Black America, whether people want to admit it or not, is developmentally behind other races/groups in this country. The fact of the matter is that we are not actually "African-Americans", but a new breed entirely. Immigrants from Africa are African-Americans. I would even say that Black people who have a real African heritage could be considered African-Americans. However, most of us who use the label aren't really African-Americans at all.
We're Black Americans.
If you actually look up the word "heritage", you will see that it's not something you take or adopt, like many of us adopt African culture. Heritage HAS TO BE passed down. The problem is that for most of us, our heritage was effectively stolen and erased during slavery. Our people retained some traditions and beliefs, but not enough to call it an actual heritage. They had to start over from scratch, creating an identity and a legacy here in America that began in American slavery. That culture and legacy is unique, and not from Africa. It's Black culture, and Black heritage.
That's who we (for the most part) really are.
In that vein, we are a fledgling people. We have come a very long way, overcoming and achieving impossible feats in the face of fierce adversities. However, we have a long way to go, not having yet developed sufficiently in a number of areas.
That's why Black America needs to grow up.
I see Black America like a prepubescent teen, who thinks she knows more than she does, viewing the world with underdeveloped eyes, spending money as soon as she gets it, going through changes that are sometimes confusing -
and a bit hot in the pants.
Like a 13 year old girl who is a little too fast, Black America is like a talented, witty, but often naive brat.
Or, you can liken Black America to a young boy, thinking he's a man because he has a little hair here and there, needing a father figure but not having one, learning how to stand up on his own through trial and error but not willing to admit it, learning hard lessons the hard way, tempted to use his brawn to get ahead instead of his brains -
and a bit hot in the pants.
So, if you can see this how I see it, it looks like Bebe's Kids are in junior high or something. If Black America could see and admit that, we could develop and grow. However, remaining in denial about who and where we are as a people is only stagnating our growth. Instead of just celebrating and snotting and crying all month long, in February, let's take a critical analysis of our history, too. We have accomplished a lot, but we have also made some mistakes. Acting like our poop doesn't stink does not clear the air and make it smell like roses. It's still crap.
And Black America, at times, is full of it.
So when, and how do we grow up?