So Birth of a Nation debuted at the box office 17 days ago, and it has grossed $14.2 million dollars since then. For an indie film that cost $8.5 million to make, it has nearly doubled its cost and can be seen in some circles as a success. It also sold for $17.5 million at Cannes, the highest ever paid for an indie film coming out of there with a limited audience. First time director, producer and writer, looks like he did pretty good, right! Well he actually did, but we, Black people, literally failed him and every other Black man that wants to make a movie about something other than the movies that are commonplace.
It turned out that all the talk before this movie came out about wanting to see movies about the slaves that revolted, not the 12 Years a Slave type of movies was just that, talk!
More Black people went to see Django, written by a closet racist, and championed it because a fictional slave got to shoot some fictional white people on screen. Y’all looked past the fact that a white closet racist wrote the word Nigger into his script over a hundred times, for no fucking reason at all, besides the fact that he likes to use the word Nigger an awful lot. He’s used it in every movie he’s ever made, even the there was no reason for it! He re-hashed Blaxploitation movies, which we all know was a racist genre and no one gives a damn! But enough about the closet racist that hires Black actors so he can use Nigger indiscriminately, I’ll never watch another movie that he makes period! As a matter of fact when one comes out, Im going to actively boycott his shit and give a way free bootleg copies to everyone that wants one!
Now back to y’all trifling ass niggas that would rather see a white man exploit Blackness, but wont support a Black man that tried to show the strength of his people, y’all disgust me, literally!
I wrote a blog post a while back entitled ‘Phuck Real Hip Hop Heads” because real Hip Hop emcee’s cant sell records even though they have millions of fans on various social media platforms, which makes no sense at all. How can millions of people claim to be a fan but you only sell 30 thousand albums?
This is what just happened to Nate Silver’s, “The Birth of a Nation”! $14.2 million dollars in sells roughly equates to a little over one million ticket sells over a 17 day period, which means that there’s a whole lot of talking and and very little action. It released on 2105 screens and made an average of $6300 per theater over the first 14 days, which breaks down to 37 people per day. To be truthful, I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I did purchase tickets to see it on its opening weekend, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to go see it because I was headed out of town. I wanted to support it in the opening weekend because the money that it makes during that timeframe usually dictates how long the movie will stay in the box office, and how many theaters it will stay on. Plus I’m going to go and see it at a theater, so I’ll have supported the movie 4 times and some of y’all haven’t even did it once.
Then over the third weekend they dropped it down to 633 screens and it only made $907k, which means that it will drop out of theaters all together over the next few weeks.
This is completely unacceptable, and the major reason why I say that it’s completely unacceptable is because, last week Kevin Hart debuted his stand up comedy “What Now” and it opened with $11.7 million in revenue and over the past 7 days after it debuted, its made an additional $7.2 million, to have $18.9 million in box office receipts.
Then the icing on the pathetic cake was Tyler Perry’s “A Madea Halloween” comedy, that opened this past weekend at number one in the theaters with $28.5 million in sells!
What I’ve learned is that social media is not a good indicator when it comes down to certain things, because based off of what i saw in the lead up to Birth of a Nation, coupled with the angst directed toward Tyler Perry’s over saturation of his Madea character, I would have sworn that Nate Silver would have made at least $30 – $50 million off this movie at the box office. Not in the first 3 weeks, but I thought the receipts would have kept it in the running for more than 3 to 5 weeks so it could make it to those numbers.
I thought that people were going to put their money where their mouth is, but I guess I have to remember the old adage, talk is cheap!
In the mean time people are saying that it flopped, but in reality, it didn’t flop, it made the filmmakers their money back and then some, it just didn’t live up to the hype that a lot of us thought it would, but thats our fault! Whats real is that I have heard great reviews from the people that did support it, so all in all he made a great movie thats about to double the amount that was put into it, and thats not a flop no matter how you look at it!
For some time I’ve considered writing a post about this but never found the motivation to actually sit down and start writing, but the other day after addressing a post on Facebook and getting the typical response from so called “conscious” black dudes, I decided to finally pen this post.
