This is the third in a series of three installments taken from Chapter Seven of Extinguishing the Flames of Hell: A Journey of Spiritual Evolution by Paul Howard Nicholas.
Topics covered in Parts 1 and 2 of this presentation were:
1) Slavery and the destruction of cultural identity
2) Selective extermination
3) Economic oppression
4) Break-up of the black family
Part 3 continues with Insufficient transfer of assets and Developmentof a culture of mediocrity:
5) Insufficient transfer of assets. Unfortunately, African Americans transfer less wealth from one generation to the next than any other group in the country. This means that the average black person starts his or her life at a significant disadvantage when compared to members of other ethnic groups.
Some would say this situation is caused by a “I got mine, you get yours” black mentality. The truth, however, is that this problem can’t be seriously addressed until we overcome economic oppression, and reunite the black family.
In order to transfer wealth to our descendents, the wealth first has to be created the old fashioned way: through hard work, combined efforts, and sacrifice. Then we will have to ensure that our children are raised to become worthy recipients of their inheritance, and that they are inspired to pass on an even greater legacy to their own heirs.
In the meantime, every black parent should dedicate a portion of every paycheck, no matter how small, to a savings/investment account for his or her children. The bottom line is that the children will benefit from knowing that their parents love them, regardless of the amount of money involved.
And, even if the weekly or bi-weekly contributions to the accounts seem small, these funds, wisely managed over eighteen years, will provide our young people with a foundation of financial stability as they take on the challenges of becoming productive, independent adults in a highly competive world.
Another thought to keep in mind is that love is also an important asset in the life of every human being. The same is true for integrity, sincerity, and faith in God. And they are assets that can be transferred from one generation to the next.
6) A culture of preferred mediocrity. Why are so many black children terrified about being labeled smart by their peers? Like the black honor student who intentionally trys to appear less intelligent to gain acceptance among other blacks who are more interested in partying and fashions than they are in SAT scores, many of our gifted children are failing to truly appreciate and fully apply their God given talents.
In today’s world, it often seems that the more intelligent a young black person appears to be, the harder it becomes for him or her to fit in with their “homies.”
But how did we get to the point where a side-ways cap wearing, woman bashing, obscenity mumbling, crotch grabbing, saggy-pants rapper can count on much more respect and support from our young people than a dedicated black doctor, engineer, or scientist? And why has some version of this negative mentality been passed from one generation of African Americans to the next?
To understand this phenomenon, one must turn back the clock to a time in black history when stupidity was a more desirable trait than intelligence. Difficult to accept, but true.
During slavery, if a black woman had an exceptionally bright child, the only way she could hope to save him from extermination or isolation was to teach him to conceal his intelligence. (This was a survival tactic similar to a slave mother teaching her healthy young son the “pimp walk” so the master would think the child was crippled and not bother trying to sell him.)
Consequently, over the course of several centuries, a perverted, but necessary, set of equations became firmly entrenched in the minds of black people: mediocrity = life, intelligence = death. (See “Selective extermination” in part one of Black History Month Special.)
In light of our history in America, it is easy to understand how our values regarding intelligence have become twisted. And four hundred years of indoctrination will be difficult to overcome.
But if we don’t start teaching our children what mediocrity and intelligence really mean in a free society, they will never be inspired to use their God given abilities to reach their fullest potential.
This presentation concludes the 2011 Black History Month Special.
© Paul Howard Nicholas