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“Ten Things Men of Color Should Learn To Do”

Peace

Ten Things Young Men of Colour Should Learn To Do

By John F. DuBose

ISBN: 0-97115-1-0

No part of this book may be copied

or used without the expressed permission

of the author


Here is the way we say it, “Yea baby I love you. I will be there always

for you. I will not be like all those others who leave you to your troubles. So

Let’s make love.” The end result is a baby. A life that is asking you to keep the

promises you made to get the sex. Does this sound familiar? If it does, then

read this book. If it does not read it and give to a Young man who has made a

baby and now sees his love as sex. Somewhere in North Carolina there is a

young woman who is or is not wondering what her father is doing. Right now

her father is wishing he had been more of part of her life. Right now, her father

is trying to build something that he did not know how to build. A family, a

smart woman named Carol saw that this man was running and let him run. Now

another smart woman named Loyce is letting him run again. This man is done

running and ready to search his inner self and find that which he should NOT be

doing. Today’s technology has given us the Internet. Anything that we wish to

find is there; we have to be willing and ready to accept it. The problem is how

to get rid of the old things that is not working. How to stop doing what is not

working? The question is what these things are. Some of these things sit right at

the top of ourselves and are easy to part with. Some things are so deep within

us that to part with them would mean to give up what keeps us strong. If it is

wrong then the strength is false. There is no other way of putting it. Caring a

gun in the streets or in school to show your strength is not showing strength, it

is showing fear. Your fear and the people who you inflict with this fear.

I am writing this book to help me face and overcome some of the things in my

life, which help me become a better example in which my children will follow.

All Young Men of Colour out there should take a moment and look at them

lives. Look and ask them, if today was the last day they had to live, what would

they be able to say they left in their memory that; 1) They would like others to

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remember them by and; 2) That was good? I use to, when I was a child, cry

myself to sleep promising myself that when I grew up the family I started would

not be sunk in as much pain as I felt mine was in. The problem was the pain

was not my families but how I saw and interpreted my life? I did not learn so the

pain regenerated itself at a later date until I was forced to see that the life I had

tried to get away from I had created. Why? Who cares really? The object was to

get rid of the pain. I did not have to try to figure out why, all I had to do was

honestly look at the pain and the why would answer it. So, this is not so much a

“How To” as it is a “How done” with the “done” part still being worked on. Is

this not what life is all about?

TEN THINGS YOUNG MEN OF COLOUR

SHOULD LEARN TO DO.

1) Learn how to make love, not make babies.

2) Learn how to raise your consciousness without raising your voice

3) Learn to teach

4) Learn who the real Master/Slave is

5) Learn what Values, Beliefs, and Norms are

6) Learn when to fight

7) Learn ask your father for forgiveness and acceptance

8) Learn your History and not your hatred of History

9) Learn to put the word “friend” before race

10) Learn to pray


1)

Learn to make love, not make babies.

While deployed during Operation Desert Shield/Storm we were

invaded with letters and cards form people who wished to be pen pals to single

soldiers. I was single. Someone gave me a pile of letters and said write to them,

“That’s an order”. So, I did. I wrote to kids in school and to veterans of other

wars. And I wrote to a lady named Carol. We corresponded for some time and

after the war was over we met up and stayed together for some time. We were

sexually active but not sexually smart. She gave birth to a girl. I say she

because I was long gone from the service and in NY getting drunk in bar when

our daughter was born. I was not thinking about being a father or being a

husband at the time. My drunkenness took my life. Alcoholism usually takes

any life down that is affected by it. I signed back up into the military and before

I was to go I was sent to Panama where I met Loyce. I had little money and was

dry as a drunk could be. We fell in love (this time I cooked her dinner before

we became sexually active), and we got married. I got stationed at the same

base I was before and as I was building a new life my old one came back.

