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H. Lewis Smith, Founder and CEO - UVCCStrength of Character, Heart, Mind and Soul

By:  H. L. Smith

What is Character? It’s the action you take to carry out the values, convictions, principles, ethics and morals that you believe in. Consistency between what you say you will do, and what you [actually] do; putting your principles and values INTO action. Moral strength, it takes moral courage to do what is right when it may cost more than you are willing to pay.  African-Americans of the 1960’s personified all of these traits and then some. Black America was vibrant, sagacious, intolerant, circumspect and self-respectful the positive attributes were endless.

Unfortunately, today some Black Americans have retrogressed all the way back to an 18th century slave mentality finding it acceptable to be referred to as the n-word as if it is some sort of badge of honor to be worn; many sit back not saying or doing anything while drugs, misogyny, saggin pants, crime and violence are marketed and promoted as a way of life, as if it is all synonymous with being Black.

There are two forms of slavery: physical and mental, mental enslavement being the ULTIMATE worse of the two.  Enslaved African-Americans were subjected to both, and have NEVER been freed from the mental aspects of enslavement. This fact should NOT be taken lightly. The mind of the enslaved African-American was tinkered and toyed with, corrosively manipulated, abused and misused. One of the greatest powers in the world is the power to define reality and make others accept it, even when it’s to their disadvantage. This is what has happened to the Black African-American race and is the ONLY explanation as to why so many Black Americans still identify with the n-word.

It’s high time to stop transferring a legacy of ignorance from one generation to the next. It’s now time to awaken the intellect and potential that lives within African-American current and future generations. The only way to achieve this feat is by ensuring the freedom and uplifting of a diminished mindset; and the only way to achieve true freedom is by relinquishing the hold to any remnants of the past—and that INCLUDES the n-word.

Black users claims of desensitizing and using the n-word in an endearing manner are misleading, leaving many people to be misinformed and misguided. This becomes blatantly obvious when they ALSO use it in a cursing and malediction fashion…thus the hate and offensiveness of the term isn’t being eliminated at all. It’s time to take our heads out of the sand and acknowledge the fact that though you can try and change the context of a word, it is impossible to change the context of its history.  Black African-Americans must stop kidding themselves and acknowledge the need to break one of the last links to mental enslavement—continual embrace of the n-word.

With freedom, education and independence comes—accountability and responsibility. The components are not inseparable but are two sides to the same token. Black African-Americans have a responsibility and obligation to the memories of the sacred ancestors to be respectful and appreciative of their struggles, sacrifices, hardships, blood, sweat and tears. Their sacrifices have enabled contemporary Black African-Americans, and all other Americans as well, to live the life experienced today. As such, rather than continuing to infuse mentalities of inferiority and status quo into future generations, which only leads to the continual demise of the collective black community, Blacks must begin to teach and show (live by example) future generations a new way of thinking.

To borrow a phrase from the musical group “Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes”; Wake up everybody, no more sleeping in bed, no more BACKWARD thinking, time for thinking ahead, wake up ALL the teachers, TIME to teach a new way. When you teach the children teach them the very best you can, the world won’t get no better if we just let it be, WE got to change it, JUST YOU AND ME—no finger pointing elsewhere—other than to the image in the mirror.

The curtains on the Minstrel Show act needs to finally come down. This is the 21st century; Black America is no longer compelled to take itself as some sort of joke; the time has come to make a statement that we are no longer interested in lampooning ourselves and remaining as victims of mental enslavement.

H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc., http://www.theunitedvoices.com  author of Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word, and the recently released book Undressing the N-word: Revealing the Naked Truth, Lies, Deceit and Mind Games https://www.createspace.com/4655015

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