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REFLECTIONS Has Black America Fallen To the World of Assimilation?
by Sherri Jackson
2005-04-01

This article shared 3304 times since Fri Apr 1, 2005
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In the midst of the many studies of theology, history, politics, religion, and anthropology—to name a few—while here in Virginia, I have asked myself deeper questions about the Black community as a whole. It must be all this history from a Biblical perspective of honor and shame I am reading lately. Maybe it is the dualism of the gods that one is learning on this venture. Maybe it is the voices I so often hear in my ear that spoke and said farewell as I left Chicago August of 2004. They are always reminding me to give them hell in Virginia, and be strong and remain true in all of who I am.

In my pondering and reading I had to ask myself what has happened to Black America and my Black people? I turn on the television and I see celebratory status and hype of materialism, gaudiness, and we have become the conspirators of being little gods and performing idolatry in the 21st Century. You are probably asking what does this have to do with assimilation in a white society as a Black person? When I ask these questions I want you to reflect how we as LBGTQ individuals of color play into this scenario. I want my white allies and friends to become prophetic voices with me or without me. But, it is time to go back to some of the ways of the ancestors we so often wish to forget because we have assumed we have arrived in white America. Even my white brothers and sisters know we have not arrived, we are somewhat tolerated due to past struggles and the calling out of the injustices of Black people and society at large.

As Blacks in the white LBGTQ society, our voices are silenced in such cases of Stonewall, and the recent chaos of same-sex marriage. We are silenced in media when we don't tell the truth or we are not allowed. We are silenced in our places of worship when we allow others to decide who can belong and at what time. This sounds familiar to me in the days of civil rights when whites told Blacks it was not time yet for us to make that type of progress. What hurts the most is many of us have now turned our back on Black life and society. We are not interested in the so-called ancestral ways of religion, tradition, and socialization as a communal people.

I see segregation up close in Virginia and the division of what the history of slavery, genocide, and integration has done to a people and world. I ask you readers, has integration re-enslaved Africans in America? If so, how has it en-slaved Africans in the LBGTQ communities? Has this created a form of assimilation to the white world so much that we have closed our eyes on the issues that impact us?

Now some may not agree with me, and that is OK, but it is time for a generation of prophetic voices to come forth and call out the wrongs in a society of injustices! Prophetic speaking portends to be truth speaking for good results. In the language of African ancestors it is speaking 'the unadulterated truth,' particularly to situations where injustice reigns and where straight talk about truth is missing ... .

I give you these questions from a book called Blowing The Trumpet In Open Court. 1. Was so-called progress outside the African world in America causing Africans in America to become disjointed from reality? 2. Was progress in integration and its ways causing Africans to forget the past, especially the indignities white racism heaped on Africans in America? 3. Had the warnings of ancestors through their experiences within the white world been ignored altogether? So, has integration enslaved Black folk? What were all those great freedom fighters in the '50s, '60s, and '70s and prior trying to get us to attain and see in the bigger picture of society and as Black people? What will we do as LBGTQ communities of color as our voices are silenced from the Capitol to local? We must admit some of our bothers and sisters help keep us in bondage.

So, what will some do to honor and get back to the roots of our people? Do some even desire to return to our roots, or do we continue to buy into the assimilation of the very individuals we accused of enslaving us?

Along the journey of seminary, theology, and, activism I am always with mixed emotions as I take the roller coaster ride of being deconstructed to be reconstructed. We are not to leave this camp the same as we came in. We are to venture off to new-found lands and liberate a people.

Maybe this is what we have lost in assimilation: integration. We desire only an individualistic approach, and no longer a collective one.

Minister/Activist, sherriactup2@yahoo.com .

Farrakhan Endorses Gays, Women in March

Minister Louis Farrakhan, the controversial leader of the Nation of Islam, said that he would support gay and women participants in the October march that will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March, according to a release from the National Black Justice Coalition ( NBJC ) .

Farrakhan was just one of several powerful African-American leaders who was in Atlanta for the annual State of the Black Union symposium held at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Farrakhan said that the composition of the crowd at the imminent march 'will be our people whoever we are. Male, female, gay, straight, white, dark, rich, poor, ignorant, wise.'

NBJC president Keith Boykin, who was a panelist at the conference, said that he was surprised and pleased with Farrakhan's statement. 'For Minister Farrakhan to welcome us this time shows tremendous growth in understanding and respect for us,' Boykin said in the release. Rev. Jesse Jackson, who was also a panelist, said after Farrakhan's speech that it was time for Blacks to pay attention to relevant matters and to stop sexual orientation discrimination.


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