Loyce knew about my past but only what I had told her. As my first daughter

came back into my life another one was coming into my life. Faith. Carol said

she did not want anything to do with me and only wanted me to help her pay off

some of the hospital bills. A smart move on her part for my drinking had

returned in full force and it was destroying my present family. After my second

term in service was up Loyce (who was a government schoolteacher in Panama)

applied to go back overseas. To this day I don’t think she would have allowed

me to come had I not gotten help to stop drinking. It has been a few years now

and Carol still wants nothing to do with me and I still give Loyce reason to

doubt her decision (not because of alcohol, but because of the process of me

recovery). There was a time in my life that I felt that my children were a

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testament to my existence. But when I look at my sisters who are still raising

their kids without fathers I have to ask myself? Shouldn’t I, as a young man of

colour think first about the love I give to another as a testament to my

existence? Anyone can make a child and we as young men of colour have

proven that. But what about the love. Were we giving anything other than the

physical act of love? What about the emotional part of love. Why do we as

young men of colour marry? If we do at all? What is a young man of color’s

love worth? Is the worth only in the money, cars, and jeweler we give a lady?

Is there love in how we feel towards a lady? If it is then how can we show it

before we are shown the door? Love is a very special thing to give to anyone.

And sometimes we get hurt. Not wanting to feel pain could be the thing that

stops us as young men of colour from feeling and giving love. This was the case

for me. I did not cry did not allow myself to get upset when words were said to

me that hurt. I fought it off sometimes physically, In order for men of colour to

learn how to make love and not babies; we must learn one basic fact: That love

sometimes hurts.

It is OK to feel hurt when some lady breaks your heart. We must ask ourselves,

what positive things we have learned about what hurts us. This is a hard lesson

to learn. This is the thing you need to learn to share with yourself first. Because

this is what makes you learn how to love. You are looking for the good in what

feels bad, not what is bad. Remember this.

I have tried to tackle this issue for his is the strongest issue that faces men of

colour today. When we look at our communities and our world we are faced

with the fact that many families are without the full substance of a family and

we have had to make due and survive. When I was growing up I was shifted

from foster home, to mom’s and to dads on a regular basis and I like most felt

this was the way of the world. But is this the way of God? That our families

be split and be raised by whomever was telling the same tale our absent parent

told. Think about it this way for a moment. If the year was 1699 and blacks

were still slaves, would not the master benefit from the broken family. Is not the

idea of “divide and conquer” what has led to the downfall of most free people?

We could be leaders! If we understood how the leaders came to power. But it

is not power we are after here. It is an understanding of our love and ourselves.

The love of a child abandoned. When we are brought back to this point does

the power seems all that important? When we are brought back to the mother of

this child we have left to care and raise, one question comes to mind. Have we

learned, generations ago, from our masters how to be fathers? Is this the way

our ancestors cared for their wives and children? Did they show love before

they were taken and shown hate? I wonder if three to four generations of hate are

enough to begin to say “no more”. I wonder if one-day young men of colour

could begin a new generation that does not allow the past to have so much

power over the present and the future. The Children of Palestine today are

showing that they feel remorse for what has been done in the past to the

children Israel and are ready to heal with love and not perpetuate the hatred and

visa versa. I wonder if three or four generations of hatred are enough. Are we

ready to learn how to make love before we start to make babies?


2)

Learn to raise your consciousness without raising your voice.

This is a paraphrase of quote I saw one day related to Gandhi. I was

charged by the thought that I could raise my level of thinking, my understanding

of the world and not raise my voice. I saw a history of violence and bloodshed

in young neighborhoods that cried out for justice from the system. I saw how

loud the voices of all people of colour have been raised and all the coalitions

and actions committees that have been formed in order to make this voice heard.

Then I saw when I went home to my ghetto how little a difference that loud

voice had made in changing my home. I saw how this loud voice only taught

others how to speak loudly. I don’t think any child fully hears their parents when

they are yelling at them. I know my own children did not. I tried something one

day. We were sitting at the table eating breakfast and my oldest daughter was

banging her fork on the table. I was about to yell at her when I stopped, looked

her dead in the eye and quietly asked her to stop please. She said sorry daddy

and stopped. That was it. Is it not amazing, how by not raising my voice I

raised my own awareness and my daughters? The problem with adults is that

we tend to let the banging of a fork build other frustrations like work, money, a

flat tire and (for some men of colour) the older frustrations of race. If you put

all these frustrations together it is no wonder why some people (even me)

explode over a fork banging. Young men of colour need to understand that our

voices have been conditioned to be louder than any others in a crowd. The

question is anybody listening? Do you think your children will listen to a man?

who is constantly yelling orders out at them? Or do you think your children

will listen to your smile as you speak with kind words of love. Will they go out

into the world and yell out orders as well expecting others to listen? Politicians

yell and we don’t hear what they are saying. We hear the force in their voice.

