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Pro-Blackness: Where We Get Lost In Translation

Okay, so you use the internet? You’re a millennial with the use of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the three pillars of social media? If you answered yes to those questions then you probably know about just how much this re-emergence of ‘pro-blackness’ is taking off. Better I call it a renaissance because the movement is nothing like it was in the times of our parents and their parents. It has been re-birthed on the foundation of 21st century ideologies.

Now, the reemergence of the movement with gusto isn’t a bad thing at all, in fact it is something to rejoice, I, in my life thus far , have never seen black people more universally proud of their skin and heritage or wanting to know more about it. It’s refreshing. It’s binding. It’s empowering.  It’s something I hope transcends generations to come in a positive way.

HOWEVER, there  are flip sides here. Oppressive, undesirable irritating flip sides. Flip sides that I’ve seen much too often this year. Let me briefly say this, what you may love, I may love. What you may, love I may hate. What you may believe, I may not and we should feel okay about that. These are the essentials of what I deem to be a cohesive pro-black movement. Open to all, discriminating to none, encouraging discussion, welcoming varying opinions. What people should ideally understand about the pro-black movements is that we shouldn’t be here envisioning goals of creating robots with the same ideologies and perspectives, the purpose is not to create or impose identities for and onto people. What this generation of pro-blackness needs to be doing is  paving a pathway for the next generations; several path ways in fact! It needs to give them the tools, the platforms and the confidence to face adversity, to speak up and to show pride. It needs to teach tolerance, brake social barriers, give knowledge that leads to empowerment.

I could go on and on about this but for the love of my own sanity as well as yours, I will endeavour to tweak it into a list much more accessible to the human eye and brain.

  1. I AM NOT MY HAIR; MY HAIR IS NOT ME!

Listen up people, the length of your Afro is no measure of what is within! To think that how you style your hair is a testament to how pro black you are or a statement of self-love/hate is very wrong not to mention so not ideal! So what if you as a black woman or man, fully intact with your on sense of expression and independence want to rock the biggest afro or a bone sleek, kinky, or pixie  weave in different colours. Sometimes I don’t like my uncooperative afro and I’m allowed to do that. Sometimes I hate the idea of wigs and weaves, I’m allowed to do that. Sometimes I could care less about my hair and guess what? I’m allowed to do that too!

2. Can we agree to disagree? Is that allowed these days?

Let’s be realistic for a second. So, you and I are not the same person, do not know the same people, grew up in different places, had a different upbringing and do not share a brain yet you seem to think that we absolutely must agree on everything?! We can’t really get so obtuse whenever our brothers and sisters do not agree with our opinions. Please, do not call me a coon or anything of the sort for not agreeing with you….. ever!

3. Sell me down the river you will not!

Okay this goes out to the people who supposedly care about black lives but don’t extend the love to black lives that share non-heterosexual orientations! Let’s keep it short and snappy; no one likes a hypocrite.

4. Let’s chat.

Whether it’s a tête-à-tête with your mates or an open discussion in the comments of an Instagram page, discussion should always be welcomed.  To force someone in a corner of silence, to berate someone for having an opinion or to infer that certain people cannot join certain conversations isn’t the most ideal route of options. No race should feel uncomfortable discussing the issues caused by racism. It’s retrogressive, useless and ineffective. It’s like trying to find out what x + y-x equals without having the values f x and y (I’m not a mathematician but I’m sure you get the gist). Face it, the problems of racism will never go away without the cooperation of all races to some extents.

5. Nobody has the time or patience for an intellectual masturbator.

And by intellectual masturbator I do not mean someone who gets titillated by solving maths equations or coming across scientific happenstance. I mean those people who have the knowledge but don’t know what to do with it. Those that would rather hold that knowledge over your head than share that knowledge with you. If people actually shared important knowledge these days instead of brandishing it like a brand new toy that  they have and you don’t  then we wouldn’t be having this virtual conversation right now.  Go forth and spread knowledge accompanied with wise and positive words. Knowledge is key so open minds and open doors. Don’t preach, teach! Don’t masturbate, educate! Don’t lecture….  (Sorry, nothing sensible really rhymed with ‘lecture’).

Glorified Stoner?

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Is there anything wrong with the glorified life of a stoner?

Everybody knows somebody that knows somebody that’s a stoner. A lot of these weed smokers start young and don’t see anything wrong with smoking it sometime in their lives. Plus there always seems to be that argument of weed not being bad for you, or cigarettes and alcohol are worse for you than weed is or the oh so popular one these days; Obama smoked weed, Miley does it, Bob Marley smoked weed, so why can’t I?

Well let’s look at it from two viewpoints. I happen to know a lot of stoners but I myself do not smoke so I will try to provide a balanced argument.

The Glorious Side

On the one hand some people who do smoke are in fact geniuses and these geniuses say that weed is the trigger that unleashes their more artful sides, let’s take one of the most influential weed smokers ever Bob Marley. Bob Marley believed that weed was a natural herb and that it revealed you to yourself.

Many people do believe that weed calms people down and many use it to meditate and relax. So in some ways you can say that weed is a harmless and natural herb. I mean things like alcohol and cigarettes are chemically modified substances whereas weed is a plant that you grow naturally. What is the harm in that?

Not so Glorious

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There hasn’t really been any solid evidence that weed actually good or bad for you but have you really met a weed smoker from both spectrums of the board? The weed smokers who turn into these artful vibes and actually do something productive with these vibes or the weed smokers who you could call addicts; the ones who would spend their last penny on the stuff? Well I have.

I have met some people who become someone else when they have smoked ; someone who creates their best work when they have smoked whether it’s poetry, art or music, their best work is after a blunt.

However I have met people who are actual potheads and would spend their last penny on weed, they also become grumpy and aggressive when they haven’t smoked. I also know a group of older people who have smoked all their lives and they wished they had stopped when they were younger because not only does it really effect them now but they find it very hard to stop. It is plain to see weed has become the centre of their lives and it wears away at your brain. They complain about memory loss, mood swings, obliviousness.

Despite long term effects, weed are glorified by media to a point where many young people feel like they must smoke it. These days people have access to media from a very young age and when things like weed is being glorified by all of these celebrities younger people are more prone to start at young age. So is it such a good idea that people like Miley Cyrus or Rihanna with such young fans take titles as glorified weed smokers?

In my personal opinion I believe that you have the freedom to do whatever you want but at the same time people must remember that somethings you do have ramifications when glorifying the life of a stoner, remember that young people are looking at what the media does and says and with platforms as reaching as Twitter, we are only making it easier to draw people into that lifestyle.

Not to say that their is anything evidentially wrong with smoking it but you must look at the wider picture, it is still illegal and is a drug and it’s just not something that I believe should be promoted on such a wide scale. If people want to smoke at their own leisure they should have the right to do just that