instrument (traffic light - Garrett Morgan) to bring multiple people (traffic) to a halt, but not seen to be creative enough to design a plan to bring all this unnecessary and worthless fighting between countries to an end?

Why is it that a Black Man could create the soles (shoes - Jan Matzeliger) that people walk on everyday, but not be seen good enough to fill the shoes of a bad president?

Why is it that a Black Man was smart enough & brave enough to teach himself (Fredrick Douglas & Thomas Fuller - both slaves) and others how to read, write and/or calculate math, but not seen as smart enough and bold enough to calculate a platform to be President of a country that sure needs another first by us?

So you see, my Brothers (Idrens) and Sisters (Sistren), what I am saying is, let us not forget our past, which led us to our present and can definitely be the backbone to our future. We were good enough, smart enough, creative enough, and bold enough then, so let’s all give Obama the chance to show that we are still these things and more. We all are as strong as our weakest link. Don't be the weak link that denies our people the chance to show we still can OVERCOME & BE THE FIRST."

Lady Roots believes that every one of the questions above can be answered with one word. Anyone care to guess what that word is?

4 Shared Thoughts:

Janet Shan said...

Great piece. Yes, why is it that the Black man gets passed over time after time. I suspect this has roots in slavery, when the black man was relegated to a life of being a second-class citizen. What breaks my heart are those black men who are disrespectful to their women and their children. What breaks my heart are those young black men (and sometimes Latinos ) in the inner cities across American wreaking havoc on innocent people and taking the lives of our babies such as Eternity Gaddy of Chicago. Sad is the fact that so many of our decent, hardworking and law-abiding brothers are ignored Compelling commentary! Nice blog man! I'll definitely blogroll yuh!

LADY ROOTS said...

Sistren Janet,

Thanks for stopping by to visit.

Yes, there is a legacy of both slavery and racism that has wreaked immeasurable damage on many generations and continues to have an impact even today.

But that does not excuse the fact that too many young men of colour are not honouring their status as sons of kings and children of Jah.

The irony here in Jamaica is that it is often women themselves who are responsible for turning our young men into the undisciplined, predatory, irresponsible hooligans that terrorize our communities.

Women must find ways to instill within their son(s) an innate strength that allows him to be gentle with those who are weaker.

I am sick to my soul hearing that poverty breeds crime here in Jamaica. That is a lie. There has always been poverty in Jamaica, but the horrifying levels of crime are relatively recent.

As women, we can refuse to allow our husbands, boyfriends, baby faddahs, sons, grandsons, uncles, brothers, nephews or cousins to bring criminal behaviours into our homes. Refuse to cover up their criminality and refuse to accept any money or other benefit from it.

Stand firm for an honest livity and the men in your life will either follow suit or they will do you a favor by removing themselves from your life.

And now I am stepping down from my soapbox and picking up my beadwork.

Bless Up,
Lady Roots

Clay Perry said...

i though about this one for a while & decided that "apathy" fit best... is that close to your thought?

LADY ROOTS said...

Idren Clay,

It hurts to think about some things.

I think I'll bead instead.

Bless Up,
Lady Roots