The House Built On L♡VE & Shenanigans

The In's and Out's of Family Life in Charlottesville, VA


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Pull Your Pants Up

 

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I was reading an article on the website Stereogum, about a comment that Chance The Rapper made about Spike Lee’s new movie Chi-raq. In it, Chance criticized the movies message by describing it as being on, “some Bill Cosby, ‘pull your pants up’ type stuff.”

Chance contends that it isn’t so much the lifestyle choices that young people are making, (ie..sagging pants) but that PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is actually more responsible for the troubles that are affecting communities nationwide.

Chance says, “Kids as young as seven, and younger than that, have seen people murdered in front of them, so that starts a paranoia in your mind that you’re walking around with. When you’re walking around and you feel like people are trying to kill you, you shoot when you get scared. That’s a problem that even I have. That’s a problem that a lot of people suffer.”

sagging pants

You’ve seen this fashion statement plenty of times before.

I’ll concede that he has a point!

I don’t want to argue the validity of  his assessment of causality for now, so let’s back up to the some Bill Cosby, ‘pull your pants up’ type stuff comment that Chance made.

I’m not much for preaching the cultural, ethical, and moral ramifications of something as trite as  fashion, and I’m a bit turned off by any talk that does.  Maybe that’s because it’s just not that important for me to spread my brand of morality to people.

Can't get right

Can’t Get Right played by actor Bokeem Woodbine

At times when I was a youth, my nickname could have easily been, “Can’t Get Right,” just like the character from the 1999 movie, “Life.” Back in those days, there was a period when I just couldn’t get my act together. In other words, I’d fallen short of my own expectations for myself and those of others (and at times still do).

But as I consciously and continuously evolve, I’m learning what works best for me as I strive to grow nearer to living my own authentic truth.

I can only practice being the best person I can be, while encouraging others to do the same.

If you find it necessary to wear your pants down below your butt (even though I wouldn’t) who am I to judge that, or to try and attribute your choice to the systematic decline of society? Your personal style is your prerogative – a byproduct of the beauty of free-will!

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MLK’s pants were not sagging and this still happened to him!

So to all those who still concern themselves with other people’s clothing, and the manner in which they wear them, (as if these decisions will lead to some great calamity) I ask you this question.

Are you being your best self?

The truth is, only you can answer that for yourself!

The point I feel Chance was making from the perspective of a young person is that, older folks act as if we know what’s best for everyone simply because we are old.  It’s true that experience is the best teacher, and I believe that we should respect our elders.  However there is a difference between experience and wisdom.

Unfortunately, wisdom does not always come with age alone.  There are many philosophical thoughts on how one obtains Wisdom, but generally speaking, it is acquired through the learned ability to discern (decide between truth, error, and what’s important), and to show discretion (speak without being offensive).

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I used to be a rather unruly young person. Yes, that is “the bird” on full display there…along with MY SAGGY PANTS!

An unwise person may come across as preachy and authoritative, while a wise person may allow someone to find their own way, by simultaneously providing gentle guidance toward helping them become their best selves.

This is also the mark of good parenting, and the approach I strive to use most often with my children.

We must be mindful to avoid our natural tendecy to be self-rightous in our approach to dealing with young people.  Because remember, it wasn’t long ago that we old folks were having OUR fun, and doing things that the previous generation thought was questionable at best.

When it comes to things of merit, issues of great importance, it is our duty to speak up! But when it comes to superficial things like fashion, we could probably afford to pump our brakes a little bit.

I know it’s difficult to do so, because the hardest thing about business is…learning to mind our own!

MB

 

 

 

 

 


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Black in the Day – Sarah Rector

Sarah Rector

Ever hear of Sarah Rector?

Well if you haven’t, you’re certainly not alone.  I stumbled across her name by accident while reading about another intriguing historical topic (slave holding Native American tribes) online the other day.  I consider myself a serious history buff, and since I’d never heard of her, I was astonished to learn of her fascinating story.

This rags to riches tale involves young Sarah Rector, who was only 10 years old when she became one of the richest African Americans in the US during the early 1900’s.

Her story is also a sad testament to the great lengths to which some folks will go to satisfy their desire for control and power.  They’ll use all means of corruption to gratify their insatiable greed.

Sarah Rector smallSarah Rector was born in Oklahoma Indian territory in 1902.  She and her family each individually received a land allotment as a result of their so-called “membership” in the Creek Nation, along with many other blacks at the time.  The US government and the Creek nation agreed that the Creeks, and their former slaves, would be given land grants.

Mind you, this is before Oklahoma was granted statehood.

She and her family where among the thousands of blacks who where held in bondage by five slave holding tribes –  the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminole, and Creek Nations.

So she and her family took possession of their stony, less than ideal, plots of land that where difficult to farm due to its rocky terrain.  But their fortunes changed as dramatically as Jed Clampett’s did, when oil was found on her portion of land – Yes, Black Gold, Texas Tea!

That’s when all the money hungry crows and buzzards descended upon her.

Sarah Rector article 3Efforts were made to place Sarah under the guardianship of whites so that they could more easily control her money.  People came out of the woodwork looking for loans and handouts.  She even received a flood of marriage proposals, all while businessmen clammered to take control of her estate.

There was even an effort made to declare her white, so that she could travel in the first class section on trains, and also to ease the discomfort that white folks had regarding a little black girl possessing so much money (absurd).

She went on to study at Tuskegee University and then moved on to live in Kansas City, MO.

By this point, Sarah had managed to “own stocks and bonds, a boarding house, a bakery, and the Busy Bee Café in Muskogee, Oklahoma, as well as 2,000 acres of prime river bottomland.”

Although much effort was taken by unscrupulous businessmen to separate her from her fortune, she managed to retain much of her wealth until she passed away in her 60’s.

Her’s is a little known story with a big source of inspiration and pride.

MB