The Black Experience: Are We Truly Happy People?

This Black History Month, Dream and Hustle is going to take time to discuss us as a people. And the first discussion we should cover is a simple question about us brothas and sistas. Are we really happy people? A lot of Black people will say they happy, try to make up anecdotal stuff and point to things to make me and you believe they are happy but when we look in their eyes, they ain’t happy. We need to talk about this. As an African-American, I’m not going to lie anymore to make Black people feel good anymore. I rarely seen truly happy Black people in America. I met a lot of Black people who talk a lot about they are happy, laugh and sing like they are happy but you can look and tell they are not happy. I meet a lot of Black women who are skeptical, cannot smile and to be honest, appear hurt and suspicious of Black men. I run into a lot of brothas that try to look mean and act mean and tough and when you ready to deal with dude, you come to find out that brotha was hurt by things in his life or been done wronged. Then you turn on Black media on the radio or television and even our own independent movie productions, we still portray ourselves as not happy and focus too much on drama and crap that Michael Baisden and Tyler Perry puts out there - none of that stuff is happy. Scandal - does that sound happy to you, really?! So unhappiness is programmed through the media in our lives day in and day out, especially on Black radio. The truth of our Black experience is that we are hurt people and at best, we celebrate the coping mechanism, not true happiness in Black America. We spend too much time overcompensating through drinking and showing off at the clubs, buying expensive accessories and homes and cars and do things like take trips and post up on Facebook this façade of happiness but we are just overcompensating because we know the truth – we are not happy inside and there is something missing. So how do we become truly happy people? I think if Black people pursue true happiness, it would solve 99% of our problems we are facing today. Being truly happy would solve our crime problem because we would have respect for each other stuff and our lives. Being happy should solve our relationship problem because we should know love ain’t got nothing to do with it, what people want in a relationship is to be happy. It would solve our economic problem because we would focus on selling goods and services that truly make Black people happy. What Black people in American need to accomplish in our generation is to learn how to pursue our happiness as part of being free. We are not free until we are happy and the day we become happy is the day we become free people. We got to learn to be happy right here and right now and enjoy the day God gave us, right here and right now. So let's discuss how brothas and sistas can learn to be in the pursuit of happiness. Giving Happiness to Others Helping others, having love for others and expressing that love towards others is what makes you happy. Nothing will make you cry and feel joy faster than helping others truly in need and they appreciate it. Having respect for others by being nice, polite, open and outgoing validates that person and you are empowered by seeing that you give them something from yourself to improve their lives. Finding Happiness in Ourselves There are Black people who like to say “love yourself first” or “you got to take care of you first” but the only a mental basket case with schizophrenia and narcissist behavior can do that. The only way you can find happiness in yourself is through your interactions with the real world. Learn to travel and take trips and see the world that God made, it’s really a big and beautiful world out there with beautiful people – go interact with them. Being Happy Comes from Experience The reason why the majority of us brothas and sistas are not truly happy is because we do not go out and experience things. We stay stuck in the name neighborhood, around the same people or “cliques” or whatever and be about the same damn thing over and over. When we date, when we pursue something, what we Black people do is try to play it safe or stay in our comfort zone – that does not make us happy in the long term. Black people have to start making big bold moves and rely on our abilities and faith. We got to start trying things and going places and experience it. We need to step out of our zone and experience meeting other people, showing respect for others, helping others, going places and experiencing things. Until we do that, we will keep walking around and pretend that we happy when our eyes say we are not happy. The only way Black people are going to be truly happy is when we start living the Black experience. Let’s start being respectful towards each other, stop BSing each other and start helping each other. Let’s go out and take trips to Africa, Asia and Latin America and get off the beaten path. And most important, let us as Black men and Black women learn to start hanging out like grown folks and stop making up dating rules and other bullsh*t that keeps us from being truly happy with each other. Our happiness is based on our experiences, let’s go make some wonderful experiences in our lives that we will never forget.

4 thoughts on “The Black Experience: Are We Truly Happy People?

  1. Ed, looking back on 50 years now, in my occasionally humble opinion true and sustainable happiness is rooted in one’s own individual life having meaning.

    Meaning, in its turn, comes from having some thing or things on which to work toward the aim of increasing mastery. If every single day you wake up knowing that you have a pile of work which you enjoy and which you strive to improve your skills and your mastery, then you have meaning and that meaning can be shared with others who are themselves in search of meaning.

    To me, THAT is the indispensable objective missing from most of our lives.

    The minute you recalibrate your whole idea of status on the basis of “mastery” and cultures of competence, is the minute you cease predicating your feelings and beliefs about self-worth based on what you consume, what others consume and the whole tired peacock/peahen spectacle with which meaningless folk are preoccupied.

    The question of respect becomes moot in a culture of competence, because one naturally respects the mastery exhibited by others engaged in shared disciplines, and, ideally, works with those others to increase the commonwealth within the culture.

    To me, this is the essence of working together.

  2. I like this. As an older brother, I believe that Blacks were conditioned during slavery to hate themselves. It was called seasoning, where they took enslaved Africans and broke their spirit through brutal punishment and it was sustained through inhumane treatment. Being powerless adds to our unhappiness, too. Do you notice how violent we are towards each other. We can’t disagree without threats of violence or being violent towards one another. I hope you reach you goal. Though I have severe medical challenges, I will support you.

    Hotep (Peace)

  3. CNu I would slightly reword that last paragraph:

    The question of respect becomes moot in a culture of competence, because one naturally respects the the attempts to achieve mastery exhibited by others engaged in shared disciplines, and, ideally, works with those others to increase the commonwealth within the culture.

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