I am a Black Studies major and I take my people and my history serious! With that being said, I am not someone who proclaims to be the “messiah” or the next great Black hope! If I somehow become an influential Black person that people gravitate to and are willing to follow then cool. If I am not, cool. I do not think it is righteous or even in good taste to portray oneself as grander than what they actually are. This especially holds true for Black folks in the “conscious” community. I cannot stand to hear how a majority of them claim to have the antidote to white supremacy. No one strategy will deliver our people from the oppressive hold of white supremacy especially when not ALL Black folks are considered or utilized in your plans. For example, a lot of Black conscious folks only recognize heterosexual Black folks and despise and dismiss same gender loving folks. I have never nor will I ever give two fucks about another person’s sexual orientation. Last time I checked James Baldwin was a gay man and his contributions to Black liberation far outweigh ANY contribution of the so-called conscious Black folks who bash him.
Controversial “conscious” Black man, Dr. Umar Johnson, inspired part of this blog post/rant. I remember first seeing him on another controversial Black man, Tariq Nasheed’s “Hidden Colors” documentary. I then started to research Dr. Johnson and came across some of his YouTube videos and I was impressed…at first. As time went on I became less and less of a fan and more of a saddened spectator. Here it is a Black man who is getting the attention of Black folks and he is squandering the opportunity to do good with a pompous attitude. This man has been trying to build an Afrocentric themed school, which I am ALL for. My only gripe is where is all the money he has crowd sourced going to and why do little Black girls who would one day attend the school not be allowed to have chemically straightened hair? The patriarchy dripping from his rule for little Black girls is disheartening. Just fucking teach the kids and stop policing how their parents choose to style them.
Who cares what the little girls hair looks like if she cannot read, write, or do basic math? What is more important here: aesthetic or intellect? Also, it has been quite a few years and we are still no closer to seeing the pan African school coming to fruition. Why is that? Could it be folks have come to the conclusion that Dr. Umar is not right for leadership and therefore shouldn’t be the person responsible for educationally molding the impressionable minds of young Black kids? As Black folks, we have to use every opportunity we have once we are given a platform to effect change. It is poor humility that drives the ego to lead us and as Black folks we don’t have the luxury of multiple preventable fuckups when the end goal is REVOLUTION AND BLACK LIBERATION!!! Just imagine how unremarkable the life work of Harriet Tubman or Malcolm X would be if they were ego driven and not people (Black folks) driven… too depressing to fathom.