Tuesday, May 9, 2017
an open letter to a dear BLACK community sistah
Dear Sistah Atiola:
I Hope and Pray You are Blessed with good health and well-being and live a good long life. I am Praying you find a new location for your Restaurant. You serve a vitally important Role in our Black community as a person providing good, and often excellent nutritious food along with a nice meeting place to exchange information and get educated about health, food, good nutrition, Black businesses and so much moore.
Sistah Atiola, you are a champion of Black People and a champion of Black women. I put you up there with Angela Davis, Anita Hill & Althia Gibson in the stature and importance to our community. It literally made me ill to see Leonard call you a racist and disrespect you like that. But I beg you and the community to forgive Him because He can still learn and He is very young, only 47 years ole.
I do very much want you to be successful with your new location. I promise to call you and see what I can do to help you, for the sake of our Black community and for the sake of Leonard, who I LOVe dearly. You deserve the best from us as Black People and you will have the very best, but what some of us don’t understand is Leonard also deserves the very best also.
I am very apologetic about my business partner and companion MR. Leonard coming into your respected place of worship and acting the fool. He can be a very nice person sometimes, but He can also be someone in desperate need of proper education about our Black Culture, Black History and our Black struggle as successful People in North America or what I like to call Turtle Island or The United States of Native America.
Leonard has not, at 47, taken it upon Himself to learn about and study what we as Black People have been through in This Nation.
He has no idea that each and every penny He spends at Wal Mart puts another nail in the coffin of our liberation as Black People. He also calls me a racist, so don’t feel hurt or singled out. Leonard is quite intelligent, but He can also reflect the very deep kind of ignorance about Black People that is so ramped among our youth and even among our Black general population.
The ignorance is scary because it spreads so quickly that it sometimes gets back to and impacts on even the knowledgeable Black grass roots like you, me and most of the Black People who enter your lovely, important, warm and wonderful store there on 4505 Baltimore Avenue.
The ignorance, wiping it out, has been part of my personal life time goals. Yet I sat in McDonalds the other day and shook my head and even laughed slightly at a poor Black women I saw with a baby. I wondered aloud what that Black baby’s future would be with a Mom who frequented McDonalds. I was only there because Leonard likes to go there. I was actually boycotting McDonalds because of their terrible addictive food that is poorly prepared and sold at way too high prices.
But we have to be careful when we criticize Black People like Leonard because He spends dollars that can become Black dollars as well. He doesn’t understand How He needs help and He doesn’t understand the seriousness and depth of nor the insidiousness of our oppression as Black People.
I have sent Him my book list with hundreds of Black books and other important books of self-improvement on it. Yet He wants to read about White and European clothing designers and not discover much about How to become a designer who faces extreme success at designing clothing that incorporates Black and African designs with other cultural designs.
Our grass roots ignorance of Our Black and African History and Black and African Culture is extremely dangerous for the future ad continuous success of and stability of our Black community.
When we walk into Wal Mart and support that store, I don’t care if a few sell-outs products like Pattie LaBell’s Bar B Que sauce are sold exclusively there, we are supporting the White political foot on our collective necks. We have to explain this to people like Leonard and we have to explain that supporting ourselves is not racist but about self-LOVe ad self-survival.
GOD Bless you and don’t give up on People like Leonard. He is worth working with, educating, and yes, even listening to.