Generational Curse? or What is the new definition of Blackness?
Our young people are being fed a steady media diet of mindless drivel which they mistake for supreme wisdom, truth and as an acceptable lifestyle. In the name of “Keeping it Real”, morals, decency and values have been cast aside. Fame & fortune gotten through illicit or illegal means has becomes society’s new aspirations & goals.
Who do our young people worship and hold in high esteem? Snooki, Brittany, Lilo, Kendra, any rapper, Housewives of ________ (fill in the city), Lady Gaga, and of course the latest apostle Charlie Sheen. Of course then there is Hip-Hop. Music that started out as fun, a bit light hearted and fill with societal messages has now become a medium in which our people continue to degrade Black women, uphold illegal lifestyles and program our children into idiocy and foolishness.
Spirituality, Intellectualism, the pursuit of Knowledge are laughed at. Young African Americans have a narrow view of what Black means. Do the Millennials conceive of Black in terms of the baroque painter Juan de Pareja, Aleksander Puskin, Alexander Dumas. Do the names Charles Drew, Hugh Masekela, Maya Angelou, Diana Sands, Diahann Carroll, Verta Mae Grosvenor, Douglas Turner Ward, Roscoe Lee Browne, Cicely Tyson, James Earl Jones, Gloria Foster, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, Josephine Baker, Calvin Lockhart, mean anything to the younger generation or have they been conscripted to the dinosaur age? Is Malcolm X and Angela Davis just posters or pictures on T-Shirts?
Despite Disco and Blaxplotation films all the time I was growing up it was stressed and imprinted on us that we must be a credit to our race. We must uplift the race. We had an obligation to do better. Be better. Education was held in high esteem. Teachers were venerated.
Now the new order of the day is how low can I sink, how many clothes can I take off, how much illicit sex can I have and download it onto the Internet, how many curse words can I use in public, how much can I offend and disrespect our elders, in general how low can I sink to be authentically “black”. I find it very sad to see our children not only believing but living the hype.
To Be Young, Gifted & Black
By Donny Hathaway