So here’s the thing, Black people in this Country, the United States of America, have no true identity! We are the homeless, we are the disenfranchised, we are downtrodden, the oppressed! We seek to belong to something greater than this existence that we have right now in this place, in this space and time. We long for the glory days of our ancestors as if that is all we ever had or ever will have. But I tell you that right here, right now, is all we have and will ever have, here in this country in this space, and in this time. Nothing else! The past is gone, yet it resides within us, and the future is yet to come, but it also resides within us. So with what we have right now, which is the past, the present and the future within, we should be able to create a future similar to our once glorious past!
But in order to get there, we need to come to a realization, one that will piss a lot of you off and others will accept wholeheartedly, and have no problem with.
And that realization is the cold hard fact that the descendants of slaves, with African blood flowing through their veins, that we call African Americans, are Not Africans! Neither are we truly Americans!
We are an amalgamation of these things, these nationalism’s, these concepts, and these ideologies, and because these ideologies are viewed as opposing ideologies, our programming tells us that we need to embrace one or the other, not both. This programming is taught to us by our parents as children, “right vs wrong”, “good vs evil”, “if you’re not with me you’re against me”, and re-enforced in church as the “you can’t straddle the fence” sermon. We’ve always been taught that you have to pick a side, and if we don’t, we’re the one in the wrong, there is no neutral position in life. But this is wrong when it comes down to the African/American debate! I chose to use the examples above to show how the thought process is indoctrinated into our psyches as young African American children, not to debate good and evil or right and wrong!
This is why when we’re confronted with two seemingly opposing ideologies we quickly pick sides. Our programming says its either one or the other, and you will always pick the side of your highest understanding, the one that instills pride in you, which is actually the one that makes you feel the best about your Self. Therefore when one has to choose between African/Black, and American/White we choose to identify with the African/Black first. Those that don’t choose Black first have been considered to be the sellouts and coons back in the day therefore the “real Black man or woman is the one that embraces Africa over America! These so called conscious Black people lay claim that there’s no middle ground even if your mother was white and your father was Black, you must self identify as Black, ask any biracial American. But what they don’t seem to understand is that that very understanding is what the white man, or massa had during slavery, the one drop rule! And if you choose your white side, you’re considered a sellout, a coon, and a host of other derogatory names that seeks to take away your Blackness. And even if you don’t identify as white, or if you have two Black parents but don’t identify with being African, you’re put in the same category, because you have to pick a side, and if you’re not on their side then you’re against them, simply because you’re not with them.
So here we are in 2015 claiming to be conscious Black men but that conscious thought is built directly off the slave traders understanding of who we were to be in this country. The slaves were never meant to be Americans, and generations down the line we are too far removed from our African ancestors, that we are not Africans either, we are an amalgamation of the two. We are now a new people, a people manifested from the remnants of a great race that saw itself decline to the point of colonization and slavery to finally be back in control of our own destiny once again!
Malachi Z York called us NuWabians, some say we are the Moors, Hebrew Israelites, Egyptians, but I say we are all and we are none, therefore we must create a new understanding, a new people.
You can call yourself and African, an African American, or just a plain ole American, that’s up to you, but I will from this day forward, address myself and those in this diaspora in the US, as Afrimerican!
Afrimerican: A people forged from the lowest point of mans existence as slaves, that fought to be free, earned that freedom and began to build. We have fought those that oppose us for over 400 years and we have made great strides. Our birthing pains have been great and there are still more to come. But we must understand and incorporate into our thinking that those that fight against and resist change will always end up on loser’s side of history, it’s inevitable. Therefore we will always be victorious in our quest to change the things that ail our people, it just takes time!
So I ran across this post in my feed (pictured ) and I was thinking, why do we champion this understanding and embrace it wholeheartedly, because the average African-American will see this meme and feel as if it’s on point!
We tend to act as if every house negro was a sellout and every field negro was a revolutionary, when it wasn’t even close to that. There were far more field negro’s than house negro’s and if they really wanted to revolt, they could have done so at anytime, but they didn’t.
I applaud Malcolm X for introducing us to this understanding, but 50 years later, we must understand that it was a flawed understanding although it was much needed back then. Nowadays not so much, but if utilized we need to tweak it some to make it more accurate.