Does anyone know that Social Security is not a political issue because by law it?

has always been paid back no matter how much money the politicians say the other side is taking from it. Or do we hear the way in which the speaker is

speaking. Thinking that this is the way my father spoke to get us to do things

when I was young so this politician must be able to get things done. Wrong.

The consciousness of a whole nation was lifted when Gandhi chose too not raise

his voice but just tell what was in his heart and what he saw. He had spent

years as a lawyer in a courtroom yelling his point to persuade others to believe

his side. One day he felt it was time to stop yelling and telling the truth. In the

early and mid-sixties Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. decides to follow the path of

non-violence in order to raise the consciousness and awareness of an entire

nation to the injustice that existed in America towards ALL MINORITIES. He

did not do as his enemy did (note that enemy is not a race, but a type of person),

he did not hang, he did not kill, he did not curse, he did not spray with hoses, he

did not hide. He walked to his enemy and without yelling raised the

consciousness of his enemy, and his nation. Around the same time Malcolm X

was yelling and talking of violence against this same enemy. He was raising the

voices of this same nation. But, upon his journey to find his God he came back

a quieter man who did not yell for violence. I feel his consciousness had been

raised. It was at the time when both of these men began to see the same path

that they were killed.

Raising your consciousness without raising your voice only entails one

thing. The willingness to change. If you are truly willing to change your

nation, your ghetto, yourself, you must first be truly willing to give up all and

start over. Much like the wealthy lawyer who had all the money and prestige

one could need but is remembered for what became. Much like Dr. King and

Malcolm X who are remembered for the level to which they brought the world.

These men were not for the fame but, yet they were trying to release us form the

pain. The pain that is like a loud voice echoing throughout the years. It is and

always will be the gentile words that keep us going even when we feel we can’t.

What will you pass on to your children?


3)

Learn to teach

This I feel is the strongest thing a young man of colour can do not only

for himself but also for every young child that I see walking the halls of High

Schools. I substitute at a high school and when I walked in the class the

students say to me “You mean you are our teacher. A Brother”? I am still

amazed at how many young men of colour I do not see in elementary schools or

high schools teaching. It seems to me that the only teachers of colour I see are

women. For this I am proud for my second grade teacher Mrs. Sanders was

hard but I looked up to her for she had done something most men had not at that

time, and still have not done, something for the children. I will get my class

someday soon and I will fight to give to children what I feel they deserve first.

The belief that anything is possible. All my male role models were in the street

selling dope and now they are selling killer crack. There is something to be

gained form teaching that can only be felt. I see kids in school looking for a

direction. Not an answer to life’s questions, for most has realized that not too

many people have them. These young ladies and gentlemen want to know what

the right thing to do is. This is harder for minorities for they are being told from

older generation that the ‘right thing’ to do is to live for only the self and not

trust the rest. The problem is at one time or another we will be or become the

“rest”. If we keep creating labels, sooner or later we become those labels (i.e.

racist). Then this answer becomes a greater problem, but the solution has a

brighter outcome. The young should already know what kind of help they will

get if they hey have treated others (does this sound like a guilty conscious). To

teach is to help. To help is to give. To give is to not get, get, get.

If we are giving expecting something back, then we are not helping. If we are

not helping how can we begin to teach? Everyone should take the time and find

out what is involved in teaching. Even if you only volunteer to help (see the

pattern). Not to say that you can do it better for that is looking to GET some kind of recognition. You are learning the skill. A skill is something that you

can pass on to someone who does not have the skill so that they may as well

pass it on to someone else. Teaching is a good place to start. There is also

something you get from this without asking for. You learn the patients of

dealing with children (maybe even your own). You also get to see the

consciousness of two people raised: Yours and the person you have helped. So

where are the male young teachers of colour? Are they hiding afraid that they

may run into one of their many children in class? Are they still sitting behind?

bars complaining that life is not fair? Yes and no. They are there and they are

sitting in a high school classroom somewhere waiting for someone to teach

them that anything is possible.


