Sometimes I feel like Joseph. What I mean is Joseph was a Hebrew bought and then sold into slavery in Egypt. A son of Israel, a servant of the one true God, now a slave in a country where the language and customs were different, the people despised (shepherding) the very identity by which his family is called; and above all, where the people served a whole plethora of gods and the headman, Pharaoh, thought himself to be a god.
Perhaps I’ve overstated my situation too much, but I feel the comparison holds true on many levels. Let me try to explain.
As a black man in America, born and raised in the South: Selma,Alabama, home of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Bloody Sunday, Klan marches, and the hub of the civil rights movement, my world was Black. By this, I mean my worldview was monoethnistic and I saw the world through a single cultural lens.
Now as an adult, and here is where the comparison to Joseph comes in, I have lived exclusively within the cultural groupings of white America. This was not done by any particular or conscious choice on my part, but rather was due to a series of apparently unrelated and innocuous events.
Like Joseph, I came of age in a foreign culture; also like Joseph, I took a wife from a people and an ethnic group not my own. And like Joseph, my children are of mixed heritage. But most of all, like Joseph, my wife, children, and I are all servants of the one true God.
Nonetheless, for the southern raised black man this has offered me the opportunity to see the World, America, and myself from a whole new perspective. So in light of all the news of what I call the New Black Voice, I thought I would add the echo of my own. For in many ways the rhetoric I hear coming from the black community is far different from the tones I heard as the backdrop of my world growing up.
Over the next few postings, I would like to explore some of those thoughts with you and hear from you as well, as we discuss the topics and ideas of family, education, faith and religion; and of course, we will have to discuss politics. For within the black world, next to faith and family, politics reigns unchallenged. So strap in and settle down and let’s take this ride together and when we’re done, hopefully we’ll all be a little bit better understood by the other.