Darryl James

*African Americans are cultural children.

We are not fully developed as a people, because we don’t know who we are, what we stand for or where we are going. Many of us don’t even think about it.

The best that many of us can manage is to be whatever white folks are trying to be in their secondhand, deviant duplication of culture stolen from us. Blind to our own obfuscated culture, we embrace it as though it is true culture, which explains the success of someone such as Eminem.

And when we do play Afrocentric, it’s like children who play house but never really become responsible adults and parents. We can see throngs of Blacks with Afros, Dreadlocks and Braids claiming to be moving closer to their roots, but nothing else about their lifestyle or mentality is African or intrinsically African American-whatever that is.

As far as our true and longstanding culture and legacy, most of us are no longer aware of anything good that Blacks have contributed to the planet. Our history in this nation and in the world has been hidden, obfuscated, twisted and crapped on to the point where it is counterculture to embrace the truth. After having everything good about a people stolen, stomped on and lied about, it is no wonder that some of the people begin to hate themselves.

We’ve embraced the worst things said about us and we joke about how horrible we are on the world stage.

And, we fight against anyone who speaks against the ugly distorted culture that has become the status quo.

But we once had a tight hold on real culture.

The times that our grandparents lived in dictated that they live as serious people. They knew that even if they were okay as individuals, as a people they really weren’t okay.

Then our parents came into the sixties and seventies and were handed resources which could have been used to build a Black nation, but were used to build good things for the first few who lined up to get them and share with no one.

The white hippies were able to crap on their status quo and then clean themselves up and go to work for daddy. Blacks who did it just fed off of their families and resources, which lead to the first generation of wholly dysfunctional families.

Only a few people were like Martin and Malcolm, while the rest were dressed up for the occasion, which explains how the “movement” stopped short when a handful of people were killed.

The world ain’t fair, and it ain’t cool. Black men are being left out and left behind, but the useless, counterproductive gangster lifestyle is still being glamorized. AIDS is at the doorstep of Black women more than anyone else’s, but yet, they still pursue sexual freedom. Freedom from what?

Fantasia’s ode to “baby mammas” was a cultural signpost of the comfort held in being a single parent. Why celebrate and glamorize a wretched situation just because you overcame as an individual?

But we have begun to operate as individuals, while we continue to talk about the “Black community.” We are disconnecting from the struggle, even as we are still struggling.

The longer you make people struggle, the more you filter them out and wear them down and collectively they eventually acquiesce. Over the past few decades, more of us have begun to circle the drain, even while others claim to be “balling out of control” with heavy debt and few real assets.

Our most salient issue is that we think we are free. We think that we can make choices without paying a cost, not realizing that many of us get nothing and still must pay a dear price.

How could we have role models when the first thing a successful Black man or woman does is disconnect and speak about how different they are from the rest of us?

Without a real culture that we can embrace, there is nothing to hold us together, or even keep us solid as individuals. We have never been at a lower point in male/female relationships, cultural identity, or mutual respect.

We have developed such poor cultural habits that it appears that we have truly accepted our place as second class citizens.

We are morphing into an entire segment of society that can no longer provide for itself-spiritually, financially or culturally.

We are cultural children. Unfortunately, there are no cultural parents.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.” Now, listen to Darryl live on BlogTalkRadio.com/DarrylJames every Sunday from 6-8pm, PST. View previous installments of this column at www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at [email protected].