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Thursday, April 5, 2007

Am I Black Enuf for Ya?

by Keith Wilson

If I told you that I couldn't rap or sing, that I couldn't dance to save my life, and that I don't even shoot hoops that well, would you say thatI'm not black enuf for ya?

If you saw that I don't wear big gold chains, that I don't have dreadlocks or a huge Jackson Five afro, or that I don't have a cool nickname like Ice or Smooth, would I not be black enuf for ya?

If I don't drink Ripple, Cisco, or Hennessey, if I've never sold drugs, and if I've never been arrested, am I not black enuf for ya?

If I allow you to run a credit check on me, and you learn that not only do I have a job, but that I pay my bills on time, would you think that I'm not black enuf for ya?

If I fail to start every sentence with "Yo', Dawg," or if I refuse to refer to my sistas as bitches 'n hoes, am I not black enuf for ya?

If I don't brag about having four kids by four different women, or if I don't eagerly proclaim that the white man is the devil, are you going to wonder if I'm black enuf for ya?

If I don't cheat on my woman and diminish her self-esteem, place insociety as the Queen that deserves to be, does this mean I'm not blackenuf for ya?

If I secretly admit that I really do like Seinfeld, or that I actually know how to swim, or that I honestly think OJ did do it, would I not be black enuf for ya?

See, I'm not sure, how many of your stereotypes do I have to fulfill before you reinstate my official ghetto pass? Where do I apply for admission to this mythical club of blackness that you seem to think I should belong to?

Be-cuz the truth is - I KNOW who I am.

See, long ago, I responded to this advertisement that ran in the newspaper of my mind: WANTED -- hardworking, intelligent, and articulate individual, must be sensitive, but strong; philosophical, but playful. Candidate must have a pulsating passion for life, an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and an unlimited supply of determination. Must be able to bear the weight of your history and to carry the hopes of your ancestors. Must also be able to demonstrate an ability to dream while awake, and a willingness to achieve by any means necessary. Qualified candidate must possess own recipe for survival, including the ability to locate a grain of laughter amidst a field of despair. It will be necessary to have rhythm in your soul and soul in your rhythm, along with a willingness to embrace sorrow and reject cowardly hatred. Physical requirements include arms that are long enough to reach back into the community, but are too short to box with God. Prefer skin that is like midnight satin, but am willing to consider creamy cocoa brown, Herschey's dark chocolate, honey-dipped high yellow, sun-kissed redbone, and even light, bright, and almost white. Can fall anywhere between Denzel fine and Dennis Rodman thru, between Coltrane's intensity and Miles Davis cool. Hair-optional; height-irrevelant; big feet a definite plus. (You know what I'm talkin' 'bout.) Priority consideration given to self-respecting, sure stepping, confidence oozing, brown-eyed, thick-lipped, wide-nosed warriors. Timid, shuffling, droop-shouldered, apologetic, self-loathing, self-destructive Uncle Clarence Thomases need not apply. If interested, please inquire within.

So, if I show you my ID card that says "Grade A, Inspected, Certified 100% Sho' Nuff Brotha," then, I ask you, then, will I be black enuf for ya?

(Did not Barack Obama write this?)

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