Wednesday, January 19, 2011

21st Century Ambassadors: African American Icons And thier Influence in America

I'm quite sure out of all of us growing up as little kids very few if any of us were saying we wanted to be like Martin Luther King Jr. trying to keep all the kids getting along on the elementary school playground fighting for recess and snack time rights. There were most likely more of us singing TLC or trying to emulate Usher's moves in his videos (I know I got a few old heads reading but you guys gotta bear with me I guarantee someone is searching TLC right now). I can definetly speak for black people when I say the entertainment industry had a great influence in our growing up and how we went about our everyday lives. As much as I hate it, I fully understand and see we look up to these people and emulate them. Biggie Smalls being a great example, he told stories in his music of the struggle and how hard it was to be successful let alone break out of the poverty ridden ghettos in Brooklyn. 2pac told us to keep our heads up and to not let them above us bring us down, and Nas told us we could be whatever we wanted to be. These and many more artists inspired and motivated us on a day to day basis to push forward and to be the best we can be. I can't even count how many days music has brought me out of a hole and helped me get through the day. These people represent us, they pull us up and motivate us to do better, they are our 21st Century Black Ambassadors. 

With all the love we give these Ambassadors, almost twice as much jealously and hate is received through the media, and even from other Icons in the industry. Any man or woman who inspires millions and helps bring about a wave of change is bound to criticism, no matter who they are. Look at it this way; it would be a lot easier to go after the leader of the flock rather then to take down all his followers one by one. That bird represents the best of what they have, someone every single one of them looks up to in some way and is very proud of. So they attack the flock leader, they make up lies about him, start rumors, destroy their image the best way they can. And if that person is that much of a threat they might even go as far as kill them, even though their message will still live on. Thats what Jesus Christ was, thats what Biggie was, what Malcolm X was, and more then anyone thats what Michael Jackson was. 

All these men at some point even with their drive and will to succeed at their respective purposes in life at some point came to a conclusion that it had become bigger then just them. They carried a city, a country, and in some cases the world on their backs, never having the intentions to let them down. And we followed, knowing that they were maybe not our only hope, but without a doubt our biggest. 

Each part of the country had or has their own Representative; Biggie Smalls was the East Coast, 2pac was the West Coast, Lil Wayne is Louisiana,  I could go on for hours. Everyone had or has their own representative that they praise and poster up on their walls. And just how Barack Obama is blamed for everything that the U.S. does from the outside in, so are these guys for their respective areas. But when it comes to star power and their impact on the world nobody comes even close to our biggest African American Representative; Michael Jackson. Say what you want about Michael, but his impact on the world even after his death has been amazing. His music brought millions to their feet, his heart and willingness to give to the less fortunate has touched the hearts of millions. Hes brought people from all kinds of backgrounds together like I've never seen before. And like I said before when you get as much praise as this man has, the false accusations come, the rumors, the lies, the harassment. Their objective was to take the best of us and make him look like a fool, like hes nothing, tearing all of our hope away from us. They were jealous of Michael, even worse they were jealous of us, because he was the best of African Americans! Sadly for many blacks I talk to, their view on Michael thanks to the image created by the media is at the least bad. Blacks don't understand that this is what they wanted to do, this was their intentions, to tear Michael down. People lost hope in him, they called him all these names, mocked him and made him into a joke. This was the best of us, and yet everyone went and turned their backs on him, yet he did nothing wrong but care. Nobody had it as bad as Michael did, and yet he kept on fighting. 

I'm not trying to make you love Michael Jackson, or hate those who oppress him, I'm just trying to make you think. Black Ambassadors represent hope, they represent every single one of us  in some kind of way. So for anyone to just off and turn their back on them the second they're accused of something, is a mockery in itself. Thats like Biggie Smalls going off and writing a I hate Brooklyn song its just straight up being a traitor, he would never do that to us. You didn't see white people turning their back on Eminem when he wrote a crazy ass song about killing his ex wife. Take pride and love in what you got, because just like 2pac, or Biggie, or Malcolm, or Dr. King, or even Michael as were all learning now you don't know how good we got it until its gone.

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