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Being Better Soul Brothas and Sistas
9/11/2013 1:05:20 PM

By Hakim Abdul-Ali

Living in the oftentimes impersonal world of today requires that we, as “hue-mans,” extend ourselves in so many different dimensions to communicate and live with and amongst each other.

That’s the way that it is idealistically perceived especially for those of us who wish to be looked upon as being politically, spiritually and morally correct. Even with this outlook getting along with one another can be a task unto itself.

It’s a timely work in progress if you ask me because the world-at-large is a panoramic salad bowl of ethnic “colored” folk, who are at odds sometimes with the concept of respectful universal brotherhood and sisterhood. We see every day that the global world of ethnic nations is still what it is—a beautiful and dynamic part of the collective God Alone created “hue-man” mosaic.

I, sometimes, like you, probably ask, “If that is an undeniable fact, then where is the love for one another that we so often declare in our religious and philosophical pontifications, etc.?” That’s an applicable question for those of us who really care about “hue-man” rights and equality, freedom and justice for all.

Hmm! That brings me to the reality that as a brother of color, who is a standing and caring soul “brotha” in the Afro-American community and living in the good old USA, wondering why my ebony community is still suffering from the ever-present diseases of disunity and self-hatred.

Unfortunately, it seems to permeate the daily landscapes of many soul “brothas” and “sistas” with an invisible sense of complacency and nonchalance. I don’t like it because I see the cancer of cultural isolationism spreading within the psyche of our communities.

Maybe, I’m truly old school in the sense that I still remember and believe that “Black is Beautiful,” because it was more than a cultural tie rod linkage for most ebony “colored” folk, especially in the reflective past to unite and respect each other. When that happened with earnestness it established a sense of mutual love between us that was something special to behold.

I know that, if you’re younger than fifty-years-old, the aforementioned concept may be lost somewhat in the mind-sets of some of today’s ebony masses regardless of their economic status. I believe that Black unity, as a functioning realism, has become merely abstract rhetoric to some “colored” folk who, in many instances, only lip sync that Black is Beautiful.

That may be a little remote in comprehension for the average “brotha” or “sista” of today, who only talks of African-American unity during February and, if then, only for a few select days. It’s a shame to have to put it like that but Black misery is a reality that doesn’t fade away from our collective hurts, pains and struggles.

Being a collector, researcher and writer about the Black Experience has me stuck on past periods in “our-story” that makes me believe there were epochs in Black struggles where unity was visible, even with our internal differences back then. They served as symbosl of hope in the darkness of racial strife in our quest for ethnic respect and literary dignity.

For example, take a look at the culturally magnificence of the Harlem Renaissance era in the 1920s and in the dynamic upheavals of the 1960s’ awakenings. Those were in many instances informative periods where Black was definitely beautiful, and we, as a dignified segment of American ethnic diversity, fought to maintain our self-pride with a commitment to building our communities with love, perseverance and uplift.

I look to those episodic examples with respect, awe and reverence, because I know that there were dynamic leaders present and committed participants among us back then, who believed that the color of our skin and the very nature of our collective struggles for freedom, justice and equality were not issues to swept under the rug of second-class citizenship.

No way. Those fabled known and unknown heroes and sheroes of our culture of yesteryear were the original “brothas” and “sistas,” who understood that Back unity didn’t come about because they lip-serviced it and expected it to somehow, miraculously, to come into fruition.

I love being Black with no apologies offered like some of us still feel that we have to do today. “Black is Beautiful,” and it’s a part of who I am just like any other ethnic being in creation should be proud of who he or she is.

The America that I was born into decades ago is still what is in spite of the fact that many things have changed for the better in some select arenas. Still, there’s so much more to be done so that the patriotic bald eagle’s stance of freedom, justice and equality is an accepted reality for all regardless of ethnicity, religion, color or gender.

We in the African-American community must do our parts in reaching this vaunted realm by attaining the very best education, both “his-torically” and “our-storically” speaking, as our goals. We must also never forget to attain and reach for mutual respect and love for ourselves as we trod toward freedom, justice and equality.

Loving African or Afro-American cultures in all of their many dynamics doesn’t mean that I don’t respect and appreciate anyone else’s culture. To the contrary, I do appreciate other American cultures in all of their flavored ethnic diversities.

It’s called education, and I believe that’s a crucial part of the spiritual and academic growths in which we all, including Afro-Americans, have to be participants of. That’s why I previously mentioned learning about “his-story” and “our-story.” Do you know what I meant?

Life is about growth in many ways, and we as Black Americans, along with all other ethnic “colored” folk in this potentially great nation, need to step up to the plate and be more vigilant in our pursuits of freedom, justice and equality for all. This is a must if you and I are to see that America progressively grows and resolutely lives up to what it is supposed to be.

Our families, communities and countries need our positive energies. I believe in the splendor of America the beautiful, complete with all of its ethnically and diversely flavored cultures. Its potential is awesome. Let’s assume our role.

The Afro-American community is part of that potential awesomeness, but we’ve got some work to do on our parts from within in order to be where we are supposed to be. An important start is to develop and cultivate self-love and respect for each other in becoming better American and Afro “brothas” and “sistas.”

Respectfully, if you’re of color, I’d like you to seriously grasp what I’ve said and help make yourself and other “hue-mans” of all ethnicities better “brothas” and “sistas” of “hue-manity. That includes my soul “brothas” and “sistas” in the African-American communities also. Peace, respect and love and that’s, “As I See It.”

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