There’s a “brave and startling truth” we must come to as a Black Community in the United States. It is obvious that we haven’t yet found it, as manifested only in part by the ongoing infighting over the “N” word, most recently brought to the forefront of our minds by the NFL’s contemplation of banning the word and the ensuing commentary.
When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe
When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.
The excerpts above from Maya Angelou’s “A Brave and Startling Truth” speak to journey we find ourselves on as a community. Some of us here at Collected Young Minds cannot help but wonder if we are missing the mark, if we are blind to the truth when we over emphasize the use of the “N”word.
Because while we build up well-articulated, deeply researched, boldly passionate arguments to defend our logic and destroy someone else’s logic on the use of “n*gga”, we apply energy to attacking one another while not actually advancing a healthy conversation about race relations or racial inequality. –Corey “While We Were Debating The Use of the N-Word…Actual Racism Happened“
We wonder if focusing on the use of it is a red herring that blocks us from standing together to rise as a people. It’s not that we have to all agree about the use of the word…it’s that the infighting gets ugly and unnecessarily divisive.
The hope that by separating us out into two groups, American society will then accept one group of Black people versus the other group, is crazy and sycophantic. Furthermore, it is not corroborated by any facts or experiences thus far. The current President of the United States is powerful, well-educated, and wealthy; by all accounts a huge boon to the “brand.” And despite, you know, being the leader of the free world, racist people occasionally like to compare him to a monkey. — N.Young On the N-Word: A Love Letter to the Talented Tenth
Shame and infighting just aren’t the surest paths to victory.–Zakiya “I Wish You Would“
This weekend marks a time when two years ago, Trayvon Martin’s parents were calling for justice to be served for the murder of their son. Then and now, we are weary of the criminalization of the black body.
Our judicial system is finding murderers justified in killing our young people for playing loud music, asking for help after car wrecks, wearing hoodies, or just being black, which apparently is intimidating within itself. — Enchanta “Dear “N-Word” Debaters: Get Off Your Soapbox“
Please think, discuss and engage on our series by our above authors. Leave comments, hit us via social media or email, spread the word. Hopefully, together, we will get to that truth.