When reading the text in the meme it’s very easy to applaud it and think that the writer is a champion of the people but when one actually seeks to utilize wizdom and understanding, then you must ask yourself something! If the house and field negro we’re both slaves, then where’s the division coming from and what made those in the field decide to bring such an understanding to gestation even though it is very negative toward their own people? We’d call that crabs in the barrel or hating nowadays, but its funny how those that don’t equate themselves to being house negro’s love to use the crabs in a barrel analogy for why our people aren’t further ahead than we should be!
My contention is that it’s because the field negro was envious of the house negro! The house negro had a semi-better existence than the field negro, and the field negro hated it. So when the field and house negro were freed, the understanding still thrived but mutated into a different format! It then became the real nigga vs sellout equation! This is where Brother Malcolm gave us his thoughts on our position within American society, and amongst ourselves!
If ones entire understanding is from an oppressed upbringing and under-classed viewpoint then what type of logic and reasoning comes from that? This is why ghetto’s remain ghetto’s!
The understanding utilized to come to the equation set forth by Malcolm X came from an oppressed/field/flawed negro’s standpoint, he was simply taking the entirety of his experience in this country and merging it with the history of his people up until that moment in time! So if the original understanding was built off an flawed mindset, because they couldn’t be in the house, then the vitriol that they spewed to their fellow field negro’s in private, would also be based off of flawed thinking on their part.
Now looking at the meme and adding an envious or jealous understanding to the dynamic of the mansion/house negro equation one must also understand that the apartment/field negro is doing the same today!
How do you criticize the mansion negro and claim that what he’s doing is to keep them checks coming in from massa, yet you work for massa too! Your check is just smaller and you can’t afford a mansion!
And before you go into that selling your soul for money crap, you’re just selling yours for less! Your job helps to support the exact same system that you claim is horrible yet you only seem to get mad at those who have used the system and gained tremendously off of it, but those that are in the same boat as you are alright by your standards.
You’re a revolutionary, a real African, you’re down for the cause, right up to the point that you outpace the rest of the apartment negro’s, then all of a sudden you’re a sellout!
But because the apartment negro’s understanding is the most prevalent, what we see on social media platforms mimic this and makes those seeking knowledge unknowingly prop up misguided understandings such as the mansion/house negro as being bad, but the field/apartment negro’s understanding is considered to be a good thing.
And therein lies our problem! Break the Circle!
It’s evident in how they think the past holds no solutions for whats happening NOW and that things will only stay the same or get worse in the future.
So whats needed Right NOW is whatever material thing thats considered hot, not what they actually need, so the people are stagnated once again but this time because they see no good in the future, therefore why try to plan and save for it.
Afrocentric Black people are in love with the past, infatuated with future possibilities, but hate Right NOW!
Its evident in how all their solutions either harkens to a time of Black Majesty, or are set to unfold a generation or two down the road.
So whats needed Right NOW is always debatable, to the point of stagnation, therefore kicking the problems down the road for the next generation.
Enlightened Black people understand the past, make plans for the future and loves Right NOW!
It is evident in how all their solutions borrow from the past, and seek to build a better future by utilizing what we have Right NOW!
So whats needed Right NOW takes precedence over how things used to be in an effort to focus on what the future can be shaped into.
The Average Black person and Afrocentric Black person have interchangeable characteristics within their understandings, because there are a lot of brainwashed Afrocentric Black people who actually help to spread a Self Oppressed mind state to the the majority group, the Average Black person.
This creates a problem because the Average Black person thinks that the Afrocentric Black person is the same as the Enlightened Black person, but in almost every case they are not. The Average Black person does not want to put in the time to gather the amount of knowledge needed to elevate to the level of an Enlightened Black person, therefore anyone that appears to have more knowledge becomes the Enlightened Black person in the eyes of the Average Black person!
But the thing is, in order to make it to the Enlightened Black persons level, one must first become the Afrocentric Black person, there is no way around this. The only problem lies with staying their!
