Tuesday, September 7, 2010

SEEING BEYOND RACE: Baa Baa Black Sheep Have You Any Wool?

Baa baa black sheep have you any wool? Yes sir yes sir three bags full; One for the master, and one for the dame, and one for the little boy who lives down the lane.

They say, no historical significance can be attributed to that nursery rhyme. Yet, I am left to wonder? There IS a master, a dame, and a boy. There's also a pecking order. Could this be the evolution of "The black sheep of the family"? Uuuuummm!

I have many thoughts that leave me in quite a quandary, and there are many things I should be doing today but I am consumed by the current events. There's trouble in our land. There's a planned March on Washington replete with a gumbo of hatred, indifference, ignorance and racial overtones. Various factions have stockpiled their armor of vengeance and finger pointing that will most assuredly leave a ball of confusion.

I am not a soothsayer nor a mind reader, however, I believe I can predict a few dreadful occurrences that will permeate the air during the celebration of Martin Luther King's signature speech, I Have A Dream. Unfortunately, since history has a way or repeating itself, I do not think I have to tell anyone the ending to that upcoming affair. Before the end, there will be muggers, mean-muggery and thuggery within all races. There will be grandiose peacocks pontificating the chosen elixir of their audience. The police will be there with handcuffs in hand, waiting for the right shoe to drop. It's an old story that needs little narration. We've all heard that song before.

In fact, many years ago, black people were lead out of their deep dark dungeon of Egypt to a promised land. Some time later, in 1863, a troubled president by the name of Abraham Lincoln came to the decision that he had to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. But see, on the eve of THE NEW march on Washington, some people want "their" land back and others are crying for something else. Martin Luther King said it best:

"There's sickness and trouble in the land, confusion all around.
But I know somehow, only when it's dark enough can you see the stars. And
I see God working in this period of the 2o th century, in a way that man, in
some strange way are responding. Something is happening in our
world. The masses of people are rising up. And where ever they
are assembled today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nigerian,
Kenya, Ghana, New York City, Atlanta GA, Jackson Mississippi or Memphis
Tennessee, the cry is always the same... we
want to be free."

What is freedom? Well, I am sure we all have stories of struggle. It's been said that if a man controls your mind he controls you. I am not the type that blames others for my faults. However if a person's dreams and hope are deferred by limited exposure, who's to blame? Maybe no one; because in doing so, we look back not forward.

When I think about the dreams of my grandfather, (upper picture) six generations past, I know he looked forward to a day in which he would no longer be a slave, and that day came, In 1865 he was released from slavery in Kentucky and moved north. While a slave he was responsible for the care of the farm animals. He was in essence and animal doctor. Skills in hand, he headed North. He settled into a white community on the banks of Mississippi River in northern Illinois.

Generations later, my great-grandmother's dream was to simply go to school. She never had the opportunity, she raised 10 children while working along side my grandfather as sharecroppers. One of my mother's dreams was to go to high school and graduate. She did that. I was talking to my daughter this morning and we conversed about my grandson. Her voice made me stop and think of a dream my wife shared with me, See, my daughter was not planned. My wife became pregnant while we were in high school. There was talk of abortion and adoption. We married and struggled as young parents, yet we shared dreams and passed them along to our children.

My daughter went back to Kentucky, not as a slave, nor to find her roots, but as a student at the University of Kentucky. My wife passed away six months before the birth of our grandchild.
While talking to my daughter she told me that my grandson, Carey , who is 6 years old, said that he and Obama were just alike. My daughter said, yes, you are both black. He declared, "NO, MOMMY! We are both presidents."

His school held class elections to familiarize students with the voting process; he was voted president of his 1st grade class. Ignoring the comparison that most adults would make, my grandson focused on something greater than race. He was proud of the fact he won the presidency. He knew the job of president was important, yet too young to understand the significance of skin color in the past election.

It wasn't important to him that they shared a color. He was proud of the fact that he was good enough to be president. Maybe one day it will cease being a big deal. My grandfather didn't look back, he moved away from his past. I have a grandson, his name is Carey. I don't know what's going to become of the clash in Washington. However, there are a few things I know, and a few that are out of my control.

God willing, my grandson will get up in the morning and take his bath. He will remain a kid until the time is right for him to take on the worries of the world. And.....

He will go to school on Monday and learn a little something and play with his friends. He's not worried about the march on Washington. And.....

One day he will have to pass down his own torch. He's working on being a good man. But......

Before he passes his touch, his uncles will continue to sit around the family table discussioning the great issues of reality. And.....

The matriarchs will be there. It's a family affair. And....

His mother (in middle, making silly face) along with his aunts, will be there. They will add a young black female perspective to his future plans. And, through it all, life goes on.

The Streets of Washington DC will return to it's previous state. Everyone will go back to doing their own thing. Hustling clothes or sleeping on a bench, few things will change.

Some will not be around very long. And....

In spite of the ongoing affairs in Washing DC., new babies will be born.

I don't know what's going to happen in Washington, or when you're reading this, but I know I have to keep on keeping on. When the call comes......

I have my bags packed. And....

Since I opened with a children's rhyme, here's one to close the show.

This old man , he played one, he played knick knack with his thumb, with a knick, knack, paddy whack, give this po dog a bone; this old man came rolling home (and I'm tired).

This old man, he played two, he played knick knack with my shoe, with a knick, knack, paddy whack, give this dog a bone; This old man (CareyCarey) came rolling home. Washington DC is not on my mind, I have other things to worry about, that's beyond race.


Big Mark 243 said...

Now this is what keeping perspective is all about.

Solomon said...

Your grandson will do well in whatever he sets out to do Carey!

He is a visionary.

Mizrepresent said...

Great post Carey. Surely we will carry on as we did before, as our ancestors did before us. Surely we will have the victory, because there is no victory in hate (despite what the Teabaggers, Political Right-Wing pundits say)...I say just a bunch of fool-azz talking heads. Enjoy your weekend and the family!

Felicia Monique said...

Very nice post!

2cute4u said...

I'm so touched by your post
Love your dreams and expectations..
Love the post.. You don't knomow how much.

CareyCarey said...

Hello Mark, I have to keep things in perspective (most of the time). It's a survival technique. If I don't, my rabid mind will run to La_la land.

Hey Solomon, are you available for babysitting? I could use a little help (sometimes).

I agree Miz, there's so much to learn from our ancestors. SO DAMN MUCH! If a person thinks not, I'd suggest they compare our lives now, to their's. I'm not talking "things". I am talking about our mindset, morals and lack of greed.

Hello Felicia Monique! I've seen you at other blogs but never here. So I am pleased that you had the courage (and time) to read this post, and to say a little sumtin (to this small-fry).

Miss-Two-Cute-For-Them, if you keep stroking me with kind words, I'm gonna be scared of you.

Seriously though, this type of post is my groove zone. I don't know very much about very many things, but I do know the trouble I've seen and my part in it. So I am pleased that you found a reward from reading this post. Thanks for the compliment.