At the outset of the Civil Rights Movement, we indulged in plenty of rap. How many of you remember? Everywhere you went you would be greeted by, “Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud!” or “My brother or my sister” or “Black is beautiful.” We spoke phrases of Swahili, thanked God for Africa the Motherland. We dressed in what we perceived to be garments made in the Motherland, do you remember? There were those who wore bones in their noses, adopted African hairstyles, Black-study programs sprang up across the nation. Black playwrights, poets, authors, yes we had it going on.
An individual in Homewood portrayed Blackness to the extent that a White foundation gave his organization a tremendous grant. However, the alleged brother to our regret was masquerading…he left his Black wife and five children for a White woman on his arm and left Pittsburgh.
There came a period of time that we began to understand that the rap provided us with a good feeling, but if we were going to move off dead center WE NEEDED TO DEVELOP A MAP.