I watched Back To The Future last night.
A very large part of me forgot how much I love the movie. Perhaps it’s because the last time I watched it popped collars were still cool..
There we’re so many interesting in/about film that I missed when I was younger.. like how much effort went into maintaining a level of detail that provided for a richer level of continuity – such as the news report about Libyan Nationals and the over passionate old lady and her flyer.
But two things above all struck me:
1) Marty McFly might very well be looked over as the coolest white guy within the last 50 years of film.
I mean he invents slang (note his frequent use of the word ‘heavy’), rocks dope Nikes that to this day have yet to drop and influences Chuck Berry’s sound.
I mean yo for God’s sakes his last name is McFly. Like if my momma named me McFly ain’t nobody on this earth would ever be able to tell me nothing.
“Sike… I ain’t doing the dishes ma.. McFly don’t play dat.”
2) I never really thought about this before but like growing up, it would have been next to impossible to hang out with white friends if they all drove like DeLorean time machines.
Cuz yo they’d be like “Eh yo, WULU a bunch of us are going to 1776 to peep the fireworks after the Declaration of Independence was signed. You trying roll?”
Then I’d be like “Ya for surrr…. oooooh… wait.. 1776.. shit.. uuhhhh.. slavery.. yo I can’t yo.”
Then they’d be like “Yikes.. Oh ya… I’m sorry man.. I forgot.. Well we might hit up some 1920 speakeasies after. You want us to swoop by and..”
“Na yo Jim Crow.”
“Oh well we..”
“You know what.. honestly anytime before 1984 really just isn’t a good time for me.”
American History >
Like I’m laughing on the outside as I write this but on the inside..
Photo Credit: Leon Levinstein
Today marks the first day of Black History Month – also known as the one month back in high school that I really knew I was black..
And so did my teachers..
And so did my classmates..
‘What’s the name of the black man who invented peanuts again…?’ Ooohh Ooohh the colored boy.. in the corner.. with the hat.. look on his paper.. I’m sure he knows..’
For giggles and subsequent shits I thought I’d go ahead and offer some suggested reading for those who desire to increase their knowledge of Black History beyond being able to readily distinguish between pictures of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz is the one with the glasses.. obvi).
Below are a couple of my favorite books (that I’ve actually read I might add) in no particular order pertaining to matters of Blackness.. whatever that means.
And please please please don’t get it twisted.. Black History = American History.
For the record, when push comes to shove I’m very very much on Team Morgan Freeman regarding the necessity of Black History Month’s very existence. But racism still exists because I see it. Everyday. And the only way to defeat stupid is with smarts.
So read up boys and girls.
Let the recommendations begin..
The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told To Alex Haley by Malcolm X & Alex Haley
What I found most remarkable about Malcolm X’s story was environment of hate that surrounded him and his reaction to it. Like I remember the first time I read his biography, there was this part whereby a young Malcolm was scoffed at by his teacher when he told him he wanted to be a lawyer.
Law School wasn’t “a realistic goal for a nigger” the teacher said.
Mothafucka say whaaa?
Like the white teacher man said that yo.. like to lil homie’s face. Like I can’t even imagine the psychological devastation. Yet at the same time he encouraged Malcolm’s classmates (whom the little Little had far higher marks then I might add) to pursue careers in medicine, politics and basically any and every career status/upward mobility provides.
The insanity of it all.
Rather than fuel Black Genius the clear aim back in that day was to extinguish it. But that’s the thing about genius. You can’t get rid of it. It always finds a way to make itself apparent. So it could be argued that denied the opportunity to excel in other fields, he naturally gravitated to the only arenas his blackness would permit. First through becoming a criminal and then by becoming the face of The Nation of Islam.
Now I’m not supporting his actions, or the rhetoric or even some of his more radical views that he espoused back at the pinnacle of his notoriety. I’ve grown and I think that tolerance and love always win. In fact, after his pilgrimage to Mecca, I think even he a started to feel this way too. This book is important because at it’s heart it is a story about a man, his transformation and him trying to make sense of it all.
And yo isn’t that what we’re all trying to do?
Nigger by Dick Gregory
My favorite book ever. Also the funniest I’ve ever read. Similar to Malcolm X’s biography it tells the tale of Dick Gregory who too grew from Jim Crow poverty into being an internationally renowned figure. But Gregory’s reaction to hate was much different. Rather than combat hate with hate, he fought hate with wit and humor. His observations on life and his ability to adapt made him the comic that he was but his desire to constantly want better carried him through all the adversity that was thrown at him.
Two alternate history books offer super much more eye-opening (and accurate) portrayals of black life in America. Both are beyond incredible. Loewen’s book takes a far more sociological approach to tackling the matter and explaining why history is taught the way it in while Zinn’s is much less abrasive. Still both woke me up/shook the shit out of me. As they will you..
Slavery By Another Name by Douglas A. Blackmon
Please please please look it up.
This book tripped me out like you won’t believe. I think it just highlighted the complete and utter failure of Reconstruction not to mention America’s nasty addiction on cheap labor.
Yo like straight up it almost reminds me of many of American’s current economic situations.. Being accused of something.. Being held against something.. being forced to pay back for something you’re not even sure that you did.
*Hint Hint/Wink Wink*
Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama
In ten years this book will be required reading for every kid in America if it isn’t already. Like I’m not going to lie I teared up a little when I read this. The American Dream at its essence.
Author’s Note: Again I can’t reiterate enough that these recommendations aren’t even the end all be all to knowledge. I am not an expert nor do I claim to be. Rather my aim is to steer those who seek greater knowledge in the right direction. So what little I know I share.
Just a little something something to get the tip wet before sticking it in.
So my blog has been pretty much dead for the last year plus.
What have I been up to you might ask?
To be honest I’m not quite sure.. I mean working a lot. Like so many different jobs it was difficult to keep track at one point.
Making money. Whatever that means.
I don’t know.
Sometimes, even at my steady age of 25 I feel just a bit burnt out..
Which leaves me with two options: 1) I quit or 2) Keep going.
So I choose 2.
I’m starting my blog again because I’m just gravely disappointed with the content floating around on the internets. Too I’m really going to make an effort to steadily improve the Dollars Make Sense. content wise and what have you.
Please be advised that I’m going to be making all this stuff up as I go..
But then again aren’t we all?
yo so i haven’t posted anything in forever and a day. im not dead i swear.
i just got a bit burnt out.
Dollars Make Sense returns 2014.
much bigger, brighter and blacker..
well maybe not blacker cuz i like how text looks on a white background.
but i want to be able to write on a consistent bases and offer more than tumblr-esque reblogs of half naked models (read: strippers), food porn, and actual porn.
so i’m resting for a bit. then im coming back i swear.
anyways patience children.
My lil bro’s swag > yo swag.