Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A True Black Man, Quiet as a Mouse, but all About Power.

A  brother with a quiet resolve
One mouse has already changed the world.  Not Mickey Mouse.  It's the mouse at your fingertips.  I have learned so much from it.  The world's economy is an ecommerce economy: we get our news online, watch movies online, date online, and shop online.  But our voices are online, too. Lately, with the events of Ferguson and exposure of police-instigated deaths of Black men in the U.S., that little mouse has made us all roar like lions on the #Twittersphere.

On #Twitter, especially, we speak our minds, we share ideas, and we are all pitching something for people to hear.  But, truthfully, raising our online hands to speak is like an audience member in a stadium yelling, "Choose me! Choose me!" amidst the cacophony of other people yelling the same words.  Can one hear anything else yelling herself?

Everyone is selling their jewelry, marketing/editing/writing services, and books, and I am no different.  After all, this blog is about my novel.  I do want to get followers so that when my novel does come out, some of you might be inclined to read it.  So, I cannot pretend that I do not want some level of notoriety or recognition through writing my book (I just don't think you need to know what I look like). Would I like for it to be a bestseller? Of course! But I have no delusions. I am grateful for each read that I get on my blog, here, and I'll be equally grateful should any of you purchase my ebook.

All the above kinda-sorta leads me to this brother that I met on Twitter.  When he likes what you tweet, he retweets it. He might say a couple of words to you, now and then, such that whenever I got an RT from him, it really meant something to me.  Then, I started to wonder why.  His Twitter avatar shows a handsome Black man with a kind face that also shows resolve, a Malcolm X kind of quiet.   He has a cool Twitter personality. Understated. And powerful, because he's not saying, "Look at me! Listen to me! I'm more important to listen to!" I recognized and understood his true depth when he tweeted a link to a Vimeo of a British documentary that totally shocked my conscience (first video), about how Americans have always been duped into being consumers more than people of conscience. It has confirmed what I always believed; but to realize that our consumerism was orchestrated as far back as the early 1900s was mind-boggling.  So, somehow we got to dialoguing on our direct message and I learned a bit about him. Who is this man, who seems too cool for school, who is perfectly alright with sitting on the sidelines?

The @TrueBlackPower handle belongs to Carl. He lives in Michigan, went to a four year university, but couldn't finish. He was happily married until he lost his wife to an aneurysm.  He grew up in a family that believed in striving, and had small home-based businesses (soul food dinners) in their local neighborhood. He is a student of a martial arts style called Isshinryu Karate.  He explained it as an Okinawan-based style of marshal arts derived from peasants who found ways to fight off invaders using common sense or practical tools and methods. He explained that he was bullied, growing up, and martial arts has equipped him with the tools to "redirect the pain and disappointment from many."

A quiet warrior.  

His moniker says it all. And so do his tweets: they are informative, commanding one's attention.  This brother keeps his nose to the grindstone and channels information for Black and other followers who want to be educated about the great history, culture, and sociopolitical plight of Black Americans.  His tweets are selective and each one is a treasure trove of information. Almost every tweet has info worth reading.  Given his tweets, and acknowledging his choice of identity, I thought to ask him via email where his head was at where Black people are concerned. His answers to my questions about what we regular folk can do about our circumstances were very commonsensical, real, and, though brief, are worthy of repetition:

Q: What about our economic situation? How do we, as Blacks, handle the economy?

A.  The problem is that many of us get stuck. We become used to one way and when things begin to change, we reject the change so we all suffer from generational stubbornness.  We also lack resources knowledge, and pride.  I'm all for celebrating our accomplishments as a people but many times it's condescending and used against us.  We should learn where we live, and understand that we cannot trust the financial industry. That's the first step for economic empowerment. The second is to just do our thing and keep our mouth closed while doing it. Third is to use and know all defense mechanisms for our survival and teach it through the generations.

Q.  How do we reconcile Blacks' contribution to the rampant commercialism in this country; are we not victims of it, too?

A.  The "haves" use media and culture to psychologically keep us, "the have nots," down, which is why the Internet is so dangerous. We now have the ability to research and think for ourselves. Nowadays, ignorance is voluntary. As for our victimization, Blacks are victims because we love our families and want to protect them and provide for them. But, of course, our families are in danger.  The suffering of our people is not as worse as our not fighting back.  We must go about our business, collectively, leave petty differences alone, and be realistic. In moving forward, disruptions are going to come our way, and will always be the case.  But we must adjust quickly and with purpose.  Once we learn to adapt and adjust more quickly, and with purpose, and we do our part for each other as a people, we will assert our power, sending a clear message: enough with the B.S.

I'm highlighting Carl on my blog because he is an example of how the struggle will be won: quietly, purposefully, and with resolve.  @TrueBlackPower

Explore more on Google + links below - I have not vetted the sites, so please research at your own peril. 

Happy New Year.  I wish all readers a prosperous New Year.  And thanks for reading my Blog!

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