All my life I have been influenced by black Americans. When I was young I didn’t understand how much these people meant to me or how they affected my life.
I am thankful for knowing; Leroy who worked at the Johnston Building 1952 - 2004, Miss Lucy who worked in our home, Billy from the Kinston Country Club and Mister Mosley from the Greenbrier, and so many more. Although many of them are now gone I carry their memory with me and I am reminded of them often.
It was a much gentler time, we all drank out of the same faucet, we ate at the same table we rode in the same golf cart and we had concerns about all of the same issues.
They made me laugh and some made me cry, they made my heart sing with joy and some people would say that was because back then the black man knew his place. Well I don’t agree, I think they were just nicer people, but some time after the civil rights movement black became the color of anger. And it is as palatable today as it was during the riots of 1967 and 1968; and you can see the anger and hatred everywhere today.
I see it in Curtis James Jackson III aka 50 Cent and in Christopher Brian Bridges aka Ludacris and in Colby Bryant and Bob Johnson and in Oprah Winfrey the scared cow of American pop culture, in Kanye West who demanded stage time to mourn his mother at the Grammys, and I even see the anger in Michelle Obama.
It’s the Malcolm X, Spike Lee, Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan type of anger. It is the, we are due, and we are owed and we demand to sit at the lunch counter. It is not “I have a dream”, it is the “I demand your dream” kind of anger. It is the “we demand equality now” and we are going to have it or we are going to bust a cap in your head and steal what we want anger.
In the four decades since the civil rights movement black Americas have gained much but they have lost so much more. I have a dream became a vivid nightmare as Dr. King’s dream was lost in a sea of anger and the sea of anger is drowning black America.
This anger has scared the landscape and torn the fabric of American life. It is anger about the confederate flag and the Jenna 6 and anger that has now been passed down from one generation to the next and it is anger so deep and thick I can’t explain, except to say that it is the culture of anger that continues to suppress black America.