From Cam Newton to Beyoncé, being ‘Unapologetically Black’ is interpreted by many whites as violent and anti-police. Somehow, showing any signs of being black and proud of it ignites fear in the hearts of those who want to preserve the status quo and “make America great again.” What they don’t understand is that America has NEVER been great for people of African descent.
From the Transatlantic slave trade and chattel slavery to the Jim Crow era, from the Civil Rights era to the Black Power movement, we fought to survive. And today, although many in the black community have had the opportunity of enjoying some level of financial success, the median black family in America only has a net worth of $1,700 (if you don’t include the family car in asset calculations). The average white family’s net worth is $116,000. We own less than 3% of the nation’s wealth. Not to confuse wealth with buying power, we spend an average of $1.2 trillion a year, but only 3% of it stays within our community.
Despite what we’ve endured, we are still able to stand strong and proud. After centuries of white supremacy and attempts to smother our culture, seeing a mainstream artist like Beyoncé pronounce her black pride for the world to see was a breath of fresh air. From raising issues of police brutality and self pride in her video to the “X” formation and her dancers costumes paying tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party at Super Bowl 50, it was a bit too much for white people to handle. On the same day that Stanley Nelson’s documentary ‘The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution‘ premieres on PBS stations across the nation, a pro-police rally will take place at NFL headquarters to demand that they distance themselves from ‘Queen Bey’s’ performance. However, reports are coming in already that more supporters showed up in favor of Beyoncé than against.
— Etan Thomas (@etanthomas36) February 11, 2016
We can only deduct that it’s the fear that drives the outrage over asserting self pride. Other recent celebrity statements that have gotten mass media attention include Cam Newton and Jada Pinkett-Smith. The media pressed to fuel controversy around her reasons for making the statement against #OscarsSoWhite, hoping to divert attention away from her suggestion for Black America to redirect resources back into our community and focus on ourselves. Kendrick Lamar’s bold statement at the 2016 Grammy Awards may be the most profound of the year thus far (click here to view). It will be interesting to see how white America responds to Nate Parker’s upcoming film, ‘The Birth of A Nation.’
Black pride is ALL about the statement that we are happy about and proud of who we are. It cannot be compared to the ongoing hate and terror put upon us by white supremacy. To interpret it as violent and hateful is a statement of fear and insecurity on the part of the establishment. While the Black Panther party’s accomplishments include free schools, free breakfast, free medical programs, free clothes, free food pantry program for the community’s they served, the KKK and police officers that operate in the interest of white supremacy are all about hate.
On that note, raise your fist in the air and bow your head one time!