A friend of mine was introducing me to someone today, and for some reason he felt the need to tell her that I blog. "He has a blog called field Negro. I think he is the last angry black man left in America." Ha ha ha ha, laughs all around.
Of course dude was right. At times it seems that there are no angry black men left in A-merry-ca. I think the angry black man has been ashamed into accepting his fate, and his place in the A-merry-can scheme of things. But there is nothing to be ashamed of. Not when your anger is driven by disappointment and not resentment. You see it's like this: most people think that the angry black man, like yours truly, is angry because he is somehow feeling left out and is disappointed with his station in life. While this might be true with some angry black men, it isn't the case here. (Although to be honest, I couldn't really blame any black man for being angry and pissed off for the state of his condition. The shit that some of us -and yes I say us because whatever that black man goes through effects me as well-go through, I wouldn't wish on my worst white enemy). I am quite happy with pretty much all aspects of my life, both socially and professionally, but I am still angry.
Seeing untapped potential and squandered opportunities makes me angry. You can't live in a city like Philadelphia and see all the urban decay and hopelessness in the greatest country on earth and not be angry. You can't look into the face of some of the beautiful children here, knowing that they have no shot in life, and not be angry. You can't see all the money at our government's disposal being wasted on bullshit, while people are struggling to make ends meet and not get angry. All that shit makes me angry and will continue to until the people with real power in this country act like they give a damn.
Of course there used to be lots of angry black men in A-merry-ca. The Black Panthers were angry. Hell they had to be, their survival depended on it. Some of our politicians from back in the day (Shirley Chisholm comes to mind) who really cared about our condition as a people were angry. There are no angry labor organizers like Cesar Chavez anymore. No angry social activist even. Why? Because A-merry-ca has moved forward, we have gotten past the little problems of race, and class, and poverty(did you hear Tim Russert). And everyone has a chance of achieving the American dream now...yeah right! Jim Brown was an angry athlete, that's why he ran like that; he ran with anger. Malcolm X was angry. He was angry at A-merry-ca, his own people, and even at his mentor.
Boy it sure would be nice to have some high profile angry black men in A-merry-ca. But we know how that is, it will never happen now. Money and independent wealth does wonders for that ailment known as the angry black man's decease. Now, instead of real anger, we have been given Barack, and Tiger as our modern day black icons. And they ain't angry. In fact, Barack is trying to unify A-merry-ca, and Tiger is trying to pretend he is not black. People making lynching jokes about Tiger won't make him angry, and instead of getting angry at the political process in A-merry-ca, Barack praises the fake ass cowboy from California.
People like Mrs. Field are always getting on me about my anger. I am called an ABM (her abbreviation for Angry Black Man) damn near every day I am maneuvering through Philly traffic. She wonders where it comes from. If she only had half of the things I did growing up, most people black and white could only wish they had it so good. Well....I hate to break it to Mrs. Field, but as I said before, this anger isn't about envy or victimology, it's about disappointment. And when your anger is fueled by things other than your physical condition or your station in life, what you have or don't have as an individual is irrelevant. It's about the collective, and what is being done to the people in the world that looks like you. It's about our apathy to it while we party and play our lives away. It's about turning our backs on an entire generation of our children, and not having the discipline to raise our families in the proper way. Yep, all this shit makes me angry, and if I ever stop being angry, I won't even know myself.