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Monday September 23rd 2019

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The Last Day of Black History Month: Is the “Dream” still deferred?

I had an idea about how the dream looked, I saw it in many forms of media (print, television, and radio + culture) from the 1960s up to now – but if you take a closer look, the dream might not ever arrive…and this time, it’s not your fault.

By Don Allen, Senior Editorial Columnist

Editorial Opinion: To tell you the truth, I don’t know which version of the dream I like best – it could be too many.

How do you destroy a monster without becoming one? (Photo: Fair-Use)

Money, cars, trips, people at your beckoned call, political favoritism, a house, car, job, peace, quiet, an acre of land? God knows what and how this dream is defined – but one thing for sure, problems are a big part of any dream. There are so many dreams talked about, I wondered what I would want from “my dream” because I think every person is unique, an exquisite one-of-a-kind mold of an individual meant to do great works.  But there’s a caveat, if we as a nation of Black men and woman do not create an agency of successful-individualism, then how can we perform as a collective to move our agendas of the dream forward?

I would like to make this perfectly clear; in no way shape or form am I disrespecting the late and honored Dr./Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr’s memory, legacy or existence, because I’m not qualified to do that. I am asking you to think past the 1960s into today – look for the dream wished for and promised, but never developed – like a bad Polaroid, repeatedly.

When I hear super-rich music celebrities like Pharrell and Common talk about the New Black, who according to Common the New Black doesn’t blame other races for our issues, it makes his argument on blackness into an ignorant mentality that undermines the Black body. Pharrell said in an interview posted on the Daily Beast, “The New Black dreams and realizes that it’s not pigmentation: it’s a mentality, and it’s either going to work for you or it’s going to work against you. And you’ve got to pick the side you’re going to be on.”

What I know is the historical and relevant ‘Ole Black’ has one side, its survival.

Common and Pharrell’s lack of clairvoyance distributed internationally from the White mainstream media platforms sends the Black body back to “Colored Only” drinking fountains and bathrooms. White political outrage over Black disparities does not fix Black fear of living in New-racist, post-truth America – it just extended conscious concern about the race-terrorism in the dismissal of the dream; from the burger joint to the board room.

Reality check: There is a fear in spaces dominated by powerful White people, and it can’t be captured on video. Black folks and other people of color will understand the fear, but over this month of February, Black History Month, Black people continue to be the targets of extreme institutional and structural injustices and deadly social-violence, outsourced, pandered, and delivered to us via superficial community conversations with “safe Blacks” that will not ask historical questions about the Black body in White spaces moving the focus of leadership and equity to a state of being persona non grata in this version of the Dream.

Okay – it might sound like I’m angered, but I’m not. At this point knowing that if we don’t put petty stuff aside, our life’s will become mechanical – a daily drive by of pre-set markers that we have to hit in order to survive. A Dream would mean you have markers that you control, change and update. Yes, I have a Dream, but I see people on television acting it out – we can life imitate art inside the construct of a Dream, my Dream, your Dream?

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