The Saga Continues….
The Generation Crap Part I
By Nevin Jefferson
Bill Cosby has been an inspiration and role model to the Black community from the early pioneer days. He’s also a father figure in the Black community as well as all races,creed,and colors. In the face of adversity and tragedies he handled them all with grace and style that made him a class act. Not once has he raised his voice in anger while in public or became unglued… Until recently when the Black community complete with ignorance and idiotic nonsense finally pissed him off. And he went totally ballistic about it and blasted the Black nation out of the Universe. Yeah, Right On Bill! Since I’m out in the public a lot this days and becoming sick to my stomach in disgust during my walking on God’s green earth. I can relate with Mr. Cosby. Stereotypes of the degrading and demeaning kind are have made a comeback “Ghetto” style. There are those in the hood who love to imitate what they see while taking it to the lowest of low. The stereotypes on television, commercials, videos, and movies stuck like glue to the poor chilies watching them. I termed this culture shock “Joke Theater” complete with walking and running gags. (It certainly makes me gag!) Before I get into this, I’m going to take you back into the golden olden days where I began my journey in the 60’s.
The fight for Civil Rights for Colored People was in full swing in the 60’s by the Freedom Fighters who where Church going people. The press and nightly news had their readers and viewers under the mind-wash that the protesting Colored folks were rebel rousers, militants, and activists causing trouble and stirring up a riot in the masses by demanding the same rights that Whites had. How dare us want equal rights? How dare us want to dine in White restaurants that didn’t cater to colored folks? How dare us want to be integrated into White schools and colleges? How dare us want to sit at the front of the bus? How dare us want to go where we didn’t belong? How dare us wanting to work the same jobs as Whites did. How dare us want to live in the same neighborhoods? How dare us want anything since we weren’t United States Citizens? During that time Colored folks were considered immigrants who had no rights since they weren’t citizens. Huh? Sound familiar? John Kennedy sidestepped the question about the Civil Rights Movement when pressured by the press and media. Dr. Martin Luther King and his followers nationwide from all races were considered unsavory characters and not accepted socially in the society of that day. The media portrayed Hollywood Actors and Actresses who fought for Black Civil Rights like non-conformists who were committing a major crime that weren’t acceptable to society or America with their careers being on the line. Remember when Marlon Brandon died? The mention of his marching for civil rights was in a negative voice with the text of extreme wrongdoing and a slap in Society’s face. This add insult to stupidity and slander, the press went on to say that Edgar Hoover had Marlon Brandon under investigation along with others who antagonized the nation with their behavior. So, by today’s standards, all who fought the fight for Civil Rights were wrong by doing this. And nobody blinked an eye when George Bush tried to bring an end to Civil Rights. Nor when a Barbara Bush made the statement to the press that the victims of Katrina were better off living in the Astro Dome since they were already under privilege with nowhere better to go. Sonny Boy didn’t blink an eye when bodies floated down the river right in front of him after Katrina struck. The media acted like it wasn’t happening right before their camera and news anchors. I jumped the point!
Alright-T! Black leaders, Black Church leaders, and those involved in the fight for the cause invoked a plan of action and attitude for Colored Folks to take. Parents, Relatives, neighbors, and teachers helped do their part in enforcing the rules.
Number 1) Was non-violence. The thought of doing nothing while getting the crap kicked out of me by people who hated me with a mad passion bothered me. To me it was being submissive and masochistic to sadistic White folks who wanted to teach us to stay our place. What? I grew up in Chicago you say? Racism was a big part in the windy city just like it was in the South. Under the Daly machine everyone had their place and knew to stay in theirs. Remember the 1968 riots when Mayor Richard Daly gave police officers and the National Guards orders to shoot to kill? I do! The National Guard had the entire Robert Taylor Projects (The worst Housing Projects on this planet. The Carbini Green Projects weren’t swat!) blocked off and on a curfew.
Number 2) Was a dapper appearance and mannerisms that showed that we weren’t any threat or the lowly ignorance species that we were thought of. No one left the house looking like bums or poverty stricken masses that looked like dam it I’ll bite you! Your clothes were cleaned, ironed, and patched neatly if the need be. Your hair was combed and styled with hair grease, pressed with a straightening comb in the kitchen or done at the Beauty Shop. There were two styles at the Barber Shop, collegian (bald that you let grow back until it was time to get it cut again. And a Butch, (Yes, I wore my hair like this.) which was in the style of a Mo-Hawk. The N.A.A.C.P. had showings of The Little Rascals” pulled off the air because the character Buckwheat was bad a stereotype image for colored children. The tiny pieces of rags tied in nappy hair was a throw back to picker ninnies. Little boys were given combs and a can of Crown Royal hair grease to keep their hair groomed. If a little boy happened to come to school with a head full of B-B’s (Nappy hair in small knots.) he was sent to the bathroom with a classmate to help him comb his hair. Of course, it was by the rottenest, meanest; dirty low down bully in the classroom. So, the kid usually came back traumatized with combed hair and a black eye. On more than one occasion one who look like a doll’s combed out scalp. If a kid came in dirty with smelly clothes they were sent home for the day. And the School Officials notified the Welfare office that a child was sent to school unclean, unkempt, and poor grooming. You bathed, did the personal hygiene ritual, always had your shirt tucked in, if your underwear was showing you’d be humiliated and put to shame by the evil children who always made it a point to say cruel things if given the chance. Your shoes were shined and your gym shoes were washed or polished every week.
Number 3) Was being on your best behavior with no exceptions to the rule. Being the oldest boy in the family I had to be the perfect example. I was the one who was supposed to know better and be the bettor one during all of the learning experiences and episodes from hell! Misbehavior while out in public was a no-no. Talking loud, name calling, and other ignorant behavior wasn’t acceptable what so ever. Perfect strangers would chastise, scold, and take you home to your parents and tell them about your stunts of ignorance that made you a bad example for Colored Folks. Your parents would thank the person then whoop your ass until there was no tomorrow. Back then if you were doing something that you’re weren’t supposed to be doing; the Cops would stop you and whoop your ass with their nightsticks. In school, Teachers would paddle you in front of the class. Gym coaches were the worst! They had paddles that made me cry ouch just by looking at them. Discipline was a part of your upbringing.
Number 4) Was the rule of all rules that was of the up most importance, which was no “N” word. It was forbidden and not to be a part of your vocabulary. If someone called you the “N” word the response who be; “I’m a Negro not a “N” to let you know, when I become a “N”, I’ll let you know”. The best reaction to this was to ignore it and walk away. If used in Black surroundings, a loud hush would bring the room into total silence. With the person getting a lecture of the worst kind and labeled a traitor to the race along with those who ignored the cause, gang bangers, and other degenerates. There was more to it than being colored! In an essence we were taught to be proud of who and what we were. We’re unique and usual individuals with outgoing personalities. We’re gifted, enthusiastic, ambitious, with hopes, dreams, with tons to offer to the world for change and helping the to make the world a better place. We learned not get angry about what people said. We carried on marching to the beat of own drum and let them talk. As far as people are concerned, we’ll never be able to satisfy them. Silence, peace, and union with God, comforted us from all that people spoke out against us and some being of our own. We all have problems, some seen, some unseen. Me? I resolved mine for the better. I got myself together by going to therapy and anti-depressants. As time moved on, I didn’t have the need for anti-depressant I choose to deal with things on my own without the dependence of medications. We learned not to judge or condemn others for their actions or what they did. We learned that life was all about change. We learned to deal with change in a positive manner while being a class act. We had morals, standards, self-respect, self-worth, self-pride, and respect for others and ourselves.
The Saga Continues… Part II
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