4)

Learn who the real Master/Slave is

This level of consciousness is the hardest for Young men to rise

above. History has shown us the horrors of the many different races and many

different religions. Why do I have to ask is so important to relive this pain and

this injustice again and again? If I see injustice I address the injustice as

strongly as I can and pray for the other person and myself that I do not see in

that person the injustice. Then I move on with my life and look towards my

future. I remember something that I learned recently. It may sound old to some

and new to others. Yesterday is History. History cannot be changed.

Tomorrow is unknown. You cannot change what is unknown. Today is

constantly moving, so why do we keep using the past as an example of today’s

problems? Has nothing really changed? It scares me to think that this is true.

That we still live in a slave master society where we are by law not allowed to

read and write. It scares me to think that we still live in a society where,

because I am Black I must go to a Black school and work with ten-year-old

books.

It scares me to think that the only job my daughters will be able to hold is a

minimum wage job. It scares me to think that people still think this is the

present. For it is only a memory of what was. Change occurs when we learn

that change is constant. It does not happen once. Change occurs and sit by the

wayside waiting for us to take it farther than it has taken us. This is change.

Blacks are free, what do we do with it. Do we sit and build a case to preach?

every time something does not go “our way” (remember getting). Do we take

this freedom farther than it has already taken us? Where are we today as young

men? Still looking for someone to hang the psychological title “master” on so

we can say that they are racist, and that they are holding us (young men of

colour) back.

By putting someone in the psychological role of master means that you have put yourself in the role of slave. A slave is no longer a slave when he/she

feels they are no longer a slave. Our Grandparents did not feel like slaves even

as the masters were calling them slaves. So why and when do/did we think of

ourselves as slaves I feel it was when the racism of such mobs as the kkk (I

don’t think they deserve the title organization) came about. It was only then did

the young men of colour feel like he was a slave. It was fear and it is this fear

turned into rage that keeps the young men of colour in the role of not slave but

yet, revolting slave. But revolting against what? It is time to stop seeing the

rest of the world as our judges and see them as we see ourselves. The question

is do you see yourself as a slave? If you do who do you see as the master? If

you see yourself as the master, whom do you see as the slave? If you are a drug

dealer this is easy. If you are a blue-collar worker this is or is not easy. But the

fact that you see yourself as either is a problem. Slavery is illegal. There are no

more masters here on earth. So, if you feel like a slave the thing to think about

is not whom, but what are you a slave to? Could it be a way of thinking? Could

it be the past? Or could it be both? It is time for every young man of colour to

begin a journey of self. To truly look within himself and see if there is still a

slave within him that must be set free. For if we do not we will always feel

inferior. Even to a grain of sand in the wind.


5)

Learn what Values, Beliefs, and Norms are.

I value and believe in my family. This is normal

I have learned to value each day as if it were my last and do

whatever I can that add to, and brings about a better tomorrow. I value life, all

life. Not just the life of my wife and children but the life of every child that is

born into this world. I have seen the death first hand that war brings in the 82nd

Airborne and I have become a better person from the horrors I have seen. For

instead of reliving I have taken the time to learn the lessons of war and grow. I

value the laws of my country for I have been to countries that long for a piece of

the democracy that we as Americans take for granted. I value my home for it is

there that I go when the rest of the world seems to be going crazy. It is there

where I bare my all in my studio and to my family. These are a few things that I

value. I mention them for I don’t feel I could ask what anyone’s values were

unless I was sure of what my own were. So, what do men of colour value today?

Not just the ones in jail. Not the ones on their way down that road. Not the ones

who have chosen other roads. But all men of colour. What are the conscious

values of all young men? Mine use to be to survive one more day on crack

alley. Then I realized that my survival depended on what I valued as well and

how strongly I “Believed” in these values. What do you value? My beliefs

are ever progressing and evolving as I come into my being. For one, what I

value I truly believe in. Next I believe that if I am truly good in every way I can

that this will reflect and affect the people around me. So, I maintain the belief

that the truth will set you free. That life is what you first, perceive it as and

