Free to Be, You and Me
by Vince Vanguard Vainglorious
Hmmm, I wonder what they’ll be begging for this time, I think. They’ve lost all their power, but they haven’t lost the arrogance.
“Sir the President of the United States is here to see you,” the receptionist announces.
“Does he have the Cuban cigars I asked him to bring this time.”
“No, I don’t think so,” she replies with a wry giggle.
“OK, let him wait a while then.”
One day when I was in school as we said the Pledge of Allegiance, I wasn’t so much stuck on the words that make up the pledge, but the word allegiance itself. Allegiance ~ Loyalty or the obligation of loyalty, as to a nation. It was obvious to me at a young age that it didn’t include “…liberty and justice for all.” that was well - elementary. With all the flag represented the question for me though was did I ally myself with what the flag stood for??? The answer was obvious to me - No.
So then the question became, “Well what do I stand for.” For all of my life the only option ever presented to me was the American Dream a la Martin the King, but for some reason I only dreamed of having my own thing. Would my forefathers who suffered the whips' sting, want me to believe in any other thing. Damn, I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it.
“…We refer to this sound as a Tarzan yell. This class concludes our discussion of African history….” I saw a picture of little African kids going to school in a Life Magazine once. They had on navy blue short pants, crisp white shirts and blue and orange rep ties - I could imagine their British accents. I had on an Izod shirt and some Calvin Klein jeans myself, but I always remembered when the man wearing the Dashiki brought the drum to class. I was so excited that the teacher had to tell me to stop acting a fool and quit dancing. I felt something that at the time, I didn’t really understand. Something shall we say - beyond the music.
As much as everybody tried to literally and figuratively beat the Black out of me, I always felt the call of that drum, even though there was no place for that drum in my world of advanced placement, debutante balls and junior usher boards. So I made the grades, did what I was told, stayed in school and didn’t act a fool. I marched down the aisle and that Summer I partied a while. Then I went to “the House“.
Here I would make my mark amongst the most progressive young minds our race had to offer. “Dear old Morehouse…Dear old Morehouse…”… “Can you tell me how to get to the revolutionary meeting Brother. ”… “Naw man, but I can show you how to get to the placement office.”… “I am sad to announce that Jesse Jackson will not be speaking tonight because we could not pay his fee….On a brighter note there will be a CIA job fair after chapel services, so please tuck in your Africa medallions… and don’t forget the Greeks are stepping tonight.” The Greeks are coming!!!! The Greeks are coming!!!! Maybe I read the wrong brochure.
I put away my memoirs so I could get back to work. “Allright Boomqueshia, send that fool in,“ I pronounce into the royal intercom.
“Thanks for meeting with me Majesty, I see you Niggas are doing OK for yourselves.”
“No shit," I say, "leaving you Crackers was the best move we ever made.”
“So I guess y’all wouldn’t consider coming back huh???”
“Not even if you paid us,“ I say.
We both let out a big laugh. After we finish the bucket of KFC he brought me, he wipes his thin lips and asks “Be honest boy, did you ever really dream you Niggers could set up your own governments that address your unique concerns, develop your own economies, break away from the illusions of Christianity and create your own nations where Black people unashamedly embrace their own cultures ” He said. “Always, I said, Always.”