I’d like to respond to Shamira’s post with a history lesson.
Shamira is correct when she states that the world of academia is white. I mean at this point in our history it is safe to assume that most avenues and pathways up the class ladder are white avenues paved with white asphalt, lined by white skyscrapers, filled with white people who live in white houses with white picket fences… get my drift???
Historically people of color are viewed as unintelligent. It was ( and I would say still is) believed that we lack the capacity for forward thinking, intellectual debate, and philosophical discourse. Our minds were thought to be too primitive to reach such heights. This is why the purpose behind our movements are questioned. This is why we always notice the subtle glint of surprise in the eyes of the privileged when we say we haven three degrees and enjoy classical music. This is why it is important that we understand our history.
Western civilization did not begin in Mesopotamia. The Greeks and Phoenicians didn’t discover a damn thing. It was stolen from the continent of Africa, beginning the tradition of rapping and pillaging that still exist today in that part of the world. Knowledge was stolen, destroyed, re-purposed, and appropriated.
Fast forward to the present, and Coates is speaking at colleges and universities about the plight of the black man, and it is a big deal. Well, I am not impressed. On my most apathetic days I view this as another song and dance for a group of people who see what is going on in this world to the marginalized, and still don’t plan to do a damn thing about it.
If we want change, Coates and others like him need to be in the streets educating our youth and waking black folks the hell up.
The revolution that is needed starts in the mind. We need to stop trying to wake up the wrong minds.
Screw the white world of academia. I don’t give a damn about your PhDs and white pieces of paper that say I have obtained knowledge.
The color of my skin and the legacy left to me by my ancestors is filled with knowledge you couldn’t begin to understand.