Thursday, January 30, 2014

social outcasts [don't give up]........................................................................

Don’t Give Up on the Social Outcasts…….

By Brother Tracy Gibson…


Somehow, and strangely I might add, Black Nationalists, Black Progressive thinkers, Black liberals and much of the Black church- and Black Mosque- are under the mistaken impression that just because a person is a drug dealer, a thug, a pimp, a porn star, a drug addict, a sexual offender, or a person who has generally broken the law with frequency or just a person who has some other form of addiction such as alcohol or sexual addiction, and / or pornography addiction or is a homosexual—we think that these people are divorced from our us as Africans. We think that such people want to have or do have nothing to do with relating to or taking pride in our African culture, African roots and African heritage…. Sometimes our major Black academicians look down on or want to cover up the very existence of these ``troublesome’’ folk. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad never looked down on such people and allowed them to grow, get educated from book knowledge and street knowledge and develop into good citizens and even, such as in the case of Malcolm X, stellar revolutionaries. I have to agree with the view of Mr. Muhammad.

                In fact, having stronger centering in African roots and African culture can help these people not only overcome criminal and obsessive behaviors, but can in fact actually help them become more law abiding and worthwhile Black North American citizens.

                It is obvious that our African heritage is strong and looking more palatable as we get older and know more about the depth and importance of being  Africa-centered and the great benefits that come from that.  I try not to give up on anyone (although there are certainly a few people in my past who I have lost faith in). But once we discover or re-discover the vast importance and relevance of African culture and African history we begin to want to throw off more of the throw-away culture of the West and want to relate more to our own history and culture as Black People and as African People. The African culture of dance, reading, history, poetry, the written word, Rap Music and Rap Culture, African story-telling, filmography,  and language can be a filament to light a path to better understanding of self and more structured and  ethical behavior among this so-called ``underclass of difficult people’’ and help them pull our entire race of African American, Caribbean and other African Diaspora People up in a meaningful and effective Way.…

                It is not only something that is in vogue during February of each year (Black History Month) but is something that we should try to stay steeped in all year long. It takes effort, but it can happen. Not surprisingly, other cultures will take hold of some of our African culture and not only appreciate it and flock to experience it, but also copy or emulate it as well. The example are far too many to mention buy I will just say has anyone had some ``M & M’’ candy lately? Or heard some Elvis in the House music? Or listened to the root beats in the Beatles of Liverpool lately? They all took some of their root mystic lyrical magic from the African drum and from African culture.   

                The progressive community among us and especially Black Nationalists should realize, and I am sure there are some Black researchers who have made a point of this long before I have here, that we can and do greatly benefit from our rich heritage, culture and even our current culture that has remembered our past in developing our present cultural trends.

                Just because you are a so-called ``social deviant’’, doesn’t mean you can’t support positive things going on in our community and work towards our eventual liberation as Black people in some form or another.  You can be a drug dealer and still get high off of grandma’s peach cobbler or Sweet potato pie; you can be a so-called sexual deviant and still read about the early life of Angela Davis and Huey P. Newton or Medgar Evers; you can be a Black homosexual and a porn star and still want to travel to Africa and walk in the places where slaves once walked or where Black  Kings and Black Queens once walked; or see the sites where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned; or where he served as President or even still want to meet him. Being a social outcast or a deviant doesn’t totally dampen one’s cultural curiosity and thirst for knowledge.

                Hopefully and eventually the strong Black culture that we experience will take the place of some of the excesses we have come to so radially accept as a part of North American’s throwaway society.  Why do I call our social systems and cultural norms in North America throwaway? Well, if you really notice, most of what we have come to admire, LOVe and even desire is here today and gone tomorrow.  The latest cars and the latest dresses and latest clothing styles become passé before we can even use up the tires or ware holes in the fashions.

                This is one of the reasons why our leaders have fought for more Black history and African culture in the schools, because I think we feel that it does have a positive impact on Black minds and on substantiating more positive influences on our children and the rest of us.  But I feel that even our leaders don’t take a full accounting of just how deep that impact can be even on people within our community that many of us consider social scum and have given up on. 

                We should take a second look at some of the so-called ``scum’’ because there may be a root of economic support for example, among Black homosexuals who may well have more disposable income than the general Black public because often they don’t have children.  These brothers and sisters often live rather conservative life styles and have few sexual partners—unlike what we hear and see in media representations of these people.  They are often church goers, educated, employed, or business owners. We must learn to interact effectively with these people to promote our own interests as Black Nationalists and to help them see Ways of promoting things within their own ranks that are more holistic, natural, healthy and community-lifting. This can be done with a little effort and some help from some key people.

                You can say the same thing about our neighborhood drug dealers and other social outcasts and other social deviants of every stripe. They should be given a chance to support more legitimate community building efforts in the community before we completely throw away their potential as productive human beings.  Naturally, in the case of the drug dealers we would want them to turn away from drug dealing and find a more profitable legal pursuit to take on, but that can come over time as well. So, what I’m saying is, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, as my Uncle Pete Peterson used to say…. Give Brothers and Sisters coming out of prison a chance—without endangering yourselves--and stop turning your nose up to people you don’t understand or who are different from you.  For example, if you really take a look at some of the sexual behaviors of straight Black people, you will also find a real streak of freakiness and deviance within it as well. I don’t think we just throw them all out the window. Not when our communities are in such need financially.   [I am sure there are other Black Scholars who agree with me and who even have a long history of working with such so-called deviant members of our Black culture and our Black society.]

We all deserve and want a certain level of respect and acceptance. Let’s take on the good and positive and help others see the errors in some of their more corrupt ways instead of just judging, pointing fingers and hating.  The latter behaviors sound more like children and our racist White oppressors—which isn’t all White people, by the way-- than it does us as Africans.


Brother Tracy Gibson can be reached at


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