My Brother Carey at Carry Me Home Blog wrote a poignant piece chronicling his family history and comparing it to all of our black history. In it he asks us to be careful how we treat our history and not to despise it, even if it looks difficult in some places. Obama belongs to us, and we should be careful how we talk about him. Listen to Brother Carey as he imparts a bit of wisdom…..
President Obama has a huge weight on his shoulders and so did my grandfather. At the beginning of their new voyage, each of them were up against the mighty Goliath. A formidable foe for sure. Sticks and stones could break their bones, but that was the least of their worries.
In 1865, my grandfather (above picture) of six generations past, was released from slavery. Since that time, there has been 28 white gentlemen seated as President of The United States. Over Fifty Three Thousand days ago, since my grandfather was released from slavery, except for approximately 580 days, there has been a white gentlemen sitting in the White House. For approximately EIGHTY THOUSAND DAYS, there has been a white gentlemen sitting in the White House.
Lets move ahead a few years.
That little girl is my mother. Her parents didn’t have an easy row to hoe. They had 10 children and were sharecroppers, but that didn’t stop them from taking the time to dress my mother in her fine Sunday attire. The landowner wasn’t very nice. Some of the other sharecroppers bowed to his wishes and helped him brow beat his tenants. However my grandparents knew they had to keep on, keeping on.
Come on, lets move ahead.
My mother made it through those days on the farm. That’s her in the middle, with the glove on her thigh. Her life has not been a cake walk. Well, aside from being a black woman in America, the next picture will tell a more complete story.
She had me and my brothers. I am the confused looking guy on the left. Although I didn’t have a nice bow tie like my oldest brother or a fancy pair of shoes like my brother in the middle, I am grateful for my mother and my grandparents. My brothers and I fought amongst ourselves but we always fought harder for each other. If someone threw a rock at one of us, we threw 10 back at them. My grandmother is in the next picture.
Look at her, she’s so proud. She made it through the hard times, and she’s standing in the middle of a few good black men as they break ground for our new church. But the church wasn’t about her, she was building something to pass down. She passed away a few years after this picture was taken. But if she had listened to some of the other naysay sell-out sharecroppers, the following event might not have taken place. She and my grandfather stayed strong, stayed together, pooled their resources and got off that man’s property.
It’s our family reunion! Grandma ironed a few white people’s clothes and so did her mother, and so did my mother, but they didn’t let that stop them.
My father lost his dad at an early age, but he didn’t let that stop him either. In the next picture, see if you know where he’s standing?
That’s my father standing in front of the White House. Since 1789, there had been a white man living in that white house. Our president is now a black man. He’s only been living there for a little more than 570 days. Forty three white fellas had called that place home. In their tenure, they managed to keep racism alive, and hope but a distant memory. For 80,000 days and several wars later, they’ve managed to build a castle in the sky for them and theirs, and yet, a few of my black friends are quick to point fingers at President Obama. They say he’s not moving fast enough and he’s staying mum on black issues. I wonder if my nay say friends can trace their family history? I also wonder if they’ve read a few history books? More importantly, I’ve often wondered what rewards they are receiving from regurgitating negative opinions about our president? Could it be they adore speaking in a quasi intellectual tone, while missing the fact that they are being ineffectual? Frequently, their misguided “constructive criticism” is nothing more than 10 dollar words of bubbling babble that’s used to stroke an inflated ego.
My father has gone home. I miss him, but I remember his words of wisdom.
He was my little league coach and I was a pitcher. One day, a player on my team dropped a fly ball which caused me to lose my cool. As he scrambled to retrieve the ball, another player stumbled over him. The opposing team laughed and ridiculed the players to a point they both started crying. I didn’t make things any better with my mean look and foolish antics on the mound. Consumed by my emotions, I threw my next pitch with the fury of a Tasmanian Devil. I hit the batter square upside his head. My father called time out and approached the mound. His following words I will never forget… “look boy, don’t ever play another man’s game and don’t be nobodies fool. Their job is to get you mad at your players and have you act a damn fool. Don’t let them see you get rattled. Go out and tell Tommy it’s alright and we are going to win this game. We don’t need enemies on our own team”
President Obama has a huge task in front of him. He’s standing on the mound and the ball is in his hand. We don’t need enemies on our own team. If someone tries to engage you in negative criticism about President Obama, stop, look and listen, and then ask them where they are going? Don’t play another man’s game and don’t be nobodies fool.
Remember, Rome was not built in a day and 43 white fellas have played in the white house for over TWO CENTURIES! President Obama has been there less than 17 months. My grandfather didn’t go back to slavery. He took the good with the bad, and kept on steppin. Step up… when someone tries to bring Obama down.
Lets build something to pass it on!