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Truth Tuesday: Black America Driven By Fear

"Slavery was a system that depended on the creation of deep levels of fear." - Frederick Douglas

"...I have a fool proof method for controlling your slaves... I use FEAR..." - Willie Lynch Letter

Many Black Americans are driven by fear. We live our lives in fear. Fear of "the man", fear of ourselves. Every aspect of our lives is dictated by fear. Over the years I have heard many excuses regarding the plight of Black America, but the one thing I have yet to hear is the truth; Black Americans are driven by fear.

When I ask people how Black Americans got in this position of fear, I often hear the Willie Lynch Letter and the method he presented is the reason we continue to live in fear and have been controlled for over 300 years. Credit has been given to one man for writing the method to control an entire race of individuals. I disagree with the Willie Lynch letter for various reasons, but this post is not meant to debunk that myth.

Weather it was a method to control, dictated by a letter over 300 years ago, fear has been ingrained in the minds, body, and souls of Black America. At any level we can see the fear of our people as we navigate through this world. Fear that we can never break racial barriers or glass ceilings, we retreat to comfort zones. Fear that we won't get the job if we are our "true" selves so we retreat to certain beauty standards. Fear that we may be everything "they" say we aren't.

As most of the elements plaguing Blacks in America, we have begun to self perpetuate these theories into our own culture. Threading fear into our children and then blaming the opposition on someone else "holding us down." The truth is the only person holding us down is ourselves. We have to relinquish the fear that we have instilled in our community and uplift each other back to our fearless positions.

We are afraid of our highest potential. Parents tell their children all the things they can't do as they grow older, blaming their warped mindset on someone who the child has yet to be in contact with. We have read society's manual and mapped out a smaller piece of the pie than the American Dream laid for us. Rather, we have begun to learn "their" recipe instead of creating our own.

The key to overcoming fear is knowledge. Knowledge of what and why we are afraid. The knowledge to understand that all our fears are manifested in our minds; we have been conditioned to not be free within ourselves. It is time to dive into the deepest corners and emerge with our fears. It is time to relinquish ourselves from lowering ourselves and our standards to less than.

It is time to be fearless. Of course, let's not be fearless to the point of stupidity. Logic is still involved when you have a fearless heart. You must continue to be boastful, but understand when situations are not for you. Being fearless in a gunfight while you aren't holding a weapon is not the objective here. Being fearless enough to prepare you for such a fight is.

I know that I no longer want to live in fear. I have examined all the things that I have yet to do and it has been fear that has been holding me back. Fear of rejection in relationships, fear of labeling in my friendships, fear of resistance in my workplace, fear of freedom in pursuing my dreams. I have finally reached a place where I am equipped to know that I have nothing to be fearful of.

I hope you will join me on this fearless journey.

Gone But Not Forgotten - James Byrd, Jr.

May 2, 1949 - June 7, 1998

To some you may have been a simple man, but to me you are my hero. You are the pure manifestation of everything I stand for, your are the voice of my image. You were trusting enough to rely on help from people who have never given you a hand. You believed in their spirit to let the color of your skin, not dictate your character. You are everything my heart is today.

I wonder what your thoughts were as you were dragged down the road. As you tried to raise your head for the fight of social justice over the jagged rocks, metal and dirt, you held your head high even in this lowest position. As you tried to survive for future generations, I felt you. As you tried to rise up on your elbows, you gave me all the hope I ever needed in this life. You are everything I fight for today.

In any race no one wants to be last, I am sure you didn't want to be coined "the last lynching" in this race for social justice. They might not have hung you by the tree, but the way your body was dragged, they lynched your future existence. For three miles you fought, harder than many of us have ever fought.

You were someone before you were killed, your murder was not the making of you. You were decapitated, but your soul survived. My hero; through your story I live, you have breathed life into everything I am today. I must show my appreciation. You may be gone, but you are not forgotten. I will never forget your name, I will never forget your heart.

May peace rest with you.

To find out more information regarding the murder of James Byrd Jr. visit the following links:

Make Your Place

"I believe it is time for the black race to show what we are capable of doing. The testing will surely go on for the next generation and the next, but each time we meet the test we'll climb another rung of the ladder until finally we arrive at parity, having earned our place, rather than pleading or demanding that it be given to us."

-Ditchdigger's Daughters

This quote raises many questions for me, the main question being: What Place Are We In The Race For? Often I hear people say where they want to go, where the deserve to be, but I honestly don't know if people understand what race they are in. Many people, even those who are defiant of society, give into the notion of the American Dream. Working hard to find their "place" and finally "make it." Some people don't think they should work hard at all, some people feel entitled to a piece of the American Pie.

Many feel entitled to a place in society, but in what "welcome to the world manual" did we read that offered us a place. We argue that we should get reparations and respect based on the plight that our ancestors had to go through, but we don't respect our ancestors on a daily basis. We want to piggy back on the hard labor of someone else, just because that someone shares the same blood line.

As they say actions speak louder than words, so what are you doing to earn your place. What are you doing to ensure that you are in the place you should be, not in an appointed position by your opposition. There is a place deliberately designed for you in society, everyone in America doesn't get to go to sleep to have that American Dream. Some of us lie awake for years trying to get a moment of rest so we can dream too.

The reality of the situation is everyone doesn't have a place in the American Dream, but if we can restructure the rungs of the ladder and how we measure ourselves, we can all make a place. If you truly think about the above statement, even once you pass "parity" and "make it" to "your place" you are still at the place that someone designed you to be at. Your place is not positioned with you in mind.

So, how do we earn our place, we have to MAKE OUR PLACE!!! It is time for us to restructure our structuring and define new places in our own society. We can combat parity, by learning and understanding. Knowledge will teach us our obstacles, strength in our knowledge will help us overcome them.

There is no design for you, no blueprint to being in America, but if you look at your assignment and set-up, you may think otherwise. There are no glass ceilings, your eyes are just to dense to see what's beyond that. Adjust your vision. See beyond all the negative elements that have been prescribed to you and make your place!!! Where ever you want to be, go there. The first step is on you, you design your ladder and you determine how high you want to climb.

Cliche as it may seem... "Nobody's built like you, you design yourself" ... Make Your Place!!!