Saturday, October 28, 2006

Change the color to RED and challenge Native America

A Challenge to the 21st Century Black Man

Black men I challenge you to unleash your full potential. Can you handle the task? Prove it.

By Peggy Butler

As night draws near, and the city dissipates into its nocturnal ritual, millions of Black men ponder their fate. Pausing briefly, I observe the man seated across the aisle, and note the confusion in his eyes. It is a look I've seen many times before. Only now it is more subtle, and tinged with an uncanny alliance of fear and serenity. What exactly are you thinking Brotha? Are you sad, happy? Do the two emotions evolve into one leaving you restless and confused?

For several minutes you engage in a cat-and mouse game of Why, What and How. As your mind swerves from one question to another, your thoughts trickle in fast and furious, each more horrifying than the other. Why Am I Here? As a Black Man Why Am I So Misunderstood? And so it goes.

Finally the man drifts into a blissful sleep, where dreams are the only elements veering between sanity and desperation. Five hours later he awakens to the sound of dripping water. Alone in the dark with his thoughts, he becomes conscious of the drip. Plip, Plop, each drop resonates with the sound of fury. Fast forward to the present: Arise my Brotha! The next time these thoughts enter your head, I invite you to take My Challenge.

Now, before you get your boxers in a wad, allow me to give you a brief synopsis of this provocation. It was created solely for Black Men. Moreover, its purpose is to help you become the person you are capable of becoming, despite your present circumstances. Now Brotha without further interruption, here is my challenge to you.

1. I challenge you to stop subscribing to the theory that you are weak, lazy and inadequate.

2. I challenge you to attain a quality education and use your skills wisely.

3. I challenge you to take pride in your race and become conscious of your heritage. Hey guys, have you forgotten that you are descendants of kings and queens?

4. I challenge you to wrap yourself in the fragrant embrace of hope, and stop exhibiting signs of weakness.

5. I challenge you to stop letting western civilization dictate your true value and self-worth.

6. I challenge you to free your mind from the pity, anger and hatred deeply ingrained in your psyche.

7. I challenge you to refrain from the self-destructive behavior (criminal activity) that has led to your selection on the heavily populated Crooks R-US roster.

8. I challenge you to release all resentment, stop living in the past, and stand on your own two feet.

9. I challenge you to get off the street corners and seek gainful employment.

10. I challenge you to combine the exultation of your soul, mind and body, and walk with your head high. By doing this, you will let the world know that you are no longer influenced by biased criticism.

11. I challenge you to refrain from all thoughts of despondency. Instead, fill your mind with hope, faith and assurance.

12. I challenge you to choose wisely, live honorably and always anticipate the best.

13. I challenge you to assert your constitutional rights and become optimistic about the future.

14. I challenge you to be a leader, despite your present circumstances.

15. I challenge you to submit your mind to a Higher Authority. With God's help you can gravitate to a state of true happiness.

16. I challenge you to reclaim your role as "head of household," a phrase used to describe a man who is capable of providing food, clothing and shelter for his family.

Aren't you sick and tired of the media referring to you as the "non-supportive" parent who makes babies, but is incapable of taking care of them?

Lastly, Black Men, I encourage you to commit yourself to these challenges. Only through mutual understanding and in-depth analysis, can you reach your full potential.

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