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Black Consciousness in 21st Century America




By H. Lewis Smith

In the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting, concerned Black/African-Americans from all-over America converged on Ferguson, Missouri simultaneously presenting an intangible mirror reflecting Black consciousness in 21st century America. Whenever, there is a seemingly unjustified killing done by a white person to a black person, Black America historically since the 1960s will rise up in virtual rebellion. The sentiment being that Black America has low tolerance for police brutality towards blacks.

The reflection from the mirror however, presents an imbalanced and disconcerting image of Black America. It’s admirable of African-Americans to display unity in the face of what’s conceived as police brutally towards fellow Black Americans, but where is the same concern for the out of control killing of blacks by other blacks?

From Oakland to Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Newark gun violence takes a heavy toll on the black community where young black men are routinely killed at the hands of other blacks. The grief shouldered by black women, black families, black churches and the black community is enormous, but yet where is the internal concern, the outrage?
In my book, Undressing the N-word: Revealing the Naked Truth About Lies, Deceit and Mind Games I present how the road towards freedom, equality and justice is a two-way street and how we as Black African-Americans must hold ourselves equally accountable and responsible in the same light as we do others to achieve racial harmony and equality; which can only be accomplished via a healthy, liberated mindset.

Contemporary Black/African-Americans are presently traveling on a path of self-destruction and need to wake up to this reality post haste. For the past 30 years, the prowess spirit of Black America have been replaced or diluted with messages of self-destruction, inferiority, and insignificance mostly due to the creation and acceptability of gangsta rap and its associated lifestyle.

Where is the outrage, the strong rhetoric denouncing the actions of these predators? To the contrary—financially successful black rappers and businessmen—are held in high esteem throughout the Black community. The products from which they have gained their wealth contribute to the corruption and pollution of the minds of many black youth, crippling the minds of the impoverished even further.

The building of character and the positive molding of young minds have taken a back seat to cultural genocide and menticide. The memories, sacrifices and struggles of African-American ancestors too have been urinated, defecated and trampled upon at the expense of bestowing high applause upon those who have financially benefited by selling out their race.

Fifty years removed from 1964, and the state of affairs throughout the Black community is on life support. Black-on-Black crime, gangs, rampant drug selling and addictions; a high volume of incarcerations, probations, paroles; and problems in schools such as suspensions, expulsions and poor performances are not just externally caused conditions. In fact, the primary causes of these concerns stem from internal influences within the Black community.

Such acceptance and promotion of the glorification of violence, sex, drugs, and profanity as a lifestyle leads to an unhealthy, broken and unproductive environment. This same acceptance and rationalizing with defiling behaviors and attitudes serves as a breeding ground for trouble, despair, discord, discontent and afflictions of grave consequences.
When Black/African-Americans support rappers and entertainers that humiliate and degrade their own race, those supporters are participating in cultural, mental genocide and the sanctioning of every whiplash and other atrocities felt by enslaved ancestors. These same fans are contributing to the emotional, psychological, spiritual, and cultural extermination of the Black race as the entire world watches in amazement at such abnormal behavior. Some rappers were present at Ferguson lending their support and kudos to them, but it doesn’t nullify the fact that they are part of the problem.

Rather than promoting positive images; encouraging black youth not to take the same violent or negative routes that they took to stardom; stressing the importance of education, self-awareness, and self-dignity (having some class and sophistication); and truly being accessible to youths to serve as impressionistic mentors, they only continue to suck the life from the Black community in terms of asking citizens to buy their immoral records and empty labels with no positive messaging.

Use and tolerance of the n-word is not indicative of a free liberated mind nor the desire or effort to achieve greatness. Rather, embracing the n-word, violence, denigration of women is reflective of a bonded mind or mental illness.
Blacks must begin to teach and show by example future generations a new way of thinking. African-Americans must also realize that with freedom, education and independence, comes the requirement to be accountable and responsible for one’s own acts; in other words there is a crying need for the Black community to hold one another accountable and responsible for the welfare and well-being of the community which isn’t presently being done in this 21st century.

h-lewis-smith H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc., author of Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word, and the recently released book Undressing the N-word: Revealing the Naked Truth, Lies, Deceit and Mind Games

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1 Comment

  1. Mr. H. Lewis Smith,

    You delineated a well thought out article and I agreed with you. However, where is the outrage, or self abnegation of the violence that equals apathy. I worked in the Washington, DC areas on the SouthEast side, Anacostia, Barry Farms and other areas. I worked with many families burying their young ones.

    Even today, this one particular mother comes to mind, I went to visit her, as they called this area the jungle. This mother’s son had decided to turn his life around and leave his life of crime. Unfortunately, he was gunned down and his mother witnessed the murder.

    Her son eye was blow out from the bullet and other bullets riddled this poor child body beyond recognition. Sadly, the police were summoned but afraid to come to this area and the mother witnessed and seen her son’s murderer daily, with no arrest.

    Police even warned me and told me, “its your funeral.” When I went to visit the mother, indeed, I was accosted by those thugs but you can read the outcome of that when my book comes out.

    My point, police are supposed to know better, many law-abiding citizens are stucked in these deplorable areas and are beaten down, self-hatred, some phlegmatic to their quest for success or opportunities, mentally depressed, severe apathy, psychological deprivation, no way out because of sociological complexities that no one wants to address because they’re caught in deep penury and becomes inured to the relentless violence. Many are overwhelmed with PTSD!

    Ferguson, MO is an overwhelming situation where Africans Americans progress has been decimated, constructive-occupied-apartheid, neglected and profoundly disempowerment to even to LIVE!

    Now, in many of these communities, the unavailability and devastating economic situations keeps these individuals in deep excrement, where internalization of the violence causes silence and causes individuals to unleashed their adject wrath in their communities.

    To make matter worse, this eventually causes the creation of externalization of their outcomes, which surfaces to countless murders, revolving prison systems, unfair sentencing guidelines, probation, disenfranchisement, maternal and paternal demise and destruction. Suddenly, this becomes ominous.

    During my lifetime, I witnessed several shootings, I saw my first death at age
    9 years old, where the individual was leaving a bar and shot at his girlfriend in board daylight, then turned the gun on himself. I was 3 feet away from him when he put the gun to his head and part of his blood and brain matter was on me!

    My father was in the bar next door drinking some beers, after the gun shots he came out and took me to a gas station and washed the murderer’s blood and brain residual off me. More shockingly, I served my country in the US Navy and was almost murdered by a card-carrying Klansman.

    No one within that command did anything, while I got viciously hit in the throat and then choked almost to death, while all my navy comrades stood by in silence and watched. Where was the outrage!

    My reasons for saying this is that there’s empowerment of those that have and disempowerment of those that have not, and prevalency of profound acquiesces to a system of destruction, isolation, annihilation and mental enslavement that leads to a whole host of disposable lives. Sad, but true, for me, it
    has taken me over 40 years to get some compensation from the egregious acts that happened to me.

    I firmly agreed with you pertaining to the genocide, mentacide, nutricide are all relevant! I’m one of
    many that kept my nose to the grindstone and believed in success, which has not come easy.

    All my friends are doctors and many come into those poor communities to empowered those individuals to dream big and know that you are a descended of God almighty, not disposable trash! Some have listened and become success stories, other have succumbed to a life of violence and created myriad of problems for themselves.

    However, on a positive note, not as many murders like it was in the 80’s or 90’s but still much work to be done. Sir, God bless you and thank you as always for all your remarkable work!

    Dr. Knox

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