What Does It Mean to be Black? by Nicholas Porter

If you’re reading this, I would assume that you interested in self-knowledge, the African American community, and potentially changing the world, starting with the black mass.

To begin, black is not a color, but it is the essence from which color derives from. Secondly, black is not something represented by a nation or is something of national pride. Black is something that is universal. At least this is what a black man told me. Marianne Williamson would say that being black is being powerful beyond all human conceivability. Webster might say, in dictionary terms, that being black is the complete absorption of light. America tells that being black means that you are the scum of the earth, savage, barbaric, inferior. Incapable of being human. So really, what does it mean to be Black?

To be black means that from the moment you were born, you are destined for great things. A path has been paved out for you that in it you will pursue happiness and freedom, but you will only truly attain it if and only if: You choose to use every minute of the day trying to achieve it, and if you bring others with you. Being black means that you are placed in adversity from the very moment you first leave the comforting nestle of your home, if you were granted one. Being black means that every single day that you wake up you are faced with challenges that will continue to test your strength, courage, integrity, and dignity, but it is your divine purpose to see it through and elevate above the pain. Being black means to be complete absorption of light. So as black individuals, is it not pre-destined for us to one day shine? Look back 186 years ago. Majority of the slave population, if not all, were black. However, Nat Turner, a prominent leader, specifically saw that light amongst all his peers. He influenced a huge slave revolt. Something I know for a fact many other slaves didn’t believe was possible. 30 years later black people aren’t slaves anymore. Technically.

Today, to be black means to always be the latter. Second place. Inferior. I think it was set up that way to exemplify our power, dominance, and intelligence. Being black means that your life is two-fold. Two-fold being that, you can easily be the person at the bottom and become the person at the top. Vice Versa. For example – Ethiopia, the humans race birth place where black people were Kings and Queens and some say god-like, was also Jamestown, Virginia, where black people were slaves and property. – That sense of duality shows up today too. black hoods, black suburbs, black republicans, democrats etc. Despite the diversity, I feel that being black in America, means that we all share the same struggle of being underdogs in this society. This is important because not everyone sees this. We use our differences amongst our beliefs, lifestyles, and ideas to separate ourselves from each other. When we can only truly be powerful and dominant when we come together.

“Yes WE Can”, Nat turner’s revolt involved MANY slaves, Martin Luther King’s March had MANY participants. All great movements and accomplishments of black people happened with the help of others. With the belief in comradery, philanthropy and altruism all together. Being black means to become one with your community. Being black means you must be ambitious and ready to change anything that you don’t see fit for your community. Being black means you must be a leader, and transcend against all the odds that may be stacked against you. As the 86th President of SGA at Morehouse College, Kamren Rollins, would say, being black means being the light that shows each being in this world how to live. How to overcome the obstacles placed in front of you. How to look at injustice in the face and stand up for what you believe is true within your heart. How to look in the face of another person and be honest. And simply what it means to be black.

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