How would I ideally describe myself, in an interview or first date? I need a description that will represent who I am in a nutshell. One that would paint a picture and leave no questions to be asked. Mmmmmmh….”Young, gifted and black.”
Yes that is it!
For I can say this proudly, without a shadow of doubt nor fear. These three words describe just who I am! Young, Gifted and Black! However, I just cannot help but go back to that gloomy yet sunshiny day in 1969, as I picture it in my head of course lol! That time in the studio when Nina Simmons thought to pen the lines, “To be young gifted and black, oh what a lovely precious dream”.
A dream, for in that world she had grown up in, being black was nothing to be proud of, being “gifted and black” did not go hand in hand in a sentence. God forbid it, it was something unheard of! Popular belief was people of color could never be better or more intelligent, sum it up “gifted” than their fair skin counterparts.
Now decades later that is to a point a thing of the past. We now have a lot of young gifted and black individuals who are thriving. Unfortunately, we still do struggle with racism till date hence the rise in Black Lives Matter movements. Black Lives indeed matter that is a no brainer! Fundamentally, don’t they need to matter “first” to us as Black Africans though? Should this not be the case before the rest of the world can get onboard and appreciate the true essence of the Black African society?
Xenophobia for example, took the world by storm, no one saw such an injustice coming. How can fellow black man fight, kill and torture one another? How can we as a society of African Black people kill each other solely because we do not share a language or culture? Ludicrous! Are we saying black lives matter only when we feel a white person has treated us unfairly? Are we just in a habit of pulling the racist card at the white man but fail to question our fellow brother or sister’s actions when they torture and kill another fellow African man?
“You can’t hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree. You can’t hate Africa and not hate yourself.’ Malcom X
Malcom X directed this to each and every race in the world including blacks, when we kill, torture, rob, rape, falsely accuse and exploit our fellow African men, we go against our heritage and who we are. Certainly, we cannot do this without actually hating the man we see in the mirror.
It is against this background I wonder if being young, gifted and black will continue to be something admirable in future.
For I question what legacy we are leaving behind for our offspring? Will they be proud to be young gifted and black or they will struggle with a seed we as their forefathers and mothers have planted? One where we have double standards and are hypocrites when dealing with a black and white man. One where we as a society (African) cannot love, help and seize exploiting one another.
Being, young, gifted and black has seized being merely just a dream when we consider how far we have come as black African people. Let us not then make the struggle for freedom which was fought for us by our heroes be one which was done in vain.
To be young, gifted and black, let us live it, breathe it and set an example of how it ought to feel and be, by being kinder, loving and more caring to our own. Once we achieve this, the rest of the world will follow suit.