Next up for Black History Month is OneChele from Black & Bougie. Don't be suprised that I know people from the bourgeois set!! OneChele is an author, entrepreneur and internet radio talk show host. If there is a hustle to be found, she is working the Hell out of it. I will warn you though. If you stay around her too long, your inner bougie will come out. Without further ado - OneChele.
We are smack in the middle of Black History Month. It’s a month where I go out of my way to find interesting articles, books, TV shows and movies to re-educate myself on how I got here. You see, I recognize that I did not arrive here on my own or by my parents’ efforts alone. I am a free black woman with house, car and credit rating because people came before me, my parents, their parents and their parents’ parents made sacrifices, pushed for change, stood up, walked miles, shed tears, spilled blood, prayed and fought tooth and nail to get me here. Working in fields, sitting in the back of busses, being spit on, mopping floors, cleaning toilets on the other side of town, called all out our names, marching in rain (sleet, slow), being willing to catch a case (or a bullet) for the cause… is this someone “our” generation is willing to do?
Our generation is pampered, protected and pretentious. Slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, even the Sexual Revolution are a little before our time. We can bear witness to the history and appreciate the end results but let’s face it: We are a media-centric group. We are well-versed in talking the talk and spreading the news but would we (could we) walk the walk? We (people of color) united for the election of President Obama but in less than one year’s time we have fallen back into finger-pointing and partitioning as if the dream has been realized and there’s nothing left but the post-game commentary. It’s almost as if we are passengers in the “post-racism” car and we are looking at the driver saying, “Are we there yet?”
I can’t imagine that this society where words are twisted, talent is more concept than reality and people are famous for no good reason at all is the imagined realization of all the blood, sweat and tears of those who came before us. The dreams of our forefathers are not realized until each and every person of color is fed, clothed, secure and educated (if they so choose), until “no child left behind” is more than a catchy t-shirt slogan and our young people quit killing each other in the street over stupidity. That’s quite a list of goals. Just typing it lets me know how far we still have to go. As far as we’ve come, there are still miles to go before we sleep… and no unified effort to get us there. We are a little bit adrift of black leadership a la Malcolm or Martin right now. Years of infighting and skepticism have us divided over what the next step should be let alone who should lead us there. I believe it’s going to come down to what President Obama said while on the campaign trail, “The change you seek begins with you.”
Admittedly, I’m a checkbook activist. The role that I play is armchair quarterback and cheerleader. When I see an injustice, I write about it, pass the word and find out where to send a check. I’ve been contemplating joining a mentoring program for a while but haven’t quite pulled the trigger. Spending time in the blogosphere and around social media allows me to witness a lot of “virtual activists”. I see a lot of people railing at the system and pointing out inequities. It’s a rare few who are actually up, out and doing something about it. So I wonder, if it was up to us… our generation… to answer the call to advance equality and freedoms for the race… do we have it in us to do?
I’d like to think yes when push came to shove and shove came to the young, black blogosphere we would rise up to do what needed to be done… I still think we can overcome… unless someone offers us a reality show on VH1, a really amusing awards show is on, or gmail goes down. Then the revolution would have to wait. Because we do have our priorities.