Monday, February 27, 2017

A Black Man's History

By Jon Dunnemann

High School Senior Photo 1973

"Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)" 
by James Brown 

In 1968, I was fourteen years old and that's when I grew my first Afro. That same summer while living in the Belleville New Jersey Children's Shelter for foster kids, a white male barber completely shaved off my Afro against my wishes and when he finished he said, "now you look decent boy". He had absolutely no idea that what he had taken from me in that moment was far more than just my hair. In fact, I was so incensed that I had to be physically restrained to keep from Jackin' 'Em Up, Fo' Real. But at that time, I would not have been able to articulate my sense of anger over that gentleman's dismissive behavior. Nor, do I think that he would have been able to empathetically understand my emerging Black Pride.

As African Americans we had only just begun to unabashedly live out our heritage. Now, owing to my age, I have got far less hair to work with but I am still deeply-rooted in my blackness because it's a very important aspect of who I am: A Soul Brother.

Look here, "Say It Loud I'm black and I'm Proud." Never forget where you've come from or who you've become through both "effort and skill building!"