then, how you react to this perception. I maintain the belief that God cares. Do

all these sound pretty corny? That is because we perceive them to be. The truth

usually sounds corny, far-fetched, even odd, but the truth is never right in front

of you. You usually have to go through something else to get to this truth that

you are seeking. This is my belief. What are the beliefs of men of colour

today? What is the norm? Is the norm the public opinion? Is the norm what is being said on the talk shows? Is the norm what you read in papers? Are any

of these the norm or are they affecting the norm and manipulating what is the

norm so much out of perspective to the point where we need others to tell us

what the norm actually is. I feel my norm is what I get when I put what I value

with what I believe in all my daily affairs. No one can break what I consider the

norm just as much as you cannot stop a man from drinking until he feels it is

time to stop. I came to this conclusion when I felt that no matter what I did to

wife would not let me in to be apart of the healing that we both needed to share

in just as much as we shared in the hurting of my alcoholism, as much as I

wanted to be there for her. There were things that she had to go through alone

and there were things that we had to go through together if we were going to

truly heal. I realized this one-day and also realized that I was OK finally. I

realized that I had to believe in who I had become and like it just as much as I

did when I was drinking. I valued my sobriety and I believed in my sobriety.

In doing all I needed to do and still listening to suggestions when she gave

them. But I was moving slower to act for I was coming into a level of

consciousness that most people who don’t have a dependency take for granted.

That is if they know they don’t have one for many people walk around thinking

nothing is wrong with them, so they never feel they have to do a searching of

themselves until they break (Sound like a mid-life crisis). No one is truly

perfect.

And the man of colour who comes out his slave role should not feel the opposite

should be the norm. The norm is that which sits inside of you that maybe no but

you and your God truly know. Your norms are not what you say makes you

normal. Your norms are you actions and how much you keep to what you value

and what you believe in. No television show can truly define what the norm of

our society should be it is up to individual to decide. I can only pray that it is to

do the right thing.


6)

Learn when to fight

I do not fight any more. By this I mean that I do not use physical

force to solve situations and problems in my life. I do not raise my hand. So, I

will learn how not to raise my voice as loud as I do (remember no one is

perfect). I am working at finding not peace but yet serenity. Serenity is what

you feel when you are able to remain calm in a stressful situation. In my case it

is at home I still feel stress. Still attempting to correct the wrongs of my past.

When I take a moment to meditate I realize I am not trying to make up for the

fighting that occurred at home but yet all the fighting I did in my life. When I

was younger I knew what faced men of colour and I knew I had to fight to get

what I wanted out of life. I knew that my colour would hold me back and slow

me down to the life that I was deserved. I thought I knew. Waking one day I

realized that this is the same thing that many Aryan militia groups preach, that

they deserve these rights. That minorities are taking over and that they must

fight and take back America. Who is the bad guy in this argument? Both are

the bad guys for minorities are not taking over the country, they/we are just

entering into the theater of life and work and males of Caucasian descent are

only trying to take over a system that their ancestors (rich land owning

Caucasians) made. You cannot go back and change the past or its progress and

if you are not objectively looking at your today, your tomorrow becomes

clouded with subjectivity. When this conflict arises most males (of all colour)

fight for the words they have used begin to apply to all and not just to one

person, group, or race.

I am learning how to take the energy and feelings felt when I see a fight

coming and turn them towards alternate solutions. Is this not what all men of

peace searching for serenity do? War is fighting. Fighting is not peace. The

opposite of peace is war. There is the circle of fighting. Men of colour have

strength within them that has withstood generations of hate, of hurting and of death. If fighting is the answer (and believe me I don’t think it is), then let us do

it right. Put down the guns, the knives and the weapons and fight. If this is the

only way to release this tension then do so. And when the fighting is all done

let there be no more fighting again. Let this fight be the last fighting ever done.

Is it possible? Can people ever let go of the need to fight? This is the true

lesson to learn in order to fight. Alcoholics truly stop drinking when they

accept the fact that they will never have a drink again. When they can see a life

without that which has been a driving force in their life. Imagine your life

without fighting. Realized that today is the last day you will ever fight,

physically, emotionally and mentally. How would your life be? Would it be

war? Or would your life be peace? Which would you prefer? Which would the

person sitting next to you prefer?


