I’m friends with a lot of different people. This means a lot of different mindsets, views of the world, and sentiments like the photo above. Most of them are from older people, but a few come from folks who’re my age. This is rare. When I see things like this, I think of my younger self. She would have agreed 100%. She was unconscious conscious, and believed a lot of the sexist, classist mess that people are the about online.
Pictures like this incite arguments that usually move people to gripe about millennials and how we’re self-involved and absorbed in such a way that we don’t care. So, we don’t have time to hear about Black Wall Street. We’re too busy thinking the world owes us something, and blah blah. I cringe at these thoughts. First of all, I was aware of Black Wall Street. There is this marvelous thing called the Internet that allows people to create pages of information (although sometimes it can be incorrect, falsified…) About topics one can search. Such is the case of BWS.
It started with two sources–my family and Tumblr. My family discussed it lightly. Tumblr posted a plethora of links much later. Between that, there were trips to DuSable Museum, and teachers who gave a crap enough to teach us outside the books. I was blessed with these opportunities. Some are not. How can you know what you don’t know?
Shows like Empire are just that….shows. Entertainment. Not breathing role models to teach people to buy Black, support communities. While actors and actresses may inspire people personally, I feel like people put too much pressure on certain types of shows to lead people to do things or “be somebody”. Meanwhile, these conscious people are turning down their noses, lowkey calling people stupid and mindless! Or, lacking goals and direction. Let’s be real here and call a thing a thing. I see these crappy ” I’m better than you” and “shame Black people, do better” posts all the time! How are these unconscious conscious people better than those they scold? Aside from snooty pics, what are they doing to alert and inspire us so called “lost” folks?
This is nothing new, by the way. So as long as there has been a struggle for Black people, it seems like there’s always a bunch who think they’re above the “common fray” because they’re not watching the hottest show, taking in the latest song, or dipping a toe in the warm waters of Black culture. Honey. It’s possible to build your own and get away from it all with some entertainment. We are not a lost people. Let’s not act like we all have the same shot, either! My family did all right, but we struggled! I’m scraping right now, but I have faith in my dreams. I’m inspired by the workers in my family, those people on BWS, and the endless stores and businesses run by Black folk today. I’m inspired by the Black actors who fought for better roles, or got their own.
That part was left out of the post, okay? Too busy putting a show down with a host of beautiful Black people because we have to play worth and respectability politics online! We’re getting killed, cheated, robbed, and people want to gripe about a little joy we have. On TV, on a major network. A show giving extras a little change, BTW. Many, if you notice, who are Black.
These posts are so fake deep. Hence–“unconscious conscious “–that brand of consciousness we all know, but comes from a hateful space with little or no value, and all the means to divide Black folks simply by what they do. In other words, woke on levels suited to put others down, but barely lifting a finger (if they feel like it) to fix the same problems they pooh-pooh.
This is not common knowledge, as it should be. History books are forever changing, forever getting wiped, forever becoming much more Eurocentric than they already are. Aside from Black History Month, TV, and Internet….I have to be honest–I would not know as much. Add parents and again–passionate teachers, and a lot of people are left in the dark. People lacking resources can’t just pull it from a past life.
It is very possible to watch this show and build one’s own empire in his or her own time. It is possible to be aware and find a vice to ground yourself. It is possible to be conscious without stomping your own people.
But that’s just how I feel. I’m still learning, too.