Several months ago, something magical and historic took place at the 2021 Scripps Spelling Bee, sans all the hype of the present COVID-19 pandemic. Somehow, some black girl participated in and won this year’s contest. Black folks across the US rejoiced! The Apostles of Blackness shouted with glee from the mountaintops! Black people had climbed to the mountaintop and finally cast their gaze at the Promised Land! We had finally made it over the hurdles in declaring our freedom from oppression and tyranny! Oh, Amen and Hallelujah!
Okay, time to get serious now.
The young lady pictured above is a 14 year-old from Louisiana named Zaila Avant-garde, who probably has the honor of sporting the best name since Quvenzhane Wallis. Anyway, she has just won the distinction of becoming the first black American to win the coveted spelling bee title. She also holds three Guinness world records for basketball dribbling, hoping one day to make it to the WNBA (sister-girl can hoop! Check out this video). She has accomplished more at her age than many of us have in adulthood. Folks may seem to find it hard to fathom that a talented athlete such as herself could command royalty at the latest spelling bee, but she has proven many of her possible critics wrong. What, you may ask, led to her success at such an early age? Well, in my opinion, it started with a strong support system at home.
Let’s start with her father, who recognized that his daughter had a special gift of memorization. He would get his daughter to study 15,000 words a day to prepare for her future endeavor. It would seem she had an asset that most black children don’t have. Therefore the importance of fathers at home cannot be stressed enough.
Not only this, but she would study for only a few years, while most contestants, on average, would study from their time in kindergarten into their teens.
One thing that bothers me to no end is when the black community celebrates some “accomplishment” by one of their own as if to prove to the rest of the world that they are just as capable as anyone in achieving anything. Don’t get me wrong, though, because back in the time of Jim Crow, it was necessary to mark our achievements because the powers-that-be were convinced that we were inferior to white folks. So, our accomplishments proved that, just like with any other human being, we were just as capable of matriculating to something better to improve our lives and those around us. However, in the 21st century, these acknowledgments are no longer necessary because our point has long been proven.
Something happened to the black race in the 1960s. Before this period, we made accomplishments that, in hindsight, many felt we shouldn’t have garnered. Our communities flourished despite the Jim Crow laws that sought to hinder us. We owned banks, theaters, and shops. We had a certain respect for ourselves as we dressed appropriately and our families took precedence above all else. A good education was the standard and eighty percent of our homes were led by a mother and a father. At one time, the marriage rate among blacks was higher than whites. Our teenagers even had a higher rate of employment than white teens.
Then came the aforementioned 1960s, the same period in which I was born. This timeframe may have set black people back more than any time in their history. In 1964, then-President Lyndon B. Johnson announced his so-called War on Poverty which served as an introduction to his Great Society policy. I won’t go into detail about this policy, but you can view it here. Anyway, the Great Society essentially endeared millions of black people to the Democrat Party, which is supposedly what President Johnson was aiming for. Integration took hold and eliminated a lot of the prosperous black communities that had taken hold in this nation.
In a nutshell, the Great Society policy has devastated the black community. It helped to absolve fathers of their responsibility as heads of their homes, replaced by the government, and taught women they didn’t need a husband in order to reap the benefits of welfare. As a result, poverty, miseducation, teen pregnancy, along with dependence on the government, skyrocketed in the black race. A good education was no longer desired, massive immorality took hold, and single motherhood became the norm. In addition, fatherless homes have absolutely devastated black communities
What also followed was a sense of victimhood (egged on by our “faithful” media) that could only be solved by intervention from our government. Affirmative action becomes central to easing the ills that infect the black race because it supposedly gives blacks a leg up on the competition (i.e. white folks) in order to level the playing field.
When one adheres to a sense of victimhood, they use this as an excuse for why the shortcomings continue in their lives. It’s almost as if these “victims” believe outside individuals have more control of their lives than they do and that in order for them to get a step up, the help has to come from outside groups (i.e. the government).
When one refuses to work in order to improve their lifestyle, they become dependent on other entities to help them get by and the government becomes an excellent provider because they have the “power” to raise taxes on rich folks so they can “charitably” give to the poor ones (usually black folks). As a result of being given this power, the government gains a level of control over those it supposedly helps. They can place conditions on the amount of help they will give. In other words, their “generosity” comes with a major price, which includes reciprocated support and lots of votes whenever there’s an election to be had. This has a tendency to disintegrate any sense of innovation that one may possess because why would they push their dreams and talents to fruition when the government will supply them with all they need? As a result, people become mentally and intellectually lazy, their minds turned to cranial mush, which facilitates the government’s control over them. These people also become susceptible to a news media that cares more about pitching the news in place of the truth. The rhetoric being lasered to them from their flat panels is easily accepted because they have been brainwashed to the point that they believe the newscaster is telling them the truth when, in actuality, the reporter is spewing what they want them to believe.
The biggest threat to our government is the individual who can think for himself and has the mind to put his dreams and aspirations to work sans little or no help from the government.
Anyway, back to Miss Avant-Garde.
This young lady’s accomplishment is proof of the perseverance of human determination. What she was able to achieve had nothing to do with her race and is an example that teaches white privilege is a myth. Black folks could show this on a larger scale if parents (mature parents) would take up their positions to teach and guide their children in their education. Contrary to popular belief propagated by the Apostles of Blackness, black people are not being held back by white supremacy and privilege; they’re hindered by parents who care more about their careers than the upbringing of their children, or their parents are so mentally lazy that they’d rather absolve themselves of their responsibility and pass it on to someone else.
Avant-garde’s victory isn’t a victory for black folks, but it’s a victory for her and her family. Along the way, she inadvertently proved to her fellow black contemporaries that white folks can’t prevent us from achieving our goals, given our determination.
It is high time black people stop worrying about what white people think of them and take responsibility for what happens within their own communities. Once we learn to do that, I believe all the ills that plague the black communities will come to nil.
You all have a good day and I’ll see you on the rebound.