A Black American by Smokey Robinson
March 13th, 2008, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
A Black American by Smokey Robinson
(Contact Information At Bottom Of Page)
It's your friendly neighborhood "Digital Drummer" again (smile)
With all the hoopla and dustup behind Obama and race in America, have you noticed that the talking heads on TV, don't really know what to call us.
It's funny how the Black commentators can easily refer to Obama supporters as Black, and white commentators use the term African-American.
I received this from my Brothers Of The Bone, over at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cbnetwork/ Maybe the media should listen to Smokey Robinson's take on racial labels in America.
I posted the entire transcript below but it comes off a lot better when you hear Smokey say it in the video "A Black American - Def Poetry Jam", on Youtube (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_KKyw8V-l0).
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Don't Just Talk the Talk...Let Your Dollars Walk the Walk
"A Black American"
by Smokey Robinson
"I love being Black. I love being called Black. I love being an American.
I love being a Black American, but as a Black man in this country I think it's a shame
That every few years we get a change of name.
Since those first ships arrived here from Africa that came across the sea
There were already Black men in this country who were free.
And as for those that came over here on those terrible boats,
They were called niggah and slave
And told what to do and how to behave.
And then master started trippin' and doing his midnight tippin',
Down to the slave shacks where he forced he and Great-Great Grandma to
And if Great-Great Grandpa protested, he got tarred and feathered.
And at the same time, the Black men in the country who were free,
Were mating with the tribes like the Apache and the Cherokee.
And as a result of all that, we're a parade of every shade.
And as in this late day and age, you can be sure,
They ain't too many of us in this country whose bloodline is pure.
But, according to a geological, geographical, genealogy study published
in Time Magazine,
The Black African people were the first on the scene,
So for what it's worth, the Black African people were the first on earth
And through migration, our characteristics started to change, and rearrange,
To adapt to whatever climate we migrated to.
And that's how I became me, and you became you.
So, if we gonna go back, let's go all the way back,
And if Adam was Black and Eve was Black,
Then that kind of makes it a natural fact that everybody in America is an African American.
Everybody in Europe is an African European; everybody in the Orient is an African Asian
And so on and so on,
That is, if the origin of man is what we're gonna go on.
And if one drop of Black blood makes you Black like they say,
Then everybody's Black anyway.
So quit trying to change my identity.
I'm already who I was meant to be
I'm a Black American, born and raised.
And brother James Brown wrote a wonderful phrase,
"Say it loud, I'm Black and I'm proud! Say it loud, I'm Black and I'm proud!"
Cause I'm proud to be Black and I ain't never lived in Africa,
And 'cause my Great-Great Granddaddy on my Daddy's side did, don't mean I want to go back.
Now I have nothing against Africa,
It's where some of the most beautiful places and people in the world are found.
But I've been blessed to go a lot of places in this world,
And if you ask me where I choose to live, I pick America, hands down.
Now, by and by, we were called Negroes, and after while, that name has vanished.
Anyway, Negro is just how you say "black" in Spanish.
Then, we were called colored, but ****, everybody's one color or another,
And I think it's a shame that we hold that against each other.
And it seems like we reverted back to a time when being called Black was an insult,
Even if it was another Black man who said it, a fight would result,
Cause we've been so brainwashed that Black was wrong,
So that even the yellow niggahs and black niggahs couldn't get along.
But then, came the 1960s when we struggled and died to be called equal and Black,
And we walked with pride with our heads held high and our shoulders pushed back,
And Black was beautiful.
But, I guess that wasn't good enough,
Cause now here they come with some other stuff.
Who comes up with this **** anyway?
Was it one, or a group of niggahs sitting around one day?
Feelin' a little insecure again about being called Black
And decided that African American sounded a little more exotic.
Well, I think you were being a little more neurotic.
It's that same mentality that got "Amos and Andy" put off the air,
Cause' they were embarrassed about the way the character's spoke.
And as a result of that action, a lot of wonderful Black actors ended up broke.
When we were just laughin' and have fun about ourselves.
So I say, "**** you if you can't take a joke."
You didn't see the "Beverly Hillbilly's" being protested by white folks.
And if you think, that cause you think that being called African American set all Black people's mind at ease.....
Since we affectionately call each other "niggah",
I affectionately say to you, "niggah Please".
How come I didn't get the chance to vote on who I'd like to be?
Who gave you the right to make that decision for me?
I ain't under your rule or in your dominion
And I am entitled to my own opinion.
Now there are some African Americans here,
But they recently moved here from places like Kenya, Ethiopia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Zaire.
But, now the brother who's family has lived in the country for generations,
Occupying space in all the locations
New York, Miami, L.A., Detroit, Chicago-
Even if he's wearing a dashiki and sporting an afro.
And, if you go to Africa in search of your race,
You'll find out quick you're not an African American,
You're just a Black American in Africa takin' up space.
Why you keep trying to attach yourself to a continent,
Where if you got the chance and you went,
Most people there would even claim you as one of them; as a pure bread daughter or son of them.
Your heritage is right here now, no matter what you call yourself or what you say
And a lot of people died to make it that way.
And if you think America is a leader on inequality and suffering and grievin'
How come there so many people comin' and so few leavin'?
Rather than all this 'find fault with America' **** you promotin',
If you want to change something, use your privilege, get to the polls!
Commence to votin'!
God knows we've earned the right to be called American Americans and be free at last.
And rather than you movin' forward progress, you dwelling in the past.
We've struggled too long; we've come too far.
Instead of focusing on who we were, let's be proud of who we are.
We are the only people whose name is always a trend.
When is this **** gonna end?
Look at all the different colors of our skin-
Black is not our color. It's our core.
It's what we been livin' and fightin' and dyin' for.
But if you choose to be called African American and that's your preference
Then I 'll give you that reference
But I know on this issue I don't stand alone on my own and if I do, then let me be me
And I'd appreciate it if when you see me, you'd say, "there goes a man who says it loud I'm Black. I'm Black. I'm a Black American, and I'm proud
Cause I love being an American. And I love being Black. I love being
Yeah, I said it, and I don't take it back."
Def Poets, 3rd Season
May 16, 2003 (c)
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March 13th, 2008, 08:46 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Re: A Black American by Smokey Robinson
Thanks for bringing this piece by Smokey back to our attention. While I prefer to consider myself African American, I do like the perspective the Smokey provides. It is always good to see the world from another man's perspective. That is how we ultimately develop a worldview in the virtual community.
January 7th, 2009, 09:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
A Black American by Smokey Robinson
Afrikan Black Nationalist And American Black Nationalist
By Chief Elder Osiris
When dealing with the action that Black Nationalism represent and imply, there is no substitute for such direct action nor is there room for compromise when claiming a conviction to Black Nationalism and the Black Nationalist has only one goal in Mind and that is to fight to cause Afrika to become Afrika again and to be under the stewardship of the Black Afrikans in Afrika and to the Afrikan Black Nationalist taken away from Afrika, their goal and objective is to stay safe while fighting to obtain the Reparation owed to our Enslaved Ancestors and to demand the respect to be given the choice as to where we desire to be and having the right to return to Afrika with our Enslaved Ancestors Reparation for purpose to become the next established State in Afrika and to do what is necessary to do to bring about the Unity of the Afrikan People in Afrika and the reconnection to the Land of Afrika in a position of power and authority to govern the Land of Afrika and the Lives of the Black Afrikan, all to take place in Afrika, that is what Black Nationalism is about and what the respectful Black Nationalist goal and objective is.
The American Black Nationalist are those who make claim with a desire to remain in America and mislead Black people in America claiming that Black Nationalism is about Black Community development in America and that Black people can gain control of their America Community and as for Afrika, the Counterfeit American Black Nationalist make claim to be Pan Afrikanist by advocating a imitation to Afrika and the Afrikan People by establishing a trading route with the Afrikan in Afrika by sending Can Goods and hand me down clothes to the Sisters and Brothers in Afrika and limited selfish investment in Afrika Business enterprise, while remaining in America, as if such a second hand relationship with Afrika and the Afrikan People will serve as a benefit to Afrika and the Afrikan People.
