You never know when the words will touch you. Or what those words will be.
A long time ago, I was listening to “Murder to Excellence” and heard the ensuing lines.
What up, Blood? What up, cuz? It’s all black, I love us
– Jay – Z
“I love us.”
The line always stuck with me. As a black man, I’ve always felt passionately about my racial identity. I was a 4 year old kid on the floor; in my draws and my little Hanes white tee…thumbing through books about African kids learning Swahili.A bunch of brown faces that looked just like me and my sister and my parents. Different skin tones. Braids. Big smiles. I felt pride then and I really didn’t know what it meant. I just knew that there was something important about my people. I always had this feeling in my chest that my race was a big deal and something to hold onto tightly.
I happened to be on UnKut.Com and saw this….
When BDK(Big Daddy Kane) came out….I felt the same way I did when I read those books about black children. I was proud. Look at that park full of people with the same skin, ancestry and culture as me. Everyone peacefully gathered in the park , simply desiring a good time. It doesn’t even feel like 2013; everything about the scene looks like what I’d imagine the 80s to be. I’m not one of those “YO RAP WAS THE BEST BACK THEN EVEN THOUGH I WAS BARELY ALIVE” people but certain things can’t be denied. This video is beautiful. In addition to BDK still having stage presence and the same talent that won crowds over when I wasn’t even a thought yet , the energy strikes me. The energy. From us.
I love US. US.
Black people. My brothers and sisters(black women changed my life.) and uncles and aunts and friends. Not just “black” in the typical sense , ethnic people. I think we all have some aspect of black culture or ideologies within us.
I can’t do certain things because of the presence of this….love. I can’t really fuck with WorldStar; I feel silly and embarrassed. I think we are far too beautiful and talented and strong to have a website thats 80 percent dedicated to us making a fool of ourselves. I can’t laugh at some of those jokes pointed towards black women; they’ve been around me all of my life (and instrumental in who I became over time). I can’t dig certain TV shows because they dont accurately reflect the black experience that I know and live daily.
In that same breath , the love makes me smile. I see a black person doing well and striving , I commend them because I know the shit is tough. The people who really pushed the hardest for what they desire all too often go thankless. I don’t ever let myself hold back credit when its due; but if its a person of color its even MORE important to me. I LOVE to see a black man or woman touching destiny and impacting people with their gifts. It’s vital. That is the real meaning of life. It’s what I really want to do before it’s all over.
Luckily for me , its nowhere near over.