‘Au­then­tic’?

The Washington Times Weekly - - Culture, Etc. -

“To­day, we live in a so­ci­ety happy to watch black peo­ple den­i­grate them­selves, a cul­ture that sees such self-den­i­gra­tion as a form of en­ter­tain­ment — and a lu­cra­tive one at that. The worst, most pro­fane and self-de­struc­tive of the black com­mu­nity are cel­e­brated in com­edy, mu­sic, television, and film in the name of ‘keep­ing it real.’ Worse, not only do too few of us stand up against the pub­lic defama­tion of black peo­ple, too many of us de­fend such defama­tion and en­gage in it our­selves. It has been noted, and is worth re­peat­ing, that this is true of no other race or eth­nic group in Amer­ica. [. . .]

“So long as we per­mit the cel­e­bra­tion of ig­no­rance over intelligence and profit from the des­e­cra­tion of our time-hon­ored val­ues and tra­di­tions — al­low­ing a cul­ture of gold teeth, sag­ging pants, dis­dain for ed­u­ca­tion, dis­re­spect for women, glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of crim­i­nal­ity, low am­bi­tion, and ir­re­spon­si­ble sex­ual be­hav­ior to be re­garded as au­then­ti­cally black — we are des­tined to march back into the mar­gins of so­ci­ety, into the shad­ows that so many he­roes and hero­ines of our his­tory fought so hard to es­cape.”

— Earl G. Graves Sr., writ­ing on “Enough Is Enough,” in the Novem­ber is­sue of Black En­ter­prise

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