Do You Rock?

BlackGirlsRockLast night, Monday 11/11, my daughter (16) and I watched the BET special “Black Girls Rock!”.

I like watching that special because it serves as a reminder, and as a Public Service Announcement to those who didn’t know, that little black girls CAN grow up to be exceptional black women, DESPITE the crap that is promoted to them on the television.

Lately, it has come to be that there isn’t a television show with women with my skin color who DON’T yell, cuss and fuss at each other.  Shows like “Bad Girls Club” and “Love and Hip-Hop” and “Atlanta Housewives” and so forth and so on….heck, even “The Braxton Family Values” has a bit of ratchetness attached to it.  These shows don’t really leave much in the way of positive reinforcements for the young black girl mind.  And that mess is acted out in their schools, on YouTube, in their family lives, with their friends, in the street, and captured on cell phone video and shared on World Star HipHop (or whatever that website is called).

Anyway, what I wanted to say here was that there were two statements that stood out to me on last night’s show (not in any particular order, but…..):

The first one was “We must lift as we climb” — Beverly Bond (creator of Black Girls Rock).

Oh, how this is so forgotten in our lives these days. Most of the time, there’s the whole “Crabs in a bucket” mentality, that once one of us reaches the top, we are so happy to have finally gotten there that we forget to reach down and help pull someone else up with us.  We don’t want help someone else climb to where we are, possibly because we are afraid that we will have to start the climbing fight all over again. We are here, and we want to go forward….we don’t want opposition and if someone hasn’t made it to where we are, well then……They had just better start fighting harder and climbing higher–without our help.

We are so closed minded to that.

The second thing that stuck to me was something a woman named Ameena Matthews said.  Now, this will sound weird, but well, it is the way it is with me: I can’t remember EXACTLY what Ms. Matthews said because there was a lot of applause during this particular part and she was yelling it.  The part I did catch, though, “…you have to reach back…” made me think about something else.

Once we have climbed our way to the top and refused to reach down and lift someone else up, we tend to move forward without ever even LOOKING back, let alone REACHING back. We don’t want to GO back to help, even if our helping doesn’t mean pulling someone forward. Even if our helping is just giving someone a beacon to light a path that would otherwise stay completely dark. In emotions. In thoughts. In action. A beacon of light might be the one thing someone needs to just get started. But, for the most part, a lot of us won’t shine….not backwards, anyway.  Apparently, we’ve got no problem shining forward and letting the people WE see, see us, but those who are not in our frontal vision, is no longer in our mind’s eye, either.

Outta sight, outta mind.

We need to learn to help. That’s a big word there: HELP. It means doing something for someone else. But we don’t want to it. Some of us can’t even make ourselves want to.  We are afraid of other people’s progress without realizing that OUR OWN progress would actually be stagnate without the progression of those who come after us.

I would like to challenge myself to something. I want to do at least one thing for someone else that can’t do anything for me. It might be a small step to something, but I’d like to try.

You know, even when all you CAN do is try…you still rock!!


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