Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Think of this entry as a commercial. A quick teaser that exposes you to benefits of a product that a company offers. It's not going to give you all of the details, nor is it going to leave you in the dark. This commercial is going to give you a glimpse of something so deliciously brilliant, you're going to want to get up and go spend 22 dollars and seventy-six cents on 2 slices of greasy pizza. Well not really. But please consider this a public service announcement. A quick informational bulletin that provides insight.
Growing up as a son, father, teacher, student, advocate, and graduate of the school of hard knocks, I learned a lot about the evolution of the streets. I learned how to wear my pants, how to flip the script, how to operate in new hoods, and how to utilize my god given skills to my advantage. The most influential and delicate lesson I learned was that those who get comfortable get left behind. There is no place for immobile content in the movement. Confused about this notion early on, I never understood what it meant to move forward, to progress, or to elevate. Years later, it all comes to light. I now realize that the “no loitering” signs that littered the “black side” of Mission Bay Beach did not imply “no hanging out after dusk.” Those signs were actually strategically placed by predecessors for hard knock students and teachers who looked just like me. The proposed “$1,000” fines were not meant to be threats, but tools to be used as lighter fluid that would ignite a burning desire to “move.” A liquid so potent, that it could revolutionize a coal colored black man’s frown into a smile once ignited and wedded with Kingston briskets, beef franks, and Lawrys crested drumsticks. Those fines, that sign, and those police cars with the K-9s were our fuel. “No loitering!”
Once you’ve fully mastered the art of fluidity in progression and fast forwards, you are free to pursue a level of higher education. Alas, I understand and have begun, or continued, my trek. This idea of advancement is taught and illustrated in several forms and public arenas. Some of our greatest teachers of this art can be found in politics, professional sports, movies, and music. If you watch closely you can see the movement. You can see the streets cracking at our every step and mutating at the base of our heels. Our walk is hot, our style is on fire, and our dialect is cool just to add for a bit of breeze for those still standing stiff and stagnant in the heat we provide. Sheeeesshhh! I progressed from “keeping it real” in a throwback, white Nikes, and doo-rag, to keeping it “Real Thorough” in a Sean John Windsor Knot rested button up with the fresh blazer. I can speak to a room of the majority and demand the same respect I gain when in my element, with my element.
Every day I catch a glimpse of the President and I recognize he must have taken a looonngg presidential look at that same loitering sign that my young eyes failed to decipher from California State systematic standard procedure and “safety” law to glass ceiling rupturing apparatus. He is moving. I look at the first-lady and it’s clear that she is bankhead bouncing on her roller skates. She is moving. Sonia Sotomayor has on her sneaks and has been practicing her cardio since 1954. Jay-Z is in great shape-keep up! Oprah, Tyra, Cousin Jeff, Tavis Smiley, Nikki Giovanni, Tyler Perry, George Lopez, Cornel West, The Mirabal Sisters, the list goes on-As we should. My mental stays in a place of what’s next, what’s new, and where to, hoping for the answer to take me to the next state of what’s to come. I’m only recommending you put your waffles on. This here is no sprint but the pace is husky, it’s aggressive. No standing, no parking and definitely-no loitering. We’re moving. That’s real talk.
Now back to your regularly scheduled program.......