The Hate, That Hate Taught
I begin this by greeting you with an expression of holiday cheer, and I would like to follow that salutation with a challenge. The task should you choose to accept it, is to become, and continue to be the best you can be each and every day. 2007 is winding down and as the world looks forward, I had an opportunity to reflect today, in watching one of the best films I have ever seen…The Great Debaters.
The highlight of my day was supposed to be the Lakers versus Suns game, but at halftime instead of watching the recaps and interviews, I took a trip to the movie theater to see a film that has the power to change the way we think.
The Great Debaters takes place in 1935 Texas and to watch this account based on true events was humbling. Not too worry I’m not going to give away the movie, as I would be doing you and the production a disservice.
What I will tell you is that back in the days of Willie Lynchism, Jim Crow, and separate but equal, the so-called Negro more often than not, relied on themselves and one another. Nowadays the trend has changed and while it doesn’t apply to everyone, black people in the United States can agree that the change isn’t all that great, or good for that matter.
What happened to the black eateries, schools, hotels, dry cleaning services, newspapers, etc. that once made an oppressed people pull together for the preservation of the race?
Has the black person in the U.S.A. gotten comfortable to how things are, as to how they were only a mere 35 years ago?
If you think Barry Bonds has been getting a hard time as of late, have you ever thought what it was like to play a baseball game as Henry Aaron?
In 2007 the sting of HIS-tory still lingers and with that in mind, how is it cool and important to do the opposite of what was fought so long and hard for?
When I was growing up during the Reagan era my friends and I thought it was the right thing to be as ignorant to school and learning as possible.
Getting bad grades was cool. Where did that come from, certainly we didn’t come up with that idea on our own. It was learned and taught somehow.
In this movie, I saw how the so-called Negro was both looked down upon, hated, feared, killed, and humiliated, and when I compare that depiction to what is going on in my Philadelphia streets, the only difference is that the perpetrator is more times than not black people.
Why is that?
I understand that from slavery the Africans were taught to hate themselves and when learned and passed on, it started a vicious cycle that as far as I can see has yet to officially break. But that is not the be all to end all answer…haven’t strides been made in all facets of the black American human endeavor?
I have more questions than answers and when I read the Autobiography of Malcolm X, I see the same social ills that the brother minister once fought and spoke against are still haunting the black communities all over this country.
The more things have changed, the more those same things have stayed the same, and in that you will find a very twisted intricate problem.
When I got home from my trek to the movie, I wanted to do two things. Write this entry, and call my father and tell him that he did the best job with my siblings and I, with what he and my mother had, and for that I want to equally do just as great a job with what I have one day when I have children.
I want to see The Great Debaters again, because it is just THAT good and I had THAT many tears in my eyes in watching it the first time. The time is now for us all to be responsible to our past, present, and near future. Peace.
Anthony Gilbert AXG Sports Marketing and Consulting