From time to time, someone asks me why do I go with the name Black By Color Only and these folks are usually offended by my choice of name. I have been told that title denotes my confusion and many of the people who think this have the idea that my skin color is more than just that. To them, I shouldn’t see my blackness as just the amount of melanin in my skin, but I should also see it as an ideal and that I should, cherish, take pride in it, and also idolize it. To hear the Apostles of Blackness tell it, my skin color means that I am levels above other races on this planet and that I should be worshiped as royalty. There is a word for this type of thinking and that word is racism.
Before I go any further, I would like to state that I am a four-level, freethinking human being. These levels begin at the most important to the least important, from 1 to 4.
First and foremost, I am a CHRISTIAN and this defines why I think the way I do. Ever since October 21, 1986 when I first made the decision to make Jesus Lord of my life, I’ve embarked on this journey. The sojourn hasn’t been easy and I will never boast about being perfect or think I am better than anyone. However, being a Christian is the most important aspect of my life and God’s Word (the Bible) is my guideline for daily living.
Second, I am an individual; even though I may share your skin color, nationality, or culture, I am a unique person who carries a unique personality, likes, dislikes, dreams, and aspirations. I have different ways of thinking and different opinions and my views of my environment are different than anyone else’s. My race or color doesn’t supersede any of that.
Third, I am an American. I was born in the city of Roanoke in the state of Virginia on October 16, 1968. My father was also born in Roanoke and my mother was born in Bristol, Tennessee. My ancestors may have been African, but I wasn’t born in Africa. Every now and then, I have heard certain members of the Apostles of Blackness express that if you’re black in America, you need to find out your real name, because your present name was passed down from your former slave-masters. Whenever I hear someone say this, I affirm myself by stating that my name is Vincent Edward Brown and I was born to a father named Donald Lee Brown and a mother named Barbara Faye Brown (later changed to Johnson). I love my name and no self-righteous race-baiter can convince me otherwise.
Lastly, I am a black man, only because of my skin color and not from pride in my race.
That brings me to the point of this post in which I explain why I’ve named this site (among others) Black By Color Only and, hopefully after reading this, there will be no question in your mind about why I chose this name.
This story begins in 1995 and as a matter of fact, on October 16 of that year which happened to be my 27th birthday. On that day, thousands of black people took pride in an event that occurred at the Mall in Washington, DC and that event was the so-called Million Man March.
The MMM was an event that was aimed at bringing the black race together in “unity” so they could progress to better things, whatever those were. It was an event attended by black folks from all walks of life, including so-called “Christians.” The event was headed up by none other than the “Honorable” Minister Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the hate group known as the Nation of Islam and a man who made no secret about how he felt about Jews and Christians, which is why I don’t understand why a person who would call himself a Christian would make it a priority to attend this spectacle to glean some “deep” teaching.
While I’m on this, let me state that there have been churches that have invited LF to speak to their congregations. My question is this: If you call yourself a Christian, why would you invite a man who describes your beliefs as “the white man’s religion” to speak at your church? Just a thought.
Anyway, in the wake of this event, black folks everywhere were praising the event in that it restored pride to the black race and that praise was a little over the top for yours truly and others who didn’t buy into the “power” of black unity. So, I went into action to state my viewpoint about the event.
For the record, let me state that it has been no walk in the park in being a free-thinking American black man. In America, if you are black, you are required to march in lock-step with your fellow black contemporaries. In the viewpoint of the Apostles of Blackness, one black man’s experience is representative of all our experiences and we, therefore, must be of the same mind. If the truth doesn’t line up with the mindset of the Black Apostles, then you must ditch the truth and follow the mindset. If you happen to be black and you oppose the thinking of your high-level, elitist black brothers and sisters, you’re seen as delusional and wanting to disrupt the unity of the collective and diluting the ideal of black power. Where I get into trouble is when I see past the color of my skin to grasp a hold of the truth as I am not blinded by melanin because the truth shines so much brighter.
Anyway, I decided to add a disruptive voice (a monkey wrench in the gears, if you may) into the cacophonous void of approving rhetoric by my fellow black contemporaries – I went to the local paper here in Durham, NC. Below is the first op-ed I submitted to the paper which is also the first op-ed I ever submitted.
As you can see, I’m expressing my thoughts about the event and what I know about Farrakhan in as straightforward a manner as I can as I had been following the LORD for nine years at this time. However, I put the blood in the water and the piranhas came to feed. Here’s the first two responses to my op-ed:
These are the first responses I received, and as you may have gathered, these rascals have launched into the usual tirade of assumptive rhetoric that has been reserved especially for recalcitrant black folks such as myself. I especially like the part that says it’s been a while since I’ve lived in a black community as I was living in one such community at the time and have continued to live in one ever since. However, it was this post that gave me the inspiration to come up with the name Black By Color Only. After reading “knowing that a member (obviously by color only) of the black race…“, a light bulb went off in my head. After snipping some of the words from the phrase and rearranging the rest, I came up with Black…By…Color…Only (hey, maybe I should sign up as a contestant for the Soul Train Scramble Board!). Although I didn’t have the means to put that phrase to work at that time, it remained in the back of my mind for years and I figured it would be a great name for a blog (!), a newsletter, or a radio program.
2009 rolls around and I discovered some site that a few us have heard of, something called, I don’t know, You Tube? The discovery of You Tube opened up a new world for me and I got an account to start a channel. the name of that channel? Black By Color Only. Later that year, I discovered another site called Blog Talk Radio and named that channel Black By Color Only as well (now it’s Truthsharks Radio). Moreover, there’s this blog, also named, well, you know.
So, there you have it, I probably have the Apostles of Blackness to thank for inadvertently coming up with the name of an entity that will aim to expose their agenda. Of course, I’m looking for doors to open to expand my horizons and increase my avenues of influence.
Enough of that, though. Throughout my time under the BBCO moniker, I’ve come across the occasional scoffer who, as I’ve stated before, said I sound like I’m confused by coming up with that name. Well, I know why I use that title and they don’t, so they can say what they want about whatever, they don’t have free access to my intellect.
Finally, to round out this post, I want to share with you my final response.