Black Man
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My stand on race relations, my tone for talking about race, is best put to words by none other than Stevie Wonder. Pro-Black was never about Anti-White. It’s about recognizing and celebrating how Blacks fit into American history, society and diversity. This song has been accused of being racist, by those who have probably never bothered to listen to its lyrics. So, I’ve decided to share them here. 
Long before trivial Facebook memes, Stevie Wonder dropped more knowledge about the diversity of American History than any textbook I read in class. 8 minutes of pure knowledge. This is what I was raised with, handed down from a post-civil rights generation who truly understood the importance of our place in America. 

 
 
First man to die
For the flag we now hold high (Crispus Attucks)
Was a Black man
The ground were we stand
With the flag held in our hand
Was first the redman’s
Guide of a ship
On the first Columbus trip (Pedro Alonzo Nino)
Was a brown man
The railroads for trains
Came on tracking that was laid
By the yellow man
 
All our lives
To the magic colors
Red, blue and white
But we all must be given
The liberty that we defend
For with justice not for all men
History will repeat again
It’s time we learned
This world was made for all men
 
Heart surgery
Was first done successfully
By a black man (Dr. Daniel Hale Williams)
Friendly man who died
But helped the pilgrims to survive
Was a redman (Squanto)
Farm workers rights
Were lifted to new heights
By a brown man (Cesar Chavez)
Incandescent light
Was invented to give sight
By a White man
 
We pledge allegiance
All our lives
To the magic colors
Red, blue and white
But we all must be given
The liberty that we defend
For with justice not for all men
History will repeat again
It’s time we learned
This world was made for all men
 
Here me out
Now I know the birthday of a nation
Is a time when a country celebrates
But as your hand touches your heart
Remember we all played a part in america
To help that banner wave
 
First clock to be made
In america was created
By a black man (Benjamin Banneker)
Scout who used no chart
Helped lead lewis and clark
Was a redman (Sacagawea)
Use of martial arts
In our country got its start
By a yellow man (Bruce Lee)
And the leader with a pen
Signed his name to free all men
Was a white man (Abraham Lincoln)
 
We pledge allegiance
All our lives
To the magic colors
Red, blue and white
But we all must be given
The liberty that we defend
For with justice not for all men
History will repeat again
It’s time we learned
This world was made for all men
God saved his world for all men
All people
All babies
All children
All colors
All races
This world’s for you
And me
This world
My world
Your world
Everybody’s world
This world
Their world
Our world
This world was made for all men
 
*Note: While some of the examples given in this song are dated based on common viewpoints of the time, the song still represents the spirit of how I feel we need to talk about race in America, then and now, and into the future. In fact, how those perceptions have changed since Stevie penned this song is a great way to open up the discussion to younger generations. I.E. It wasn’t Abraham Lincoln that ended Slavery in America. The Emancipation Proclamation only nixed slavery in Southern states that hadn’t yet surrendered. National abolishment of the institution became official with the 13th Amendment, two years later. And while Bruce Lee is hands-down the most famous martial arts legend in America, he certainly didn’t start its use here. And yes, Sacajwea isn’t a red “man.”  Don’t let these disparities distract you from the spirit of unity and diversity.
 
We need to talk race, not to divide us, but to unite us. There is way too much misunderstanding and misconceptions about the “other” people around us, regardless of the color of our skin.  Our ignorance is fed by the ignorance of others, and we feel like we know something. Only Black people can show America what Black people are about. Not the news or the movies or television shows that portray us as how the rest of the nation wants to see us as. We have to be examples to our own community, and ambassadors to other cultures. Let’s reach out, rather than lash out. 

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