Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sharecropper


I went to a meeting last Tuesday where there was a discussion about the state of Black Gay men and Black people in general. A question was asked if things have changed since the civil rights movement.

My answer was that history repeats itself. If you look really deep into what's happening in the world you'll see what I say to be true. Things have most certainly changed since the Civil Rights movement and slavery. The world is more sophisticated and technologically advanced. However, there is still racism, poverty, lack of education and desperation in the Black community. I know that my answer to the question might seem simple on the surface. However, I ended my answer by stating that the majority of us are still Sharecroppers today.

What did I mean by that? There are not many in the Black or Black Gay community that own their own successful business. It's not that we couldn't because most anything produced by the Black community is well received and sure to be copied in someway. So why are we continually volunteering our labor to the big corporations that have very little in upper management that look like us or benefit us? Because we are sharecroppers giving our talent and lessening our worth by working to make someone else the big dollars. While at the same time striving to feel comfortable in our homes by purchasing things that only temporarily make us happy and cause us more debt.

This behavior binds us to a cyclical journey of debt and dissatisfaction. There are few of us that are able to break the bind of this journey to venture into areas that will foster financial freedom and self-satisfaction. Why aren't those few teaching us the things that they know. Has this capitalistic society damaged our hereditary something so much that we have forgotten our instinctual willingness to support our own village. Somethings have not been erased for most. Like when you pass another Black person you instinctually greet them. At work I always get the question from white people, "Do you know all the Black people that work here." Let's get it back..so Look at that Nigger will only be able to post music videos that he likes.

4 comments:

WhozHe said...

Interesting post. I for one think we as a people had more going for us before and during the Civil Rights movement. I think the pride we had was greater and we fought for justice for all people. Now we seem to have lower self-esteem and pride (as evidenced by our debasing of women and glorifying of killing each other in rap music) and tend to be more concern about getting over on the white man and less concern about fairness to everyone.

BronzeBuckaroo said...

I must disagree with Whozhe's comment that most of "us" are concerned about "getting over on the white man" and are "less concerned about fairness to everyone." Actually, I am sort of offended by these over generalizations which fall into line with a black conservative mode of fault finding in black folk. Moreover, the fights fought in the past and those in the present have always been obliquely for the rights of everyone, not black folks alone. Why anything otherwise would be suggested is vulgar, unfair, and without merit.

I do apologize if my words are not clear. I have been flustered.

I agree with what "you" are saying, D. In many respects the past has overlapped to repeat itself in the present. Black sharecroppers are now white collar employees giving of their time and talent to work for corporations who seldom reinvest back into communities of color but are quick to take and exploit and sell back for their own profit and benefit.

Integration reinvented the image of the sharecropper we see today. I am not saying integration was and is a bad thing. What I am saying is integration should not have been viewed as a panacea for the the larger black community.

We should have built upon integration and its freedoms of mobility, both economic and social. Instead, we "did" sacrifice much of the pride we had as a people for it. Once once vibrant self-sufficient communities with a secure infrastructure disintegrated. Skills used to run businesses, business owners, the best and brightest creative people abandoned their community where they were often the example to aspire toward. Any currency, even that made outside the community, did return to the community to circulate and benefit the entire "village."

D-Place said...

Thanks Whozhe. I too think that we had more during and before the civil rights movement. But I also believe that we lost it because we were working for all people. I believe that if we had followed more aggressive thought like Malcholm X moreso than Martin Luther King we might be in a better situation today.

Bronze you and I see eye to eye.

kennyking78 said...

OhMyGosh! Shut up! I was just thinking about this today!

I wore a suit today because I had to do an oral presentation in an Advertising class I am taking. I was in my garage, about to get into my car and I envisioned myself leaving for a day to work. For a brief second, I felt like a slave. It is hard to explain, but I felt like I was a well-dressed slave, working for someone else.

Luckily, I plan on working in order to one day own my business. Don't worry, I am doing it solely for the freedom to teach and move others of us ahead in this whitewashed society!

Love your words, D!!!!!!

kennyking78
http://just4today.typepad.com