I ,Too, Sing America – The Good Ole Days

I too sing America

I looked in the mirror this morning and noticed that my nose is still broad, my lips are thick, and my skin is still brown (and about to get positively black now that the heat has returned to Georgia); I was thinking about having a nickel for every time I hear someone wishing for the good old days and returning our country to what our forefathers dreamed of , or some such.  I remember the good old days just fine thank you and I like our present days much mo’ better, imperfect as they may be.

I don’t want my kids or my grandkids to be afraid to even drive through certain neighborhoods because they could be mistaken for black people who had come there to start trouble.  When my husband was on tour with El Pus they stayed in some really nice hotels – back in the good old days they would have had to stay at people’s houses or sleep in the car just because they were “colored” .

Back in the old country,  I  lived in a town I lived in a town where bauxite was mined for the Reynolds company. Their executives were all southern whites ( I assume) and they lived on “the hill” where black people could not go unless they were housekeepers, gardeners etc. If a piece of fruit fell on the ground and you picked it up you would be accused of stealing and jailed. When they shopped at the town’s only grocery store, the local “coloreds” were not allowed to shop that day (at least they were nice enough to designate a day for this).  They were OK with us dying in the mines and getting mangled by the equipment though (worker’s comp, disability, pension – all that socialist claptrap, not here man).

When our forefathers wrote the Constitution the certainly weren’t thinking about the rights and freedoms of my husband’s ancestors – neither Cherokee nor African. As a matter of fact, they weren’t thinking about their slaves at all, after all slaves weren’t actually human or anything like that. Giving consideration to slaves would have been like writing provisions into the Constitution for their horses! That would have been Ridiculous, right?

Back in the good old days I most certainly would not have moved TO the South FROM the North. That would have been something like suicide or genocide or some kinda ‘cide.  But don’t get me wrong, the North wasn’t always no crystal stair either. My Mom wanted us to have a house so she moved us to East Flatbush – 3rd Black family in the neighborhood. I heard the word jigaboo more than once, and not in a nice way either (is there a nice way to call someone a jigaboo?) We couldn’t always go play at the neighborhood park, and I remember cowering with Dianne and Cathy in her foyer because Big Rocco and Little Rocco were coming down the street and they would have beat my ass for being Black and beat her and Cathy’s asses for hanging out with ‘niggers’.

What I know is that the world is not now, nor has it ever been, perfect. But it is moving towards perfection every day and in every way. When we try to hold on to the past or roll it back like Walmart rolls back prices, we are actually retarding the progress of the entire world.

So I’m asking you nicely to quit throwing all those prayers out there for a return to “the country of our forefathers”, that is of course unless….OH, I see.

I, Too, Sing America by Langston Hughes
I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed–

I, too, am America.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]