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Living on the Edge of Nothingness
5/15/2013 2:13:14 PM

By Hakim Abdul-Ali 

I was taken to task by an avid “Chronicle” reader recently who asked me quite bluntly, “Why do I write about some of the things that I do?” 

Respectfully, I responded by telling him that my “vibes” come from the Most High Alone, and that I try to put a purpose to being granted the space on this earth to uplift my people to “think” and be conscious of they are. That alone is a stern task for aware ebony soul to grasp, furthermore, carry out in (possibly) alerting the masses of our remaining reading and thinking “colored” folk, who are still aware, that the struggle for Black survival is ongoing. 

If you’re conscious of that known fact, then you’ll have to agree that there’s nothing wrong with me, or any other person of consciousness, “hipping” his fellow “brotha” or “sistah” to the reality that nothing much has changed for the challenged Black masses in this country. Don’t blow that statement off to idle banter. 

Oh, I know that a few folk may differ with that assumption from me by stating that we’ve achieved many things since the hard times of the Reconstruction Era in the middle and late 19th Century and beyond. That’s true, but there’s more to where we are now in total achievement as a mass of ethnic “hue-mans” which may shield some sinner loopholes in our overall view of who we are.
As I was telling the brother who I was rapping with, “Black folk are a resilient body of ‘colored’ folk, but we are, sometimes our own worst enemies.” He asked to explain further because he said I had struck a nerve in his thinking process. 

Delving deeper into my thoughts, I related to him that we as a people can’t get afford to get lost in the fact that a “few” or select number of us have “made” it. Those minority are great to see and acknowledge, but what about the overall achievement of the general community where, for example, issues like rampant Black-on- Black crime and escalating venereal diseases hits us, seemingly, more profoundly than other publicized ethnic groups. 

Of course that is all relative to the actual reporting sources and the legitimacies of said sources. We, Black folk, should and have to question everything that’s printed and broadcast about us with a grain of salt, and you know already know that too much salt of any kind in our diets is a killer agent getting ready to take root. 

I told the brother, who I was engaged in this conversation with, that, maybe, we should view also certain printed and broadcast “his-storical” info about us as, possibly, malicious propagation against us. If you are a thinker and not an enemy of being proud of who you are from an “our-storical” sense of being, then that analogy shouldn’t leave you in the darkness of clear understanding while “Living on the Edge of Nothingness.” 

Sometimes, when any group of oppressed ethnic folk are at the brink of desperation, they, oftentimes, feel like they have nothing to lose in order to free themselves from colonized bondage, mis-educational tyranny, and mental enslavement to anything that tells them are zilch. Do you understand what I just said, or are you forgetting that we are only here by the grace of God (Alone) and that many others before us had to endure the hells of pandemic tortures galore?

I hope you do, because Black misery is “nothing” to sweep under the rugs of “our-storical” denial and continued “his-storical” indoctrination. That’s what I related to my good brother, and I wanted him to know that the majority of our people are still living in ignorant darknesses, both spiritually and mentally.
He agreed with me, and he said as he begins to reread “The Chronicle,” he senses that “nothing” really has changed too much for “colored” folk in Charleston on a percentage basis in many things, even though a “few” select folk have “positions.”

I told him that I didn’t disagree with on that point, but what I generally talk about is for the common average “brotha” and “sistah,” because Blacks who think they have it made probably don’t read “The Chronicle” any way unless they need it to champion their “at-the-moment” cause or issue with someone in the political arenas of “his-storical” control.

To that statement, the brother told me boldly, “Amen!” I could only respond in kind by saying, “That my brother is why I write the way that I do, because many of our folk are still ‘Living on the Edge of Nothingness’ and I don’t to be there.”

I told him that being born “hue-man” with the casual ethnic labeling of be called African-American is “nothing” to be ashamed of. It’s a badge of humble pride and dignity if anyone of us, who’s Black and proud, brings purpose to that designation and existence. It’s a fulltime job.

We often hear so many “colored” folk extol the fact that we, as Afro-Americans, are descendants of mighty, mighty giants of “our-story” from the Motherland. If that is so, and I believe it to be, then doesn’t that legacy deserve to be sustained and not segue into an invisible legacy of non-existence among ourselves, the current inheritors of such great African nobility.

Being Black and promoting cultural unity and respect among ourselves is not a “nothing” activity. It’s a cause celeb which must be studied, promoted, celebrated, experienced and written about through rigorous application and spiritual dedication. That’s what I do by God Alone’s mercy.

We must do this all the time if we are to make Blackness mean something for the Black youth of tomorrow to respect and love. I know that you’ve heard it before, but “the”Black reality is what it is.
Aware and motivated Afro-Americans must change the present in order to advance the future. With that fact in mental tow, that’s also why I continue to write the way that I do hoping that someone will understand the plight that’s upon our people and that he, or she, will be so encouraged to endorse positive Blackness as a happening and not a nothingness state of extinction.

The brother said after we had our rap, he understood the dedication, as he put it, behind what makes me do what I do. I expressed to him that I only thank God Alone for the ability to write as a gift from Him, and I thank Him (Alone) for the visions and dedication of the “The Charleston Chronicle’s” legendary award-winning publisher and journalist, Mr. “Jim” French, Sr., and his loyal staff over four-plus decades for still putting out the valuable Black news and views without compromise. “The Chronicle” is a worth to us.

To that, the brother uttered another “Amen.” On that definitive closure, I guess that about says it all for today. Keep reading “The Chronicle” to get “your” side of things, which is always current and contemporary, and never “Live on the Edge of Nothingness.” Our cultural significance has value. For today, and always, that’s, “As I See It.” 

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