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KEEPING IT REAL

This is one of the most over used and abused phrases in the African American vocabulary.

It is enormously frustrating to see the sustained battle within the culture over what does or does not constitute a true representation of one's cultural pride. There is no greater task master, no greater critic, and no greater obstacle to achievement than ourselves. We need to reform that "Crabs in a Barrel" mentality. (Where in the scramble to escape confinement, every time a crab starts to make progress scaling the walls of the barrel, another crab grabs him and pulls him back down into the pit.)
This competition fuels intense in-fighting, and in the end, leaves very little, if anything accomplished.

I still feel that the greatest tool anyone has, and it's multiplied exponentially for people of color, is education. It's two fold: 1. It proves to people, in the form of the piece of paper, the degrees of various levels, that you have the skills to navigate "the game". And 2. It is crucial to our individual survival, to our sense of pride, sense of self worth, and molds our integrity as a human being. Heavy huh? From the cradle to the grave, we should never stop learning. But even if we do stop at some point, the critical learning period early in one's life is the make-or-break phase. If the most basic skills are not developed, we don't stand a chance.

My challenge to anyone that is reading this page, is to go to this link below and find a fact about Black History that you can file under "New Information". I was planning to have a page full of individual links to piont of a fact tidbit, but there are simply so many of them, you would not want to click on all of them anyway. I would just like you to take away from this page one fact that you did not know before you arrived.

It could be a noted person or thing that you have heard mentioned for years but never took the time to explore. Do you know what the Niagara Movement was? What the court case "Plessy vs. Ferguson" was about? We may know that Nat Turner led a slave rebellion, but did you know his was the third major rebellion led by a black man? Do you know the significance of a white man named John Brown, or a black man named Dred Scott? How about St Maurice, Alexandre Dumas, Madame C.J. Walker, or Lewis Latimore?

I wish the people that spend so many hours in mindless online entertainment would get lost in the endless richness of the real life events that have brought us to this moment in time. Email me, or leave in your guestbook note what the historical item was that you finally say you know.


KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

Encyclopedia Brittannica's Black History Site: