Unless WE Tell It...It Never Gets Told!

Rodney L. Hurst Sr.

UNLESS WE TELL IT…IT NEVER GETS TOLD!”, TELLS the history of blacks who called and who calls Jacksonville home and their outstanding contributions to Jacksonville and this country, and also takes a look at “Confronting Racism” in America.

White America and some in Black America don’t want us to talk about White Privilege and White Racism in America because they are uncomfortable subjects, as if not discussing Racism will make Racism disappear. They do not teach the significant accomplishments of Blacks in American history and purposefully exclude them in textbooks. This sends a message to ALL students that Blacks made NO Salient contributions in the history of this country.

Many Blacks in America oblige that “strategy” and say things that Whites want to hear, thereby enabling them to “hide” behind the mantra of “everything is fine.” In other words, “We have good Racial harmony if Blacks do not talk about My Racism.” I call it “comfort-speak,” where Blacks say the friendly and non-controversial things that give White America defensive cover for their Racism.

I am asked by Whites and Blacks during presentations, “Why does everything have to be about Race and Racism?” My Answer: Everything in the American Discourse IS about Race and Racism. My future, my children’s, and my granddaughter’s futures are about Race and Racism. My education is about Race and Racism. My neighborhood is about Race and Racism. My livelihood is about Race and Racism. My religion is about Race and Racism. My ability to live in a toxic-free and pollutant-free environment is about Race and Racism. My daily existence as a Black person in this country concerns Race and Racism.

When you understand your Blackness, you also know that YOU are not obligated to defend the pathology of White American Racism and the fragility of White Female tears. You also understand and recognize that a Black face is looking back at you in the mirror. When you do not understand your Blackness, and somehow you “miss” that you are Black, you are disingenuous and cowardly, and you epitomize going along to get along. Do you think “Go-along to Get along” gains you respect in the eyes of those Whites who do not give a tinker’s damn about you? We do not call the fight against Racism, the Struggle because it sounds cute. We call the fight against Racism, the Struggle because it is real, and because our very presence and our very being depends on it. And not just for you, but for those who will come after you. The Struggle Continues!

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