7)

Learn to ask your father for forgiveness and acceptance.

My dad and mom

I am the youngest of six kids and the second one to graduated High

School (let us not go back that far). Graduation did not hold any special

meaning to me other than the fact that I had more time to paint, write poetry and

music. The crowd I hung out were called “punks” but as if this meant anything

to my father. He felt I was going to die in some attic unknown and poor. He

wanted his children to stand for something for him as a father. I always thought

this was odd for I remember one the few times my father and mother attempted

to get back together he admitted that he used to be a street artist. He proved this

by drawing a picture of my sister Carlene in no time at all with great detail. He

did not know this is what made me decide to become an artist. This was to me

how I could stand for my father (or for all he did not get a chance to stand for

starting a family so young).

I was a loose cannon after High School, going to a lot of parties. I went

to a party on Thanksgiving and at the time I was living with my father in a small

one bedroom furnished apartment. My father slept on the couch. The landlady

lived upstairs and let her presence be well known to say the least.

On that night when I got home from the party I had the munches and was

cooking the Carswell special (two eggs, toast, and coffee minus Grits. They

were not my favorite) when the light bulb went out in my room that had a bed

so big I could hardly fit all the paintings I had painted in High School in. There

were drapes on the wall and a large dresser that my father and I both shared.

Being young and drunk something possessed me to light a birthday candle for

light and then go the bathroom. When I came out of the bathroom I found that

the whole room was in flames. I went upstairs to get the landlady and her meek

husband. The fire engines came, and we were left in the street, cold. Then as if

things could not get worse my father came up the street from the bar. After

talking to the landlady he got the idea that I was trying to kill him and chased me down the street. I did not look back to see his face I just ran. I ran about 7

miles out to the party that I had just left to find the chaperone/parents had called

it a night. These parents were my self-appointed Godparents. I told them what

had happen and my godfather agreed with my father that I was trying to kill

him. Well needless to say that I left there too and went to sleep in the woods

from Thanksgiving until January 22 when my mom and my stepfather came to

town and brought me to the next town over where they got me into college and

an apartment. I saw my father a while later to ask him for bus fare for college

and he was still angry to say the least. That was 1984 and I did not see my

father again until I came back from Desert Storm in 1991 where he tried to offer

me some money. I did not accept. I left and did not see my father again until

1999 when I was married to Loyce with two daughters Faith 2 1/2 and Chase 6

months old.

I went to see my father because regrettably after 15 years I learned that I

would never be able to accept or understand forgiveness until me myself learned

to give my forgiveness. I could not see in 1991 that my father was extending

his hand to me. I saw only the money. I did not see that my father was trying to

correct a wrong done. He was starting with the last memory he had and

working from there. I still had memories of death and destruction I had

witnessed in Desert Storm. I mixed this vision with only the vision of anger my

father and I felt. This was not a good mixture. Needless to say, for 15 years I

had created an absent father. Something most young men would do anything to

not have to experience. I told my father in the summer of 1999 that I came to

show him his grandchildren. This was nothing new he already had about 17 and

about 3 great grandchildren. I was just the last to be born and the last to have

kids. I told my father that I wanted him to know that I was more proud of him

for the man he was than I was for the man who drew that picture of Carlene.

My father worked 22 years at the same job and never missed a day of work.

There are so many young men of colour out there who don’t know who their father is. Who have barely seen their father for he took the road away

from instead of towards his family, his home? I became one of these men. I

left a woman alone in NC with child and upon contacting her; I was told that it

was too late. Before we as men of colour loose our place in the family we have

created we must realize that we must first make amends within the house we

may have lit the match to. If you look onto your father’s eyes and ask him to

forgive you do you think he will? Do you think he will ask the same of you?

Think about this next time you find yourself praying to “Our Father”.


8)

Learn your History and not your hatred of History

I am presently living in the country of Iceland with my wife, Loyce and

two daughters, Faith and Chase. We have been here for three years now and

have no real plans on leaving anytime soon. I substitute at the high school when

they call and there is something I saw at the school that made me think, being a

European History major. I notice that many men of colour view on history is

that more of hatred than of knowledge and understanding. I was attempting to

figure out how to bring some life into history for all students when I realized

that I also had a hatred for history. My hatred was based on facts in history of

the injustice my own country had done to all men and women of colour. Every

time I focused on American History I was reminded of these injustices. I

realized this was why I was drawn to European History and not American

History. It is hard to want to study the past for a High school student when the

present is so out of control (This is the view of the student and not the parent).

