he·ro [heer-oh] Show IPA noun, plural he·roes; for 5 also he·ros.
1. a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.
2. a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal: He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.
3. the principal male character in a story, play, film, etc.
4. Classical Mythology .
a. a being of godlike prowess and beneficence who often came to be honored as a divinity.
b. (in the Homeric period) a warrior-chieftain of special strength, courage, or ability.
c. (in later antiquity) an immortal being; demigod.
I can’t remember where I first heard it, but what I heard was, that the term hero came from another older Hellenic word, which meant serving the people. Personally I liked this, because the classical or modern hero narrative is of some one or someones coming to the rescue of the unfortunate or the put upon or the oppressed. In Africa ourstory, we have our narratives of heroes and sheroes, sometimes deity influenced, but often real life hue-man beings who have transcended the trappings of their physical flesh and did great things. Have you not heard that the difference between an ordinary man and an extraordinary man is something just a little ….extra?
Heroes and Sheroes are none but normal folks who are about doing normal things, that we all have the capacity to do, but they are not bound and chained by conventional thoughts and belief around “I CAN’T!” Over the weekend I attempted to hold an event for African men (second in a series of four) in the hopes of discussing the increased senseless murders in my city and the involvement of gangs in the lives of youth who see this organization as the best outlet for their increased frustration in their lives. I had wanted to show the movie Bastards of the Party and had hoped to have a dialogue around concrete solution to build on. Alas, since this was the so called “black history month”, I was definitely up against the time of the year when my people yearned to hear feel good stories of the past. On that weekend I was up against giants like Runoko Rashidi and Dr. Phil Valentine, and to a lesser extent, other events going on throughout February. Now I am not shitting on the brothers, I have lots of lectures by them and other scholars and griot from the African/Meritu diaspora. Mind you I was also low keyed with my promotion, because i felt that this shouldn’t be the type of big presentation to overshadow the seriousness of the issue. Being in the game long enough, I have seen big promotion being all about everything except the issue.
Just like I am not shitting on the brothers, neither am I shitting on those who were invited and didn’t come. Many had prior engagement and that was passed on to me. Others, I am willing to believe did so too, but they didn’t pass that forward. And I am cool with that. After all the sun doesn’t stop and start on my behest (though that would be an interesting phenomena 🙂 )
I am however posting this to ask the question. What are our priority under White Supremacy? Do we overstand what White Supremacy is? How can we systematically tear it down? A couple of days ago I was on a FB site partaking in a discussion that originally asked the question, are there more unmarried African women. This soon devolved into a back and forth personal internet flexing around interracial relationship, African men failing to step up and support their children and African women being put upon by circumstances and their male counterpart. Somewhere in the topic Chicago came up and the amount of death that has occurred so far. Now Chicago is referred in an unflattering term to a war zone in the middle east. But the narrative seems to be pointing fingers at every one and anyone, including space aliens, interracial relationships, dead beat dads, Obama and….I don’t remember if basket ball jump offs of Atlanta was mentioned, but we can throw that in there as well.
I think my people will talk and talk and talk until Sean Coombs comes out of the closet…and then talk some more, before they engage in any extra work to make their ordinary lives have meaning. This year I had made a vow that I was going to talk less and do more and I have not been consistent with this vow, however, the universe does not give you what you want sometimes, but what you need. I am thankful for all i have, l I have received and I all I will receive in the future. And if there is anyway I can make a difference in ONE person’s life, then I am on to something. In a past post I had mentioned a group called the Detroit 12 and their efforts to stymie the madness that Detroit is in. Well they are not alone. In Chicago, there are a bunch of Heroes and one Shero who are doing extraordinary things to make a difference in the lives of young people and their families…hoping to bring them back from the brink. Let’s tell their stories, like we talk about the Panthers and the U.N.I.A. Even better, let’s learn from their efforts and affect similar changes in our lives and the lives of those who don’t see a better way out.
I introduce you to the …….INTERRUPTERS… Watch The Interrupters (Graphic Language)