Thursday, July 23, 2009

They used to call me Carlton Banks....

In 95' suburban Atlanta I was the kid with hair that all the kids wanted to touch and feel.
Assimilation was evident and all too familiar with blacks in suburbia, but that comes with with territory of living and fitting into the suburban scene. Most black people who don't understand the lifestyle will see this an a disadvantage, but it wasn't.

If weren't for the company of other black people in the area who shared similar lifestyles and goals - and got each other most of all - most kids would have somewhat lost their identity. Organizations such as Jack & Jill and other societies for affluent blacks are important for black kids in areas like I grew up because it gives us a social contact with other black kids in our area.

I was so inspired last night by watching the second installment of "Black In America", "Black In America 2", on CNN and it showed a guy who's from affluence and grew up in a similar situation to mines - a sprinkle of pepper in a salt mine. I saw me in him when he said he was called out of his name by a teacher, which brings me back to me and my 90's hair.

Racism was the case when the kids were touching my hair and calling me "carpet-head", even though it wasn't in a mean way or ambiguously hateful. It was wrong and I felt it, ultimately leading me to cut it off for a more mainstream and appropriate ceasar.

Watching "Black in America 2" last night really struck a chord with me - I didn't even get any sleep. I re-evaluated my life plan and came to the realization that shouldn't be resting on where I come from alone. There is no reason to be slipping in any area of my life - including style - and I realized now is the time to get out my dreams and goals.

Time waits for no man and now is always the time to get something started - or keep going. I made a promise to myself to follow through with all my plans and to, by all means, be successful and to attain a higher status in life. There is never an excuses for people not to be on the grind, period - even before we had a black president. Move forward in life, connect with the right people, grow, and flourish.

I've always been called Carlton Banks and when I saw this shirt I had to have it.


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