This week’s commentary had its genesis a few months back when it was well over 5,000 people in attendance at the Raines and Ribault football game and it centers around LOVE. Now before I even get started let me enter my disclaimer I am not talking about the type of love we as Black people in particular have with people because we all know the love black people in general have with pastors, athletes, entertainers, stuff in general runs deep, which leads me to this week’s point.
All black people need to make up their mind regarding how much we value our stuff. If we love it so much (neighborhood schools, neighborhoods, HBCU’s, etc.) then we need to support it. Volunteer your time, by pass for a weekend cigarettes, weed, lottery tickets, drinks at the club, admission to the club, Gucci, Loui, Dom, trips to South Beach, ATL etc and find a way to write a check to it. It pains me how we can throw the best party for homecoming and or the classic and turn around and ignore the call to build the endowment or buy books for students.
From my vantage point we are the only race of people who don’t see the value in creating legacies for our young people based upon institutions that got us through. See before you could go to FSU, UF, UNF or any other major institution there was EWC, FAMU, BCC now BCU and a list of other HBCU’s but in our twisted since of doing better it has evolved into I can no longer support or HBCU’s, or live in a certain neighborhood. The same thing can be said for our high schools as well. I would venture to say if those of us who graduated from Raines and Ribault sent our children to Raines and Ribault those schools would not be facing extinction.
The reason why schools like Florida and Florida State, Terry Parker or Forest never worry about closing is because there is an expectation that grandsons and granddaughters will attend the very same schools as their fathers and mothers and their grandfathers and grandmothers attended. The same can be said about their neighborhoods as well. The older I get the more I believe in the notion if you build it they will come applies more too Black folks than any other race on the planet. And that holds particularly true if someone white builds it.
Now this is not a commentary about race relations, but more so about how little we as Black people appreciate what we have created for us and with our cultural sensibilities in mind. We have to develop a love so deep for what’s ours that it goes beyond homecoming and classics and screams of Northside and Eastside in order to leave a legacy that’s lasting for our children’s children children and the only way we get there is by valuing our stuff.
We have to do more than show up during football season or for the cookouts at momma house or neighborhood reunions, but show up at those off times to volunteer or show up with the next generation and instill in them an understanding that this is your legacy and you are expected to uphold it. And in the case of those of us with resources write a check to it, that goes for political candidates as well. The makers of Hennessey, Cirque, Gucci or the promoters of Way Back Wednesday, Feel Good Friday’s, First Friday’s, Play Date, Skate with Your Mate or any of the countless other things we invest in won’t be mad, because if we don’t the eulogy will read.
Here lies another thing started by Black people, for Black people that died a slow painful death at the hands of Black people who didn’t love it enough to support it and this time it won’t be white people’s fault.
I AM Irvin PeDro Cohen and That’s My Truth and I AM Sticking To It.