Pride is not always a negative thing. By definition it means:
– a dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one’s position or character; self-respect; self-esteem.
– having a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing and conduct.
V. Stiviano, who brought down L.A,. Clippers owner Donald Sterling after causing a great stir in America over racists rants caught on tape, grew up poor in San Antonio and by her own admission is Black and Mexican.
What was impressive about the entire fiasco was the part where she was confronted about her race.
She stood firm and told Sterling that she was Proud of her heritage and refused to turn her back on her history or who she was. She made it clear that she refused to be turned into a racist.
That kind of pride is not self-righteous. It’s very commendable.
She is a woman Proud of her Blackness and not ashamed of her history or her heritage.
Black history has been watered down because too many of us fail to stand firm in the Blackness of who we are.
Stiviano was not willing to give up her history or heritage to be White or Latino. As a result, she was set aside by Don Sterling.
I am proud of Stiviano for standing up for her Blackness and not caving into to those in this world who would tell here that being Black is bad and negative.
There is something to be said about anyone who is man enough or woman enough to be proud their heritage.
Pride can be a motivator and create a desire to aspire to greater things and stimulate and energize the soul and spirit achieve higher levels.
In order for the Black community to continue to build on the advancements made as a result of the Civil Rights Movement, we must understand the need to cultivate our sense of pride.
At the top of the list in cultivating pride is being Proud of our history.
Blacks have contributed a great deal in helping build America.
Blacks built the economy of the Old South and made Cotton King.
Blacks in Congress reshaped lawmaking and set high standards for representation in southern states during Reconstruction era.
Blacks were responsible for the building and construction of the White House.
Blacks contributed to victories and successful air support in the person of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II that helped defeat Adolph Hitler.
Blacks stood firm on Civil Rights and their protests, demonstrations and sacrifices before a nation caused President Lyndon B. Johnson to sign the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
There many other great achievements in business, science and education that we can look back and use as a foundation to build on.
We Must Understand that history serves as the foundation that guides us to the next step in restoring pride in our community. The next step is doing it for ourselves.
“Now we’s demands a chance to do things for ourselves
We’re tired of beating our heads against the wall
And working for someone else, hu
Now we’re our people, too
We’re like the birds and the bees,
But we’d rather die on our feet,
Than keep a’living on our knees”
James Brown made it clear when he said, “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud”.
There are many things still in Black America to be proud of.
The key to our survival of our community in the future is for us to teach each and every child, teen and young adult to learn their history and Be Proud of ourselves first.