Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Out of the Park and Over the Fences!

Denzel Washington hits another home run! He nails yet another powerful portrayal of African- American men; the culture we manifest and the societies in which we live. Hats off for another award-winning performance.

Image result for Fences movie

Less Than Endangered

Sometimes two seemingly opposed arguments can be true at the same time. Take for example the current topic of Ferguson, MO and the events occurring in the aftermath of Michael Brown's death at the hands of police. The collective reaction of local people to what they immediately perceived as more racial injustice at the hands of their racially exclusive police forced triggered a national furor, but less of an analysis into incident. That must wait for a grand jury.

Our cable went down the day after it happened, and we went away on vacation for a few more days when the confrontation reached its height. So, I struggled to keep up on all the news angles including the images of riot and tear gassing. One thing became clear, however. Coverage went rapidly from the speculation and investigation into the reason Michael Brown was shot dead, to a wide ranging focus on issues including looting, and institutional racism in the police force, to the militarization of law enforcement and the perilous, seemingly bleak, future of black men in America.

Its this last issue that I will focus upon. Because in the days since Ferguson, MO became a hashtag, there have been countless videos posted and assertions made about police brutality against all people, but especially black males. Remember that I said that two seemingly opposed arguments can be true at the same time? I am not questioning police brutality or militarization. The jury is in on that. I am however, questioning the over-identification with victimization since the Eric Gardner and Michael Brown deaths. For example, a writer for TheRoot.com took the position that we should merely be teaching our boys to survive? Friends on Facebook are posting numerous video clips of confrontations between black and police. Almost, as if to say, "See, we are all victims." That is not true.

Slavery was the crucible that melded the identify of Africans, indigenous people (Indians) and Europeans (whites) into a single political identity known as black people. So, we who identify as black really had no choice.And in the 'Age of Obama' we still don't. Now that, for me at least is not a complaint. I like identifying as black. I see majesty in triumph. And that is the problem in the aftermath of #Ferguson in the climate of social media. Since my coming of age in the 1980s, I have experienced the Newsweek magazine assault, the whole 'black male endangered species' propaganda, the resurgence of black consciousnesses in media and literature, the Million Man March, and the rise and fall of Hip-Hop among other identity-shaping events. Despite it all, a significant portion of black maleness is excelling in all fields. This includes business, professionalism and arts and entertainment. That truth risks being obscured with a narrow-minded victimization mentality that events, like #Ferguson, help to grow.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

My Iconography!

This is an image retrospective from my grossly neglected blog-space at SepiaMuse. It captures many of my sociological perspectives dating back to the early 2000s. Since the addictive ease in which social media, and Facebook in particular, has overtaken all my thought-response habits, I have ignored the blog. I really must find my way back to it; or at least integrate it with my Facebook platform. I have been wanting to do video blogging more as well. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The South Inlet... Atlantic City

The Southern Inlet section of Absecon Island in Atlantic City, New Jersey has been suffering from blight since at least the early 1970s. It never benefited from the economic prosperity of the now bygone casino boom years (1985-1995). So, its continued erosion is unremarkable.