There is a claim that by selecting Obama as President of America, that selection silent the advocating and need of Black Nationalist in America, well it may be so for the American Black Nationalist but not so for the Afrikan Black Nationalist in America, Obama and America is not qualified to conquer the call and need for Afrikan Black Nationalism coming from the Afrikan Black Nationalist in America, such a philosophy, Ideology, and Opinion coming from the Divine Mind of the Afrikan Black Nationalist will not and can not ever be silenced, because such an advocating is destined to be fulfilled and yes, Afrika and the Black Afrikan will rise again in Unity, that is if the World is to survive Nature Fury.
Afrikan Black Nationalism is about Pan Afrikan action which mean that the Afrikan Black Nationalist will not rest until Afrika the Land and the Black Afrikans the People, are reunited and the only Cargo to be shipped to Afrika is to be the Afrikan Black Nationalist, Children Of The Middle Passage, that is what Divine Black Nationalism is about and any Afrikan in America claiming to be Black Nationalist and do not have Afrika as their Goal and Objective in an action of returning to Afrika for the benefit of Afrika and the Afrikan People, then those phony Black Nationalist serve as a disgrace to our Afrikan Ancestors and is an Enemy to Afrika and to the Afrikan in Afrika Reunification, which is to be orchestrated by the Afrikan Black Nationalist wherever we are with the intent of returning to Afrika, that is if we are not already there in Afrika.
Black People in America will not ever be in a position to control our lives and community in America, here we are in the belly of America fascism and arrogant Race Superiority over Black People and Americans White Power is not of a mind that would allow Black People to be in control of their Mind not to mention America Land, a Land ill gotten by white Americans, using the action of cheating, lying, deceiving and murder in order to gain control of this land call America and then white America proceeded to establish an institution call Chattel Slavery and went to Afrika for the purpose of activating that institution call Chattel Slavery with our Afrikan Ancestors so that America can be built.
Therefore any so call American Black Nationalist who would sanctify such action used by white Americans in order to gain possession of America and to construct America with the use of our Afrikan Ancestors as their Slaves, those American Black Nationalist Pan Afrikans are an insult to the Black Race and is a Traitor to Our Enslaved Ancestors and to Afrika and become a party to America Evil, as you claim to be a Black Afrikan American.
A Divine True Afrikan Black Nationalist advocate Race First and that Afrika is for the Afrikan, without Compromise, and there is no amount of Obamanism that can change that Divine truth and Reality concerning Afrika and the Black Afrikan Race
So No Beloved, the selection of Obama as America President, in no way silence the advocating of the Afrikan Black Nationalist Pan Afrikan, not when such a call is in behalf of Afrika and for the Afrikan Black Nationalist to become Independent, Sovereign, and free in Afrika.
Can You Understand That, Beloved?
Yes, there is a vast difference in advocating Afrikan Black Nationalism as oppose to American Black Nationalism, the two are in conflict with each other and do in fact travel two different Geopolitical Path, one is for the Liberation of Afrika and the Black Afrikan Nation and the other is for becoming American Melting Pot Dwellers, so you choose which path you will travel, beloved.
Be Kind To Your Self, Beloved.
The Pan Afrikan InterNational Movement
August 5th, 2015, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Aug 2015
Re: A Black American by Smokey Robinson
There is a mistake in all the transcripts of this that I've found and it's a whopper which is the exact opposite of what Smokey said. It's in this part:
"Why you keep trying to attach yourself to a continent, where if you got the chance and you went, most people there would even claim you as one of them; as a pure bread daughter or son of them. Your heritage is right here now, no matter what you call yourself or what you say and a lot of people died to make it that way. And if you think America is a leader on inequality and suffering and grieviní how come there so many people cominí and so few leaviní?"
It's absolutely clear from the context, and even if you listen to the performance, that he said "...most people there WOULDN'T even claim you as one of them..."
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