Once the Afrocentric level is reached by the Average Black person he/she believes that they have peaked, thus plateaued on the plain of Enlightenment. This is where the Afrocentric understanding becomes the paramount understanding! And because knowledge leads to the feeling of Power, the Afrocentric initiate feels the new level of respect that is given and seeks to multiply that feeling. In doing so most become lost to the fact that knowledge is ever evolving. At this point is when they fail to seek knowledge and understanding outside of the Afrocentric equation, believing that this is it, therefore they stay on the Afrocentric level but elevate within it!
The Enlightened Black person has traveled the road of the Afrocentric but understood that something was still missing in the grand scheme of themes. They are the ones who decided to seek knowledge outside of the understanding of Afrocentricity and by doing so recognizes the inherent Synergy produced by combining the knowledge from each level of understanding, with knowledge from outside of the Black equation to create a new, ever evolving dynamic, that only seeks to create, grow and evolve further. This is the closest that man can get to the level of God Most High the Supreme Being, The Creator! This is the true plateau of understanding!
By using this understanding to create; more expressions of The Most High’s Oneness with ALL things seen and unseen become manifest! A thought can become a material thing! A thought can become the road map for the future! A thought can manifest greatness or destruction! This is what the Enlightened Black person knows; it’s what the Afrocentric Black person thinks needs to be centered in Afrocentrism only, and that the Average Black person doesn’t care to know exist.
Yet this very understanding actually seeks out the Average Black person, and plants itself as a quest for knowledge of self, which turns their mind towards Afrocentricty, which then blossoms into Enlightenment!
And there we find God!
One day I was in a debate with a couple brothers about the plight of the Black man in America, and it seemed like no matter what I said, they’d harken back to a statement about us being oppressed in this country.
Sure, we’ve been oppressed for many centuries here under slavery; The Black Codes, Jim Crow, Redlining, bad loans or no loans at all, unemployment, and now Mass Incarceration, but even when I mentioned all the good things that we’ve accomplished during these same times, they basically threw them out the window and dug right back in with the woe is me, woe is us, oppression talk! So I thought to myself, I don’t feel oppressed, what are they talking about?
Don’t get me wrong here, I understand that being Black in America comes with extra rules and can be burdensome at times, but are we really oppressed in the manner that they continue to propagate?
Can we as Black people honestly say that all the things that I’ve listed above as burdensome and unjust has effected us at a 100% level over the past 40 years? In this time period there has always been a small percentage of Blacks that suffer from each problem, and some from a few of them at a time, but as a people, not even 30% can say that these things have them oppressed!
We’ve had ample opportunity to open our own banks and give loans to each other, but nope, hasn’t happened. You can walk through any black neighborhood in the US and see 100’s of businesses that aren’t owned by Black people; from beauty supply stores, corner restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, nail salons, and a host of other businesses that siphon money out of our communities and never bring it back!
But we surely do own churches, lots of them! And guess what, the churches follow the same pattern, they siphon money out of the community to the tune of $252 million a week, that never goes back into the community! Then they take valuable tax dollars away from the community also, and hardly none of them open businesses to help their unemployed congregation!
Then you have Black people that lay claim to the fact that the man is deliberately keeping us from owning businesses, by making us jump through hoops to get loans. As if a bank or the SBA wants to just lend money to someone without a business plan and a bad credit score, c’mon, it’s just not going to happen!
Now there are instances when all the criteria is met, and we are denied loans, but let’s be serious, does that happen to the majority of Blacks on a regular, no it doesn’t! Or sometimes they might give us higher interest rates than white people, but when these things happen, thanks to hard fought rights, those lenders can be sued for doing so if it ever comes to light. Which it did recently, and the lenders got fined and will have to pay back millions of dollars in restitution to the Black homeowners that were defrauded!
I can go on but you get the picture right, yeah things are not fair, we still have work to do but to harp on the fact that we’re still oppressed is Self defeating! Black Re-Activist want you to believe that your position in this country is out of your hands, it’s what the Man wants or bust, yet every single day we see Black people succeeding in various endeavors and creating a better life for themselves and their families! But for some reason this isn’t good enough for a small but loud group of Black men who lay claim to being the keepers of the Black consciousness, the Afrocentric understandings, and the warrior mindset that will liberate us from this oppression that we all suffer under.
