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By Bethsheba McGruder

What does it mean to be Black? What does it mean when one says I’m a Republican, I’m a Liberal, I’m a ________ (you fill in the blank),… I’m a Moderate Black.

Let’s define Moderate; Per Wikipedia, moderate means “Average in amount, intensity, quality, or degree.”

Per Merriam-Webster Dictionary, moderate means “avoiding extremes of behavior or expression; observing reasonable limits.”

My definition of a Moderate Black:

“Being less than who I am is mediocre and shows lack of interest on my part, of who I am and where I come from.”

The only reason why I chose, use and misuse other labels to label myself is because I am ashamed.

Classism is real and I am not the head of the class.

I believe “I’m Black and I’m Proud” was/is forever written and erased from the “Etch-A-Sketch Board” of history. I believe only a selected few have the right to claim excellence. Also, I understand that if I want to continue to be uninformed and unenlightened, I will not be deemed qualified.

But, what happens to sharing that piece of the pie with the down home gal who likes to play and make Mississippi Mud pies? You know the one, the one that still has the same two white friends from her workshop five years ago. The one that says the “N” word by accident in front of her highly qualified crew. The one that eats Flaming Hot Cheetos and chugs a Pepsi and cracks David’s sunflower seeds, and then her friends reply back “I don’t eat stuff like that.”

Would I tell any other human being that was not from my block “I don’t eat stuff like that?” In that tone, that stare of disgusts as if I’m standing on Madison Street singing “The Watermelon Song!” Insulting, right?

Then when others who have never tried a Flaming Hot want to try one,  there is a “get-together” and the fried cheese corn chips dipped in hot sauce are served from a cute square bowl and not eaten from the bag like they are supposed to be. I am the punch line again!

Then, I sit in a stupor trying to figure out if they are being racy.

I’m tired off running back and forth across the railroad track. It seems as if it is better for me to be perched on the fence! I continuously have to learn, re-learn, and rewrite my personal manual of the code of ethics to code switching.

I am more than my EBT card or waiting for my children’s father to come back to the states after deportation. I have been waiting to “cash” my check, not from others, but from you.

I feel like I have been sandwiched in between a rotted piece of lettuce and stale cheese.

It does matter that I know how to spell bourgeoisie. It does not mean for me to hold the title to entitlement. It does mean that I am held accountable to pass on what I have learned and not alienate others who sit on that side of the track. It does mean that I must be courageous and ask them do they really know who they are?

As the days of January end and we are finally marching strong into Black History Month, I salute the ancestors whose shoulders I stand on. I thank you for your contribution to the world and my existence. I am grateful, humbled and satisfied. And if I am not welcomed at the dinner table, I understand that as well.

Black History has always been 365 Days;

* “ALL day! Just me. By myself. On the block. Holdin’ it down. Gun in my waist. Straight face. All day. Not a game. In jail. By myself. 1 bed. No pillow case. 1 pillow. Didn’t nobody write me. It was early. Woke up. Went back to sleep. Took a nap. You ever go night night?” –Kevin Hart

 

Happy 365 Days Black!

*(Intentionally omitted that word! Seriously Funny by Kevin Hart)

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