It is hard to study the past when its memory is crowded with wrongs that have

been done. I asked myself how much time we spend (as teachers) teaching

the pain of history and how much time we spend teaching the pleasures of

history. I also wondered if learned to look at history as something that has

passed and is only there to teach the good along with the bad. I feel that if

history was more Humanity based and not dictating of facts we could all learn

the culture of America as it flourished and not the facts as they are presented to

the jury. Before the 1970’s Juries were all White males whose verdict were

based on beliefs and past experiences. If history was on trial and the jury was

women and men of colour what do you think the verdict would be? If we taught

the Humanities and the Humanity of History what do you think the verdict

would be? Would History survive? I felt I had to look at the humanity of

history and not my hatred of history for what it had done to all women and men

colour. History cannot be changed. It must be accepted and understood. If not men of colour will perpetuate a cycle of hatred that today, extremist groups

seem to be bringing back upon us and turning us into the ones we hated so

strongly at one time, not so long ago it seems.

It is time for all men of colour to learn their history and leave their hatred of

history out of the picture, for history is our best and sometimes, our only

teacher. Just be wary of those who interpret history.


9)

Learn to put the word “friend” before “race”.

One day while substitute teaching I was struck by something one of the

students said. Or should I say could not say. To start off let me say that there

are no men of colour teaching at either the High School or the Elementary?

school, so when I walked in the doors the first time the class is a bit taken back

to see me subbing. Well it was a minute or two before the bell rang and this one

student was trying to describe this boy who was interested in this girl to her.

Every time he used a word to describe this boy he looked at me cautiously as if

he were trying not to say something. Just as he was about lost for words to

describe this boy a young man of colour walked in and the first student ask him

to describe the interested party to this girl. This young man of colour said,

“You know that black kid named such and such on the varsity team.” The girl

immediately knew who the young man of colour was talking about and the first

student was looking at me. Another time I had this sort of experience was

in a writer’s group here. This lady was telling me one night as I was giving her

a ride home that she was not prejudice because she had black friends and

Hispanic friends and she even dated a black guy once. I thought of this when I

looked at these students face for it was the second time I had asked myself why?

Why do we constantly put race first and friend second when we describe people.

I felt bad for that student for he probably felt using race to describe this other

student would offend me. It probably would have but I don’t feel I would have

addressed it to him in front of the other students. But I did address the lady

whom I gave a ride home to. I told her my friends were my friends first. Then

they were a close friend or not. Then, if they were close, they were

understanding and compassionate or straight forward and blunt. Then they were

morally strong or still searching. On and on until I had explained what is a friend to me? But one of the last words I tried to use to describe one of my

friends are race. I feel we use race to define our fiends as if we did not say we had a black friend or an Asian friend we would get hounded for being a racist (all racist is not Caucasian). There was a time when this was a strong thing. But if it still as

strong a thing as it was in the 60’s and 70’ then it only proves that we have not

progressed at all. It means that the rules of racism still apply today as strong as

they did in the 60’s and 70’s. Yes we all live together and work together but if

we are still defining friendship by race first, then only half of a “Dream” has

been fulfilled.


10)

Learn to pray

There are no words that I can say to convince anyone that prayer will

save them or explain anything deeper to them. Prayer is as personal as one’s

relationship with their God (I say “their” for everyone is different with different

directions laid out for them by God). I feel that everyone will find their own

relationship with God in their own time. I do not intend this tenth statement or

this book to change anyone into anything. I only wish to share with you, the

reader, some of the things I have done as a man of colour to understand my

history and the part that I play in it and Gods plans. So, I will not tell you how

to pray. Nor will I tell you what to pray. I will just share one prayer that I find,

upon reflection, brings me the most peace.

God

Grant me the serenity

to accept the things

I cannot change.

Courage to change

the things I can.

And the wisdom

to know the difference.

You must learn your Humanity

Before you can understand you History.

John F. DuBose

Thank You

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