To be or not to be . . . ?

Do you believe black people in poverty stay in poverty because of their environment or is it self-inflicted?

I feel so strongly about this topic. This question was presented to me in Cleveland Ohio by my brother Shaquille Anderson and Tosha (I do not know her last name). In response, I stated that it is those people in poverty’s fault. Have I no heart? I do but it does not pity, but that is beside the point. The reason why I believe it is self-inflicted is because people of all races have come from the poorest and darkest places of this Earth and have birthed the most groundbreaking things, invented new ways of thinking, constructed corporations that have shaped the Universe despite their environment. I was befuddled that when it came to blacks, we blamed our environment and our circumstance playing the victim yet again.

One point my brother and Tosha made was, “If you don’t see success or a positive person, how would you know what success is or how to achieve?” Now at that point, we were at a restaurant (Tony Blays, Food Networks Super Star Chef’s establishment) and I damn near raised my voice. I was astonished to hear this; despite black heritage, what if our ancestors thought in this way?

“Well, all I see is whips, chains, and my masta’s rage let me just lay down and die. Where and when did this way of thinking infect our minds? I responded, “So you are doubting our minds, you are saying we do not have the mental capacity to think of a brighter future to think of a positive way out besides, drugs, robberies, and killings. Monkey see, Monkey do huh, we only do what we see.” *Silence* I then stated, “So I should just give up now huh, there is no hope for our race. Most blacks are in poverty, generations of poverty so we will never get out of it. We should all just stop trying right!? Well, I won’t because I still believe in our minds; I still believe we have the intellect and the desire and fight to succeed despite our environment.

As I sat there disgusted I thought, is this the way the world thinks? Am I crazy to think that we are still capable? Are they right? Then I thought, "I do not care, black minds are as powerful as ever, we just have to be proud enough to stand as an individual, withstand the jokes and ridicule that we receive from our own race for being different and fulfill the purpose that God placed us on this beautiful earth for. We have to go back to what brought us this far as blacks; education.

“Want to Keep Something From A N****, Write A Book.” Right?

-With LOVE