Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Meaning Of Work - Being A Black Man

The Meaning Of Work - Being A Black Man - Washington Post

The plight of Black men is about as complex or as simple as one cares to make it. Side one opts for complex because side two's simple answer just seems too simple for explaining a group perennially down and out - so it is with the Black man.

Young men, like Chris Dansby, make review more difficult as they are not drug dealers, or gang members, or 'bad kids', but are nonetheless unplugged from the opportunity this country has long-held, even for those it claimed not to want.

This day their plight plays simple. We nix the long thesis; offer no multi-generational cause and effect; just a straightforward call-it-like-it-seems today. Tomorrow we are back to graphs and charts, spreadsheets, case methods and Socratics.

Today we ponder simply, the way Black men walk. It tells their story. They strut, even while their pockets are empty, and sleeves burdened. They walk slow, with no where to go that demands a quick step, or so they think. Crossing the street their gait is slower still, a lone power move - make them wait I will.

Today it is the bling-bling of shooting stars - LeBron, Snoop, Usher, or Beyonce to model Black kids away from books and to MTV's 'Cribs', pimpin' rides, trash talk and the empty dreams of empty minds. But the plain question of this day is how to teach a grown Chris to appreciate his steps. To take those steps one at a time, and as an old man once said, 'like you have some place to go', instead of pretending to fly, or walk, first-class to bravado's dead-end.

James C. Collier


Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

No comments: