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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Mr. Crouch Weighs in on the Great Debaters........

I pretty much gave my "thumbs up" review of the Great Debaters during the two previous broadcasts of Afronerd Radio, but I really must give kudos to Stanley Crouch for his nail-in-the-coffin analysis of the film in his column yesterday. Again, the film does a stand up job at debunking any notions that the pursuit of education and excellence are antithetical to Blackness. Here's a dead on excerpt from Mr. Crouch's op-ed piece, courtesy of The New York Daily News:

Things have gotten so bad that black authenticity is regularly defined as rude, criminal, contemptuous of education and disrespectful. Any other vision of black American culture is dismissed as "white" or suffering from an overdose of "white middle-class values."

That is the worst misunderstanding of all: White people are expected to have the right information; black people are expected to have nothing more than a lot of foul-mouthed sass and some kind of rhythm. It seems we have stumbled into a valley of stupidity where those at the bottom are told that embracing so-called middle-class values dilutes their "authenticity."

Let's straighten this out. There is no such thing as "white middle-class values." There are only middle-class values - and they can be had by any ethnic group, any religion and anyone else who believes those values fit them. Belief in education, hard work, stable families, hygiene and scientifically proven solutions to our common problems (rather than superstition) should never be color-coded.

Now we have First Sunday coming out in a few weeks-the Enough is Enough campaign has a lot of work ahead of them. Click below for the article in its entirety:

An inspiration, beyond debate

And while we're on the topics of African American excellence, education and perhaps diction, let's take a look at Garrard McClendon (the Ax or Ask scribe) discussing Senator Obama's alleged inauthentic Blackness:

If things work out, we may be able to interview Mr. McClendon in the near future to have him share his thoughts on AAVE (African-American Vernacular English), education and Black authenticity.

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