I have been reading "Black Boy" by Richard Wright and am coming across so many pertinent points. The most amazing thing to me at this point is how there is a definitive role that the "black person" plays in the American society. As a matter of fact it is pointed out that the role is so significant that the resolution of the black mans "problems" disclude or lead to the disclude of more fundamental issues within the country itself. The line that got me pondering this was "It seemed to me, then, that if the Negro solved his problem, he would be solving infinitely more than is problem alone." This came on the heels of the exploration by Wright of the lives of the 1920's black society in America. He was so interested in trying to capture in his writing the entire "black experience" when he came to realize that the black experience is much greater than that. Cornell West addressed this issue when speaking about the "black agenda" (see democracynow.org). Cornell states emphatically that the black agenda is the American agenda. He is pointing out the profound influence and range that black people tend to have as a culture.
Now I find this to be amazing, as only about 14% of the American population black people tend to seem to dominate so much. Mainstream music is "black", fashion is "black", the justice system in inundated with black people, the media all together... But there doesn't seem to be a recognition of the power that is held within the community itself. Many things that are associated with being black are negative despite having a black president with his amazing accomplishments, living in a world where you can't go about your daily life without the use of an invention by a black person or the fact that there are major black contributors to prominent efforts and charities.
The question is posed- how do black people begin to tap into this strength that tends to be so inherent? How do we get the youth to see the potential that many work their entire lives to attain? We live in a society where the amount of young black men that are in prison is higher than those that were enslaved in 1850 and we do not seem to be trying to make a progressive effort to refute this occurance. To raise our children different, to not perpetuate such statistics within our own lives. Please do not get me wrong I too am guilty of this. Having my son and seeing his absolute similarities to his father scared me. I immediately began trying to map out a different plan for his life, new routes that he will be able to traverse.
I am not sure how to sum this up because there are so many elements to be touched upon.... therefore I will end by imploring us all to begin within ourselves... understand what the potential is of a man and infinite potential of a black man. I am in love with the black man, the idea of the black man and the power of a black man. I would love to be able to find one that too is in love with himself.