Or Leaving People Behind?
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Someone replied asking why he would have his grandmother still living in the hood and the exchange went something like this:
Went to sleep and woke up with a ton of replies that all made me
Is this seriously how we feel about our own neighborhoods? But we complain about gentrification when the great majority of us have NO interest in investing in the hood ourselves? We wonder why our neighborhoods are in dilapidated states but in the same breath, we leave to pursue a degree, get a job, and then put our tax money into another communities schools and neighborhoods. Leaving the people in the hood worse off than they were before. The “projects” the “Hood” was once brand new. The way it looks now is a result of the people that are in it. I LOVE how people like to point out white people put us somewhere, and sure they did. But they didnt tell us to not have respect for where we live, to not take care of it. WE did that.
After lamenting about the “Talented Tenth” W.E.B Dubois often talked about the growing class divide between blacks. With most of the black community being able to be thrown in two categories the “haves” and the “have nots”. This still rings true today which is why our communities frequently see things like:
It frightens me that the Black Lives Matter Movement is being run by black millennials and scholars who largely attribute success to leaving their communities behind instead of making them better. It’s as if we have completely thrown “each one, teach one” and “lift as we climb” to the wayside.
But wait, there’s more….
If this is how you feel about where you come from how do you REALLY feel about yourself? Moving from around your people to the white suburbs makes you feel better? That’s success? That’s making it? (someone pointed out that there are affluent black neighborhoods) which is true, but you weren’t born there so you’re still leaving YOUR community to go invest in someone else’s. How does that help the people in the hood? Or apparently, most people are saying
“EVERYBODY FOR THEMSELVES”
How will the hood ever thrive if the people that can create the most change leave….?
Our kids are turning to celebrities for role models because all of the college grads got degrees and turned their back on the hood [Click to Tweet]. Its almost as if some black people sole mission in life is to prove that they “aren’t like those other blacks”.
An Article by Henry Louis Gates Jr, stated that “Du Bois knew, of course, that any black person at that time had ro struggle to tear down barriers just to lift oneself and ones family. But that was not enough: Successful black people, he said, must recognize that their place in life was merely a matter of opportunity. If such opportunity were extended and broaded, a thousand times as many Negroes could join the ranks of the educated and able, instead of sinking into poverty, diease, and crime.”
“There are certain aspects of black urban street culture that perpetuates the self-destructive behavior that reinforces the cycle of poverty- behavior that helps to keep the black poor impoverished”- Ebony Towers. Those of us that attended college were FORTUNATE enough to break out of that system [Click to tweet].
Gain Knowledge and Give it Back
The only way to completely destroy that system is taking the knowledge we learned back and passing it along. We can not leave our people to suffer while we go on pretending like things have improved for black people because things improved for us personally. Because what does making it out of the hood REALLY mean? As we can CLEARLY see a black man isnt safe anywhere in America. No matter how well you do racists will always turn to “black on black crime” or on the state of our neighborhoods to tell us why we dont deserve to have what they have. And no, not even the blacks that “make it” are exempt.
We know they give us shitty schools that put our kids in the school to prison pipeline.
There is no doubt that our black brothers and sisters receive longer and harsher prison sentences.
We have to deal with glass ceilings in the job market AFTER we get these degrees.
And yet we keep trying to appeal to people that has NEVER treated us like human beings! We want to leave our community to go live next to people who will call the police on you for going into your own home.
If not us then who? Who will stop the cycle of poverty in our communities? Surely not the people that placed us in it!
A white person posted this meme on twitter the other day:
This is what they think about Africa and this is exactly what they think about our neighborhoods now.
Neighborhoods in the city of Detroit.
The sad part is I think that black people believe and buy into this meme based on them running away from their neighborhoods and into the suburbs as fast as they can.
Is the only time blacks can stick together/come together for a cause is when some other racial group is discriminating against us?
Is it not the educated responsibility to teach the uneducated?
Do you think the few slaves that learned how to read went around calling other slaves ignorant and illiterate and telling them to “figure it out on their own”? Or did they pass the knowledge on?
Did Harriet Tubman go around bragging about how she escaped and how she was free and how if only other slaves would stop being so docile they could be free too? Or did she come back numerous times and SHOW numerous people the way to freedom?
Be like Harriet Tubman… the hood needs you, your people need you.
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