A Tale of Two Black Americas… copyright DJ Black Adam 2007
I was reading a very good article on Mizrepresent’s blog titled “Ghetto Nation”
The conversation around the topic brought me to a realization regarding all things “Ghetto”, that being; we seem to have “Two Black Americas”.
Chris Rock once joked: “There's like a civil war going on with black people," Rock declared. "There are two sides: there's black people, and there's n******. And n***** have got to go.” Is this perhaps true?
Let me clarify before we go further, the difference I point out between these two “Black Americas” is not defined by who uses the “N-word” and such, this is about MINDSET. “Ghetto” for this discussion is not so much a place but a state of mind. “Ghetto Minded” folks and “Non-Ghetto Minded folks”.
You can have “Ghetto Minded” folks living in Beverly Hills, Staten Island, the affluent North suburbs of Chicago, etc. and “Non-Ghetto-Minded” folks living in Newark, the Boogie Down, Compton etc. The difference is about values not Location or Income.
There is a segment of the African American population, who glamorize the distorted image of Black maleness that the entertainment industry forwards, the pimp, gangsta or thug and other negative images of Black people both male and female. Let me qualify this from a personal experience I had before I got married.
A friend of mine requested I go on a double date with him, the young lady who he was setting me up with worked in downtown Chicago, had a job making the mid 40’s (at that time pretty decent salary), and lived in a condo downtown with her roomate (the lady my friend was dating). We all got into on of those typical getting to know you discussions regarding “manhood”, where I posited that a “Man” was or is an individual who operates within a set of principles and rules his life by those principles that he has accepted. To which, this woman looked me square in the eyes and in all seriousnes stated that I (former Marine, gainfully employed, no children out of wedlock, no criminal record , etc.) didn’t know what a “Real Man” was and was not a “Real Man” because, and I quote “You ain’t never been to jail!”. Fascinating to say the least. Now, at that point, I realized she and I had a serious degree of separation in regard to our values system.
Which brings me to the point. After this Imus thing, we have seen people stand up and say that BET, MTV, Black Radio, Record Labels, etc. need to be boycotted because of their use of certain words but more pointedly because of the images of Black people, men and women, being forwarded by the music, film and etc. that is produced in those mediums.
Upon thinking about this, it dawned upon me, don’t those of us who don’t like these images ALREADY Boycott these institutions for the most part?
Seriously, BET and MTV are blocked on my television, I don’t listen to black radio for the most part, and the last “Gangsta” rap c/d I bought was “Doggystyle” back in 93-94? Most of the people I associate with also do the same, yet, the negative music still sells big time, BET doesn’t seem to be hurting for viewers and Black radio still is on the air.
I have relatives that would laugh in my face at the suggestion of not listening to WGCI or 92.3 in Chicago, and have relatives that question my wisdom as a parent for not allowing my 4 sons to watch “The Flavor of Love”. These people don’t seem to care, and honestly, isn’t it their right as Americans not to?
We can’t force these brothers and sisters to comply, we can’t shame them to stop supporting misogynistic and negative music / film / tv shows, so is it time that we just separate? If we instruct our children to use proper grammar then we are “bougie” or “sell outs” or “acting white” in these peoples eyes, if we focus on education for our children, their told that they are “acting white”, etc.
Is there are true, definite and unbridgeable disconnect here, is it time for separation? Share your thoughts. Peace.