Originally published in March of 2019

Before I was African, I was Black. Before I was black I was man. I lived to give my family, my people what was needed to survive. I fought for family and died for family. I woke early to hunt, to feed my people. I loved and made love to bring new life to multiply my people. I was just Man….

I am black, my tribe is many, I live to honor the dead, to honor the living and those yet to breathe. I live a hard life because life has always been that…hard. I am a warrior, a father, a king, a servant to my people. I am African…

No servitude am I sold into, this is cruel, harsh and inhumane. There is no dignity, no hope or reason for the atrocities. I am shackled and marched to ships on bloody feet, to sail waters to the unknown. I hear chants of mourning; I smell despair, hate, confusion, starvation and death. They call me Negro. I am the Slave…

They raped my wife, they raped my daughters, and they stole my identity. I picked cotton and planted tobacco. I was beaten when I tried to please them, I was beaten viciously for being proud, I fought them and they hung me from trees. I fought them and was whipped until the skin was flayed off of my back. I was castrated, mutilated and shot to death. I am the slave. They call me Nigger…

I learned to read by candle light, using the Bible. I prayed to the Lord of Lords for justice and peace. I changed my fighting style using the system and God’s law. I marched peacefully and they sprayed me with water hoses, and sicced dogs on me. I won the Brown vs. Board and was spit upon and still received inferior learning. I rioted in Chicago, New Orleans and Arkansas. I am Black and Proud! I raised clenched fist to symbolize: unity, strength, pride and the struggle for Black Power. I am Mad, and I am the New Negro. I am African American…

I am Crip, Blood, Latin King, Vice Lord and Gangster Disciple. I am a pimp and playa. I am a nigga with attitude. I am hood, violent, scared and hungry. I am confused, trapped and haunted. I remain high and drunk. I am passionate and driven to have better. I am still shackled yet I do not understand these chains. I am the athlete that was gunned down, the singer that smoked crack, the doctor that died of aids. I am pain manifested; I am a menace to a society that created me. I am funneled into prisons. I am misunderstood and neglected. I am that Nigga…

After the slave ships I attempted to hold on to my identity, I rebelled against slavery and fought in the wars. I was resilient and the desire to live abundant life flowed through me. I survived the Jim Crow era, etching out the foundation for this very platform. I am the legacy of an assassin’s bullet. I am the Dream awoke! I am confusion turned into clarity, the remorse atoning for my own wrong actions. I am the whisper of change morphed into wailing. I am Man, the African, the Slave, The Nigger, the African American. I am that Nigga. I am all these things…I am Black with no apologies, I am privileged and rich, not because of what I have but who I am. I know who I am. I am Black, I am History, and I am the future. I am the beginning of what is next in the evolution of the Black Man…. I am R.E.A.D.Y