Sunday, November 9, 2008

Black Like Me

With all that's happened on the American political scene, I think it's well past time that we reread "Black Like Me" by John Griffin.

We have come so far, and yet in so many ways, we are still so, so stuck in the fifties.

Is it because another generation will have to pass, so there's no one left who remembers riding in the front of the bus, because it was a white right -- and of course, "white was right" during those many long years since this country was founded?

In my opinion, we need to revisit our past before we can look forward to our future.

We need to remember how SHAMEFULLY our Brothers and Sisters were treated, so we can see how and why there is such joy in the Black community today. Validation is the right word. I heard someone say it today. Validation. Our Brothers and Sisters have been validated.

Hope has been rekindled in America.

We need to go back and reread "Black Like Me" to remember how bad it was, and see just how far we have come, and then check out today's Internet to see just how far we have to go.

Take a step back from the drama, take a step back and review our sad history of race relations in America.

Reread "Black Like Me" and remember how it used to be.

And worse, at the end of the book, remember how John Griffin and his family moved to Mexico to escape the hate. Yes, John Griffin was absolutely hated because he had passed into Black America, and then returned to tell the truth of what it's like to be a Black man in America.

The attitudes that drove Griffin out of Texas still exist today.

There are many who will deny it.

Reread "Black Like Me" and reflect upon how much America has changed and then contemplate, if you can, on how much has stayed the same.

Trust me, there's still a deep undercurrent of racist thoughts and behaviors in this country.

But hope has been rekindled in America.


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