What's up tribe?! Everybody good? Cool. It's been a minute since I posted my thoughts and I have something to share. Well, it's more of a rhetorical question. "Why do we always have to explain ourselves?" Short answer is; we dont! But we're in this environment that is just so pervasive with anti-blackness disguised as political savvy, dressed in corporate culture, covered by a legal system drenched in white toxicity. Yes, there are layers upon layers of this nonsense with protection on all sides. We know that at the root of it all is a fragility and insecurity that is unmatched. Hence why they show up, unprovoked, to attempt intimidation and fear mongering. Their little red hats, golf shirt and tiki torches are street attire. They dont need to hide behind sheets anymore since their orange leader made racist behavior more overt. I digress, I'm supposed to be writing about how they co-opted "woke" and I got distracted by their irrationality. This is what happens when we spend too much time paying attention to folks that will vote against their own best interest, time and time again because they're afraid of an even playing field. They wonder what will become of them if black people, who were only allowed to legally read within the last 150 years and were held back in every imaginable way, had access to equal footing. Will they be benevolent and merciful, or, will they be violent and wicked. Would they weaponize the media, the education system the government etc to purpetuate an antagonistic environment? Again, I digress.
For the people in the back, "stay woke" was documented as early as 1931 by a recording artist known as Lead Belly. It simply meant to be aware of racially motivated threats. Since, back then, black people's lives were in a constant state of danger. We could be minding our black-owned business and our jealous, fragile neigbors would trump up some reason to burn or flood our villages down without so much as an arrest of the perpetrators. Speaking of law enforcement, we could be brutally beaten by police without consequence to the attackers. But that was back then. Right? That level of vigilence is no longer required?
In the 60's an article was written that described the vernacular of the young generation. It was published in the NY Times. I don't care who wrote it, anytime something we create and happens to become a mainstay of our culture, sees the white,...I mean light,... I mean exposed to the masses, it becomes diluted; gentrified. It now has the white gaze of the dominant culture and hence mass appeal. Then it can be either stigmatized, co-opted and/or commercialized.
Woke is no exception. They're co-opting for the purpose of stigmatizing it. They've assigned all kinds of silly meanings to it. They know good and well that "Woke" has become a homonym for awarness, vigilance, learned and ready. It invokes the truth seekers and speakers who refuse to be compromised. It's another way we identify each other; fellow tribes people. We contintue to pursue truth that they try so hard to bury.
Woke is having an appreciation of the truth; recognizing the importance of our ancestor's plight and how they shaped us and this society. Woke is recognizing the real purpose of the archaic power sturctures around us, and how important it is that they're dismantled and replaced with equitable ones. Woke is about recognizing how much of OURstory has been hidden from us through HIStory. Woke is truth, plain and simple.
Remember that rhetorical question? "Why do we have to explain ourselves?" We do it for each other. To remind our tribe about our purpose, to edify, to encourage, to align. Its why we created our WOKE shirt to get that word out there; a constant reminder that "we ok", "we woke." They want us divided but If we anchor ourselves in truth we're unstoppable
P.S. excuse typos. I had the thought and started typing away on my phone. I'll revisit later to clean up. If you read this and it's still messy, send me a note please