"Lies Old Black Grandmothers Tell." YES! I Said It.
I recently decided to get candid about a few things. I know as some people watch my videos or see my posts on Facebook or Instagram, they wonder how spiritual I really am. Or, am I hood, professional, bougie, political, pro-black, opinionated, ghetto? Well, I'm mixed. LOL. This new series of blogs called, YES! I Said It will unpack random topics I've seen, read or discussed with friends. Here's my first: #LiesOldBlackGrandmothersTell.
Again, this is going to be random, but...
Get yourself an old white man to help you.
Yes! I said it. Agree? Or, am I tripping? Well, despite your opinion, this is actually the ideology that many black people believe. You ever heard the expression: "crabs in a barrel"? Who mainly quotes this and whom do they attribute it to? Okay...you with me, yet? If not...keep going.
Many say that black folks have done absolutely nothing for them when they needed help in education, finances, career, love, family, religion, peace of mind...none of it. You hear me? Some people will cross their heart and hope to die and even stick a needle in their eye regarding this belief. Some, will find that four leaf clover of success, grow mightily in their field, reach status, become a NY Best Seller, sell out auditoriums and use their platform to taint the minds of others that this....this. is. he... that holds the hope and key to your success: an old white man. Sad.
Let me share a story with you. A friend of mine, we'll call him "Kareem" (because I want to keep him anonymous, plus I like strong Black names. Like, doesn't Kareem just does something to you? I digress...) a dear friend whom I respect, shared how a very successful 69 year old black female author of 11 books used a platform in a room full of black women and a sprinkle of whites to share this message: "If you don't take away anything else I say to you today, remember this: Get an old white man to help you." THAT. And, my friend...(cough) Kareem, said there was something to that and borderline agreed. #MindBlown.
THAT, ladies and gentlemen is what she decided to embed in their minds. Now, we all know our grandmas have told us lies. You know the ones, "If you swallow a seed, a tree will grow inside your belly". She was a lie and the truth wasn't in her! Yep, I said it. LOL Or, You're the best thing since sliced bread." You probably weren't. Yep, I said that, too. At this stage in our lives, we should all know that age does not equate to maturity, common sense, knowledge or wisdom, right? Good, we all agree. With this said, when my friend shared that this successful and decorated black woman had the unmitigated gall to use her platform for such ignorance, I had to tell somebody. So I wrote this blog.
Like, really? Really? It's 2019 and this is what you leave for a room full of black women? Listen, we all have our experiences. If she fixed her mouth to say this, it has to be true for her. However, what we shouldn't do is take our experiences and endorse it as a universal formula to all mankind; there must be balance. Candidly speaking, she sounds like an old slave. Yep, an old slave whispering in the fields that ole massa is going help you see it through to your freedom. Man, if you don't miss me with that! You know the kind. The one Harriet Tubman spoke of. Creating the belief that our way to success is the "great white hope". The way to your financial freedom and dream career is only through the help of a white man. LIES.
When, I think about how I landed my opportunities to do dialogue with agents of change, movers and shakers of the industry, it was because of an black man. My first opportunity to emcee my first event of dignitaries like the mayor of Pasadena—an old black man. Emceeing my first professionally paid celebrity event honoring Quincy Jones—an old black man. My first traveling gig exploring islands of the Caribbean—an old black man. (But don't get it twisted, GOD used these black men as vessels to my stepping stones. He's definitely in the equation.) We must stop perpetuating the idea that WE DON'T SUPPORT EACH OTHER. It's fine that an old white man helps you, shoot, I'll take help from an old white man, but what we can't do is give the hype that he is the only option. Have balance and be careful what you do with your platform. Help yourself! Your success is IN YOU. Shoot, I know a white exec at NBC, has he helped me? No. But you know what, I'm trippin'; he's young...so scratch that. lol
Of course people can help you along the way and it's great to give them their props and praise, but what we ain't going to do, as we move forward, is look to an old white man to be our sole savior of our career or financial freedom, boo boo. No, sis. Look within; it's there. Have balance on how ANYONE can help. White, black, rich, poor, young, old, etc. You see, balance. Gather a census, because this is probably a debatable topic, some may say that this 69 year old slave mentality of an author is right, but if you do... you're left behind in my books. Which, most likely doesn't hold any weight, but I had to share that with you anyway.
Okay, I'm done. But before we go, let me be clear: " If you don't take away anything else I say to you today, remember this: Help Yourself! Your riches, your success...it's all within. Seek God for guidance and express your desires. Write down your vision and make it plain." Ok? Stop searching on the outside for something that's already there.
That is all.