Dr. Kwame Nantambu
December 03, 2008
Now that a Black man has been duly elected as the 44th President of the United States of America, it is a sine qua non that all Americans should be a bit more cautious and sensitive when apply the label Black to situations, instances and events that occur in every day life.
Put another way, now is the appropriate time for all Americans to cast aside the notion that any and every time something either goes wrong or array or is deemed negative and/or illegal, then, the label Black should be applied.
In the era of an African-American President of the United States, now is the time for all Americans, including those in the print and radio/television media, to delete from their jargon, lexicon, and repertoire, the following: “Black Monday” which is “ranked with the blackest days of the Great Crash of 1929”; “Black hole” to describe the structural calamity in the Defense Department’s procurement contract procedures and Charles Keating’s Lincoln Savings & Loan Association crisis in 1989; “Black Friday” to reflect “the biggest sales generator of the (holiday) season”; “Black mess”; “Black Box”, etc.
The fact of the matter is that neither the majority profitable retailers nor customers/shoppers are Black on “Black Friday.” In addition, the so-called “Black Box” in the case of an unfortunate airline tragedy/mishap is originally yellow and orange in color. It is never Black in color, even when severely damaged.
It should also be explained that the official, technical name for this airline monitoring instrument/device is the “flight data recorder.” Why, then, is it suddenly called/labeled the “Black Box” when something goes wrong?.
Indeed, every art student knows that Black is the most positive and powerful of all colors simply because all other colors are derived from the color Black. The color Black represents originality; it should not be used and abused to represent negativity. Furthermore, no day of the week is Black, White, Green or Blue; each day should be a pleasant, positive and peaceful day for every one regardless of race, color, class, creed, religion or sexual orientation.
If America is about “Change”, then, this “Change” has to start with the total eradication of all the negative connotations associated with the skin color of one of America’s minority populations.
On 4 November 2008, Americans did a potent, positive thing by electing an African-American as its President. This, therefore, should be the signal for all to move toward the right direction of positiveness and respect rather than to fall back into the abyss of negativity and disrespect.
As President-elect Barack Obama proclaimed in his victory election night speech: ” A new dawn of American leadership is at hand ( and that) out of many, we are one.”
“Yes, we can.”
Dr. Kwame Nantambu is Professor Emeritus, Department of Pan-African Studies, Kent State University.