Act Black, Don’t Act White
For many African Americans, one of the most damning things that can be said about them is that they are “acting white”. Embedded in that slur are elements of being a race traitor, of going over to the other side, and of abandoning the black way for the white way. On the surface, there isn’t much to criticize about this attitude. Most groups censor those who seek to abandon the group. An example that comes to mind is the reaction by the deaf community to its members who get ocular implants so that they can hear. There is, however, a serious problem with the criticism of blacks “acting white”. Blacks are accused of acting white when they excel, get good grades and use Standard English. The unspoken assumption in the criticism is that “acting black” is doing poorly, getting bad grades, and speaking Ebonics. The minds of those criticizing “acting white” have been brainwashed to believe that white is good and black is bad, white is smart and black is dumb, and that white succeeds while black fails. This is a lie straight from the pit of Hell hatched by the father of lies, Satan, himself.
The lie really stands out because the facts state that if there is any real inequality between the races white is not better than black. When blacks do not believe the lie that they are inferior to whites they outperform whites in most endeavors. This is not a new phenomenon. The legendary black educator of the twentieth century Mary McLeod Bethune observed, “Whatever the white man has done, we have done, and often better.” However, this is news for most people black and white. The amazing record of black accomplishment through the millennia has been systematically removed from popular history and culture. The perception that has been created that blacks are somehow less than others has been fabricated and disseminated to advantage whites and justify the systemic exploitation of Africa and the subjugation of its peoples.
There is an African proverb, “Until the lions have their own historians, tales of hunting will always glorify the hunter.” In a real way the men women and natural resources have been hunted by those who framed our history. If the sons and daughters of African go back and discover the truth about who they are, what God has done in and through them, and how he has gifted the black race we will no longer believe that “acting white” is synonymous with achievement and excellence. We will begin to celebrate who we are and whose we are. We will turn from the hearsay of self-hatred that believes that God loves others more than he loves us and that he has gifted others more than he has gifted us. If we know the truth, it will set us free. It will set us free to be all that God intended for us to be all the while “acting black”.