Soul Purpose of Blacks in America

"Shedding Light on Our Plight"

Soul Purpose - Part Three

How can a slave be free?

Drive through an inner-city neighborhood in most large cities. Notice how on opposing corners sits a church in all its glory, probably the best, well-kept building on the block, with the leader of the flock clamored in beautiful robes. And, to balance it out, the liquor store or place of ill repute which bespeaks the wretchedness of the same people.

How can a man be free?

A few years back, I gave a lecture on how we (the entire world) are in this together. It’s not us and them, it’s we. One white gentleman in the audience said that he was confused as to what to call me. I explained that I remember going from colored to black to African-American. Who decides? Our government does. Here is an interesting fact, the next time you look at a job application, notice how people from northern Africa are categorized as white.

By the way, I told him that I would prefer to be called "J"

What's In A Name?

When you call a man native to this country an African-American you are placing limits on him. This is his country and should be afforded the right to call himself an American. I know that to some of you this is splitting hairs. In fact, I’ve read somewhere that we should be grateful to be here and why would we ask for crumbs when you can have the whole slice of bread? I agree, but IMAGES are not put forth that shows this slice of bread being available.

To gain a better understanding, imagine that some strange people snatch you from your car as you are going to work. You are blindfolded and taken to a place where you don’t speak the language, no one there looks like you, and you are forced to adopt and adapt to the habits of this strange land.

Centuries later, your future offspring know little to nothing about your home land; it is an idea that’s hard to comprehend. Your culture is now lost, there is nothing for your family to hold on to. The people in this strange land aren’t as welcoming or understanding as they should be so they try to ignore, denigrate, and make you feel like a second class citizen.

Meanwhile, you have to re-create yourself – produce a spinoff from this strange land and/or try to fit in. It makes a man feel like a stranger in the country of his birth. No other ethnic group is limited by such. Besides American, due to the nature of its melting pot, is not a culture. It’s a multi-culture.

The Light

  1. Know thy self – Despite the negative images constantly portrayed on television, in books, and movies it is time to gain an understanding of who you are and what you are here to do. We all have a purpose. Is not the ultimate sin not living as one made in His image?

  2. Get to know your history – February has been established as the month to celebrate your ancestral contributions to this world. You are who you are everyday. Learn something new about your history that will uplift you and help to destroy those negative images dominating our society.

    In the series Roots, Alex Haley was able to trace his family tree to one man from one country in Africa. In reality, numbers were assigned (this is how we got our social security numbers) to the slaves at embarkation stations. There were no records prior to that. Our current DNA technology was not available back then so Alex Haley returning to "his" African tribe was a bit of Hollywood storytelling.

  3. Know where you are - Here’s the reality. What does it mean to be “American”? Every other culture to grace this land has come with its cultural ancestry intact and came as a result of free will. Our ancestors were not afforded that luxury so here we are centuries later lacking a bonafide history to enhance our self worth.

    Where are the stories of our greatness that we can pass down to our kids? Where are the pictures or ads of people who look like us enjoying the gifts of this world that can inspire youth to achieve more? Yes we have had a major impact on the success of this world (one which has not been fully recognized but explained later) but one that’s not globally discussed.

    When you think of a particular culture you think of food, music, spices, customs, and dress. We’ve modified what was given to us. Most notably, we have made this world dance. The one thing that was ingrained in us that could not be taken away is our music, our beat, the rhythm. This tribal beat ties us to the world; it is our connection to our past. It’s time to use it to unite a people of a lost culture. People marvel at it, decry its meaning, fear it, and yet bounce to it.

"No Man Shall Buy You"

In Deuteronomy, God said, “No man shall buy you”. No man shall intercede on the behalf of the African/Edenic people. It is an internal problem requiring an internal solution. It is time now for each and every one of us to wake up and take our collective place in the world. Whether you believe the bible or not is not up for debate here. You have to admit though, that the commandments put before us (a set of societal laws for living in harmony) are not that difficult to follow. In fact, society as a whole, if lived by its tenants (not religion particularly), would be much better off. What if we took just one “thou shall not kill” – would not the conversation about leaving or staying in Iraq be useless?

Since no man can help, here’s how to help yourself:

Take those images of your ancestors, look back to invigorate your soul. Use those images to realize that you are a product of natural law, the law that states that only the strong will survive or survival of the fittest. Realize that you are among the strongest race of humans to walk this earth because of what your ancestors had to endure.

Realize that it is time now for you to stand up and give a hand up for someone else who’s struggling to stand. Look back only for the inspiration to drive forward. The images of the past are motivation enough to map out a future, your future.

Most importantly, realize that in the near future, someone will be looking back at you, looking for their own inspiration. What kind of world will you leave behind for them?

Now what?

I know that I’ve delved into the past, revealed some ideas that may be uncomfortable for you. I know that some religious folk will take offense to what I’ve written. I’ve been down this path before. I know that some of you will strongly disagree with me and that is your right to do so. I will, however, challenge anyone to provide me with more insight as to why a particular race had this particular experience.

When you pull back the layers of how savage a human can be, there is a lesson. If this biblical representation of our reprehensible past is true then understand this:

The sickness of slavery did not just happen to the African/Edenic people. It was universal and all were infected by it, albeit in different ways. Society now finds it hard to communicate for fear of hurting each other's feelings by saying the "wrong" thing. People have lost lives and jobs for uttering opinions or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We are divided because of a percentage of melanin.

If you take a snapshot of our past and follow this logic, you will see that the Soul Purpose of Blacks in America is to be that example of what can happen if the “Law” is not diligently followed. Yes it does seem a bit religious in kind, but I am not talking about religion. I am talking about following that Inner Voice and allowing Love and the Golden Rule to be your measuring stick as to how we treat one another.

We are embarking upon a new time, a new mindset. There is a new spirit in the air, the world is changing, and we are witness to it. Do we finally come together and love our fellow man no matter where he is from, what he looks like, or language he speaks. Or, do we continue on with the ignorance and hate of our forefathers that's been used to divide us?

It’s up to you.

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