I remember, in the summer of my life, when my blood boiled, as hot as the sun, with righteous indignation at American injustice. This, from a native son, a born and bred Brooklynite.
I remember, in my youth, questioning Black American patriotism. Despite slavery and Jim Crow and the Mass Incarceration of people of color – whether we call it the accident of birth or anything else – when you are born in America you are an American by birth. Of course, America has never lived up to her Ideals as far as Black people are concerned – thus the righteous indignation.
Uprooted from African soil, transplanted in the “Americas” – centuries have passed and notwithstanding African ancestry – when your “roots” are planted firmly in American soil, you are American, sometimes as American as they come.
Blacks have fought in every major American war, beginning with the War for Independence. Mostly through War, Blacks have sought to prove to White America that they, too, are as American as they come, willing to risk life and limb to defend America.
In the summer of my life, when I questioned Black American patriotism, and weighed in on the side of Black and White revolutionaries, I was doing something distinctly American. None other than Thomas Jefferson himself said: “Every generation needs a new revolution.”