Many people within white America are frustrated about Beyonce’s performance during the Half-Time Show at Super Bowl 50. Some have concluded that her performance was out-of-line for such an event. A lot of white American’s uttered that many white girls are looking up to Beyoncé and how could she sing a song and give a performance that promotes ‘Blackness?’ Even though she’s Black and successful, no song according to those who are insecure within white America should remind Black people of their struggle or their history. Clearly, no song that references Black pride, Black power, the Black Panthers, or Malcolm X should ever be performed during one of the most watched events in sports history. This misguided ideology is at the forefront of many within white America.
Ever since her dynamic and brilliant performance, debates as well as discussions have surrounded what is appropriate and what isn’t. Can we safely say, if the performance is acceptable to white America, then it’s deemed okay? Are we saying that musical performances and songs should not uplift and empower those within the African-American community? Should songs and performances not send a message about the struggles African-Americans faced and continue to face on a daily basis? Because there are so many questions surfacing around the issue of Beyonce’s performance as well as other issues, I have to say, who cares what white America thinks when it comes to promoting and empowering Black America. For so long, too many African-Americans have been handcuffed with guilt and shame about expressing themselves because they worry how it will make those in white America feel. Once again, when you know who you are as a person, you have every right to promote your ‘Blackness.’ It doesn’t make you anti-anything; it makes you proud of who you are and your history despite every effort by others to make you ashamed of who you are.
Sadly and shamefully, whenever African-Americans attempt to do something that promotes unity within their own race and culture, many within white America will seek and search for some African-American who is so ‘pro-integration’ or should I say ‘pro-let’s all work and love one another’ that they ‘dis’ and dismiss the injustice and unfair treatment of people who look like them. Media outlets like FOX News will never truly address the issue of the Black community because they are biased and controlled by entities that promote white America and their so-called value system.
Let’s face it – the greatest threat to white America is not terrorist attacks from those in ISIS. It’s not people coming across the border illegally. The greatest threat to white America is the unity (collectiveness) of African-Americans. Think about it for a moment. If African-Americans came together as a united force, the following things would happen: 1. we will own and control the businesses and politics in our community, 2. we will create generational wealth for our children and our children’s children, 3. we will eliminate the prison industrial complex which seeks to profit from the labor of African-Americans, 4. we will promote and elevate our own consciousness through songs and books, and 5. we will control the image of how we are portrayed in the media.
Living while Black is a constant struggle. Whether male or female, all of us have to deal with something everyday through unfair stereotyping. We cannot point the finger at each other and say who has it worst. We must come together as a group of people who are willing to make a difference in our families and communities. The moment when Black America decides to come together, you’re bound to have someone who the conservative party will seek out to say, ‘let’s not play the race card because Dr. King’s dream must live on for racial reconciliation.’ To that I say the following: Who was it that killed Dr. King? Who was it that tried to distinguish his dream? And who is that continues to preach and teach segregation through their hidden agenda? The answer is many people within white America.
It’s time for African-Americans to join together to protect our brothers and sisters who dare to use their voice to promote ‘Blackness.’ It’s time for African-Americans to do what’s necessary to embrace our culture and help those along the way. It’s time for African-Americans to get over the fear of what white America think. Living in fear of what white America thinks will keep us locked up emotionally, physically, and psychologically.
No other group apologizes for expressing their history and culture. Often times, African-Americans feel the need to hide who they are because they don’t want to offend others. Here’s the challenge – being proud of who you are. James Brown said it best, ‘Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud.’ To be our best and elevate ourselves above the chains of institutional racism, we must say to ourselves, who cares what white people think.
Dr. Sinclair Grey III is a speaker, writer, author, life coach, and business trainer. Contact him at www.sinclairgrey.org, [email protected] or on Twitter @drsinclairgrey