Boys to Man
The Little Boy of Color Blues
Harry Belafonte echoes in his little ears, he hears, "Artists are the gatekeepers of truth. We are the civilization's anchor. We are the compassion for humanity's conscience." Look to the little boy and really see him. This little boy sadly isn't a little boy anymore. He hasn't been little in quite some time. He has a few dilemmas. One dilemma is when he needs to be seen he's invisible. When he needs to be heard people fear him so he has to be careful or be quiet. Because in a moment's notice his cries for help can be misunderstood as threats to those who do not understand him. He doesn't know it but he's powerful beyond his own understanding. People may see his power but they fear it and don't even understand his power is invisible to him.
He's 6'0 tall but circumstance makes him feel like the little boy. Some even affirm the little boy he sees and they often call him, "boy." This little boy as they call him is not validated unless its about his prowess which denotes his "innate threat" which brings another dilemma. He's a threat but he has no way to defend himself. Bet you're wondering how can an unarmed, defenseless, boy a threat? The answer may lies somewhere between 12 year old Tamir Rice, 17 Trayvon Martin, 16 Jordan, the elementary school custodian Philando Castile, or the father George Floyd or Emmett Till. You can't because if they had that answer they'd still be here. People have cried for this little boy. People have made this little boy the escape goat. They have marched for this little boy. They have dehumanized, re-humanized, and even empathized with little boy. He's still has the blues though. Remember he's invisible when he needs to be seen and he's seen when he needs to be invisible for his protection. It's crazy how this little boy can be recognized for his athletic ability, his entertainment value both celebrated and value depreciated.
He can be honored and hated all in the same breath. He has been idolized but not understood. He just wanted to be treated as he is. He wants to be seen as who he truly is. He is a father, a husband, a brother, a son, an uncle, a cousin, a friend, but he is Not a boy. He is an unsung warrior of great strength, courage, and protection yet he has no ability to express that to the masses. Ralph Ellison says he is invisible and has to hum classical music to fit in and lower their guards. James Baldwin says to be black and relatively conscious is to be in a constant state of anger. If both are true when will he ever be free to be himself and live in peace in quiet. When does he ever gain the right to not have to be on? When can he just be who he be? The minister Howard Thurman says, meet them where they are? Why should he have to met anyone anywhere when they have the problem not him? Tony Gaskins says, you teach people how to treat you? What if he tired and doesn't think he should have to teach anyone something that should be automatic? Shouldn't he get respect automatically because he's a respectful person? Ossie says in being black he found a thing of beauty, joy, strength, and gladness.
Where is that when you are being attacked with a knee on your neck or a bag of skittles? Where is that when someone catches up to you finally? Ossie Davis says struggle is strengthening but what happens when the little boy is weary and tired from struggling? He doesn't want to concede but he's so heavy carrying this world on his shoulders. He is after all just a tired little boy and all he has are the blues. The only person who appears to see him is not in a position to change anything for him. He's not manish or manlike he's a man. He's a person of value and of integrity. He deserves love, protection, understanding, care, and peace. All he has are his blues and if he's lucky his God. His brother another little boy sees him praying and he stops. He sees his pain and understands it in a way no one else does. His brother doesn't even have to speak because he already knows his pain. He lives with it too. He decides to share some wisdom another brother told him named Harry Belafonte and he says, "You can cage the singer but not the song."
© 2021 brittvan22
Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on February 07, 2021:
"Remember he's invisible when he needs to be seen and he's seen when he needs to be invisible for his protection." - Indeed. I vanish when I need to and also strike like lightning when I need to. This is true in western societies where I can manipulate and make us of that white privilege. It's ugly; really ugly.
"He is an unsung warrior of great strength, courage, and protection yet he has no ability to express that to the masses." - Resilience shows "great strength" and "courage" in my opinion. Despite all the injustice and dangers "he" goes on.
"James Baldwin says to be black and relatively conscious is to be in a constant state of anger." - For sure. I'm not black so, I can only imagine but it does make sense.
"Shouldn't he get respect automatically because he's a respectful person?" - No. Every living being should get respect for being a living Being. No matter of size, shape, colour, tribe, even specie (in my opinion): we have to respect Life!! Nobody is above anybody. There is a constant interaction among all living and non-living things. If we do not respect everyone and everything, we will have hardships. Period.
So yes, we are far from respecting all living Beings. For now we struggle to respect our own specie. Did You know that humans are only second to rodents for killing their own specie? Fact. (We got lots of work to do.)
"He doesn't want to concede but he's so heavy carrying this world on his shoulders." - Do keep going. We have to. Conceding would mean to give in to racism, to injustice, to violence, to oppression, to subjugation and so on. We cannot give in to those who wish to continue on that path. Enough is enough.
I'm on the hunt. The time of white privilege is over. Those fighting to maintain the status-quo are sensing the end of their time and are acting-out. They're like fish out of water: violently smashing around, flipping and flopping. It'll be over sooner than later.
All the best to You and thank You for your writing!