Dear Black Leaders,
Consider this: you’re currently working an entry-level job, paying bills more than living life, and serving the community during your spare time. Then someone with three degrees, considered wealthy by societal definition, and never has “time,” to physically serve the community anymore decides that you’re not working hard enough for “the cause.” Sounds familiar? That’s because self-righteousness is the roach we have yet to kill in our communities. The excuses vary from wanting better to being a public example of where you “should” be. Self-righteousness is a poisonous result of White Supremacy. Now, before you throw this article away, continue reading for a rational and critically analyzed reasoning…
Remember back in 2001 when Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham coined the term “politics of respectability?” This term was used to exemplify a time in the late 1800’s on to the early 1900’s when it was assumed that if Blacks began to speak, dress, and act more like our Caucasian counterparts they, would be higher class. See, in our communities, class was more about faking it until you made it rather than your current financial situation. Although respectability politics aren’t inherently evil, they do cause one common issue to arise: white men have become the standard. Now let’s examine the effects…
When classifying people into statuses, you will always have negative psychosocial outcomes. It is evident that those closer to the lower levels of rankings will assume their positions of “bottom-feeders” and suffer from issues like low self-efficacy, depression, financial anxiety, etc., thus breeding a culture perfect for crime to rise. On the contrary, those that are ranked higher could become self-righteous, prideful, prudes thus forgetting the journey of our ancestors. To imagine, that this spectrum of illness is all stemmed from aspiring to be more like white men.
Take a few seconds and think about what we deem as ghetto, ratchet, and unprofessional. Who first gave definition to these inflatable concepts? Seriously, think about that. What we consider expressive they consider outlandish (unless Kylie Jenner is doing it). The worst part is that our very own people would see someone with red hair, stiletto nails, and a banging body, and assume they’re incompetent, illiterate, and ghetto trash. Yet, it is almost guaranteed if you look at that very same individual’s family-line, you’ll find colorful cousins, uncles, grandparents, etc.
Listen, it’s time to stop being niggas in the sunken place. When we reclaim our power of love and sprinkle that on our communities, we could grow like bamboo after its first six years, reaching over 70 feet of greatness in mere weeks. So, to my educated brothers and sisters that are comfortable in their homes alongside shaming each other for being expressive, humble yourselves and remember your roots. If somehow, you were given a rusty silver-spoon at birth, consider the pain and work of our ancestors. By not exposing the hood to the resources you have, you’re not only setting them back, but you’re stunting the growth that’s needed to reshape this world for your children’s children. So remember, in the words of Jay-Z #StillNigga.
A shawty working on her third degree
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