I’ve gone as far as to ask them, do you think, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Jay Z and a host of other Black billionaires and multi millionaires wake up in the morning feeling oppressed? Why don’t they? Even those of us that have small businesses and aren’t even close to being millionaires don’t seem to share in this same thought pattern! Why is that? It’s because we realized that if they strive to be the best that we can be and have something to offer worth value, we can rise above the things that these Black men feel are oppressing Black people.
1. the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner.
2. an act or instance of oppressing.
3. the state of being oppressed.
4. the feeling of being heavily burdened, mentally or physically, by troubles, adverse conditions, anxiety, etc.
Now think about why these men feel oppressed! It’s because of unjust laws, lack of gainful employment and feeling like racist cops and others can do anything to them at anytime and get away with it. Although unjust laws do create an oppressed like state for Black people in America, the reality of the situation is that, it’s mostly in our heads.
And this is what made me think about the phrase Self-Oppression, I looked it up and I found a few spiritual and holistic usages of the phrase but no one has ever broke it down into a psychological or sociological thinking for a group of people based off the 4th definition for the word Oppression and the adding of self to the other three!
So when you add self to the word oppression what do you get;
1. the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome me, cruel, or unjust manner on your SELF
2. an act or instance of oppressing your SELF
3. the state of being oppressed by your SELF
The 4th definition already lets us know that this could be a feeling that we have, which by definition means it’s coming from your SELF.
So what you get is that a Self Oppressed person believes that he/she is being oppressed by outside forces and reacts accordingly. Every time something bad happens, it’s because they’re Black, and a racist white man hates them! Whenever a black white interaction occurs that is negative, wether it be warranted or not, the race card is pulled by the Self Oppressed, thus adding to the fact that he is being oppressed.
On the flip side a Black man with money doesn’t worry about being targeted by corrupt cops because if he is detained unjustly, he can higher a good lawyer to get him exonerated, a poor man can’t, therefore he feels oppressed by the penal system!
A rich Black person or one that owns his own business (rich or not) doesn’t worry about employment, or that he might get fired by a racist boss, the poor Black man feels he’s being oppressed because he has to work for a white man that may be racist and fire him at anytime, therefore boosting the feeling of being oppressed. In fact rich Black people could care less about racist white people, because the things that racist can affect are within their range of getting fixed because they can afford to fix them!
But in reality though, the vast majority of white people are not racist, maybe biased towards Black people but not flat out racist! And to take it a step further, the percentage of Black people that work for small white business owners is minuscule by comparison of how many of us work for major corporations or governmental bodies like the post office and other stuff, so for the most part the fear of being fired by a racist is mostly in our heads, especially because more than likely you would have never been hired by the racist in the first place. But guess what, when unfair hiring practices come to light, thanks to some hard fought rights again, these employers can be sued.
The Self Oppressed attitude keeps you in a position of thinking that the Man controls your life behind the scenes, and the Black Re-Activist who suffers from the same syndrome believes that he’s enlightening the world to the evils of the Man, therefore his points are valid. But have you ever wondered why you can read post after post on social media outlets from these Re-Activist about what ails the Black Community, but none of them have a plan or even concept on how to rectify this situation except for becoming more African centered.
None of them have plans on how to sustain a Black population if we ever became a sovereign people, none of them own businesses, besides the ubiquitous African book Store that sales boatloads of Afrocentric stuff, that a lot of is made in China, go figure!
I love my Black people but at the end of the day, we need to step away from self oppressing ourselves and continue to reach for the stars in order to rise above this oppressed state that the poorest amongst us find themselves in. If each person committed himself/herself to becoming the best person that they could be, this mind state will not exist in two decades. The Self Oppressed will become the successful self and as long as we understand that the things that we feel are oppressing us have to do with money and social status, then we’ll feel like the successful people of today feel. They know that black people still have work to do, but they also know that the future is ours to create and that white supremacy and racism can not hold us back if we continue to strive for greatness and stop Self Oppressing ourselves, we don’t have to worry about being New Slaves!