Martin Luther King Jr had a dream, giving hope to African-Americans. He was the first African-American to be “Time” magazine’s ‘Man of the Year’ and also won the Nobel Peace Prize, honors that are given to people who have certainly made an impact, while Rosa Parks, the Civil Rights icon refused to give up her seat on a city bus in Montgomery. Both Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks have made things easy and better for the Black man today.
The sacrifice of these two great people in the history of African-Americans, is what should inspire every black man. Unfortunately, there are many African-Americans, irresponsible behavior, actions and comments are total disgrace to the Black man. When one works hard and is blessed with money, that shouldn’t permit the person to behave like a moron, because when one black does something stupid, it affects all black people.
Couple of years ago, a hip-hop artist, Bryan Birdman, aka Baby Williams, made headlines like other hip-hop artists. According to Forbes Magazine, “He tries to wear $I million worth of orthodontics and jewel every day. Finally, he said he will bet $I0 million on Floyd Mayweather, whenever he fights Manny Pacquiao. One of the YouTube videos of Birdman, shows him advertising his wealth in dollars. He claims he has stacked money on the floor, everywhere and he walks on it. It’s embarrassing as I tried to figure out, why do people do that, are they looking for recognition or status?
Floyd Mayweather is one of the respected boxers in America. He has achieved what many boxers couldn’t and at the moment is considered to be one of the highest paid men in sports. But his pride has pushed him to do what many African-Americans have done to lose their respect. Recently Mayweather posted a picture of him sitting behind stacked money on bed.
I don’t know what comes into the mind of these people to do things like that, because such things do not give any respect but rather portray the Black man as stupid and moron. Everyone knows that you are rich, so what’s the need to send a picture behind thousands of dollars to the social media? Is that the way to get more fame or popularity?
African-Americans that behave in this way should put an end to it, because it undermines the intelligence of the Black man. If they really want to be famous, then they should follow my advice. Both Birdman and Mayweather should join a flight to Africa, Ghana. In Accra, they should board the bus heading to Cape Coast, in the Central Region of Ghana. Few kilometers to Cape Coast, they will see many villages along the road. They should stop and walk to any of those villages.
They will see the children of their ancestors, (because Cape Coast is where a lot of African-Americans were taken from) sitting under mango trees and roofless classrooms studying. They should try to provide them a place to learn, to escape the heat of the sun and the heavy thunderous rains, since they are so rich and don’t know what to do with their money. After doing all these they must return to America and see how the people and others from different parts of the world would say about them and be respected.
Using the term “exodus politics” to theorize the valorization of black male leadership in the movement for civil rights, Robert J. Patterson explores the ways in which the political strategies and ideologies of this movement paradoxically undermined the collective enfranchisement of black people. He argues that by narrowly conceptualizing civil rights in only racial terms and relying solely on a male figure, conventional African American leadership, though frequently redemptive, can also erode the very goals of civil rights.
The author turns to contemporary African American writers such as Ernest Gaines, Gayl Jones, Alice Walker, and Charles Johnson to show how they challenge the dominant models of civil rights leadership.
He draws on a variety of disciplines―including black feminism, civil rights history, cultural studies, and liberation theology―in order to develop a more nuanced formulation of black subjectivity and politics.
Patterson’s connection of the concept of racial rights to gender and sexual rights allows him to illuminate the literature’s promotion of more expansive models. By considering the competing and varied political interests of black communities, these writers reimagine the dominant models in a way that can empower communities to be self-sustaining in the absence of a messianic male leader.
Dr. Patterson is an Associate Professor of English and African American Studies, and Director of the African American Studies Program at Georgetown University. His book, Exodus Politics: Civil Rights and Leadership African American Literature and Culture (UVA Press, 2013), argues that African American literature written after the civil rights movement challenges society’s tendencies to think of civil rights solely in terms of race, to deem black male leadership as necessary for civil rights attainment, and to contain the scope of the civil rights movement to the fifteen year period between 1963-1968.
In addition to this project, Dr. Patterson has published articles on W.E.B. Dubois, Toni Morrison, African American Women’s Writing,Tyler Perry’s films. Some of his work appears in South Atlantic Quarterly Black Camera, Religion and Literature, the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, and the Cambridge Companion to Civil Rights Literature. He co-guest edited a special edition of South Atlantic Quarterly, Black Literature, Black Leadership (112.2).
Extending his interest scholarly interests in the post-civil rights era, black popular culture, and the politics of gender, he also has begun to work on a second book project, Destructive Desires: Black Popular Culture and the Intimacy of Politics, which analyzes the various ways that African Americans used popular and expressive culture to negotiate racial politics in the 20th and 21st centuries. He is also co-editing a book, The Psychic Hold of Slavery, which is an interdisciplinary collection of scholarly essays that considers why and how slavery still matters.