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When does diversity acceptance becomes dangerous?

Bobby R. Henry, Sr.

Bobby R. Henry, Sr.

When does diversity acceptance becomes dangerous?

A song. A Psalm of Asaph.

Keep not silence, O God; hold not Your peace or be still, O God. For, behold, Your enemies are in tumult, and those who hate You have raised their heads. They lay crafty schemes against Your people and consult together against Your hidden and precious ones. They have said, Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be in remembrance no more. Psalm 83:1-4 (AMP)

By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.

      This past weekend we had the pleasure of spending sometime in New York to take in a Broadway show, sight seeing and to dine at some of the fine historic restaurants in the areas. I must admit that every time that I have visited this fabulous city I am just as fascinated as I was the very first time I beheld its glitz and glamour.

To see the astounding architect, the alluring lights and the various ethnic deposits that have transcended this place into a kaleidoscope of humanity, was almost over whelming.

Cultural footprints were left as if giants roomed through the streets while fresh asphalt was being pour to lay the path to commerce, fashion and entertainment.

The sights, sounds and smells left me reeling and rocking as if I were a punching bag being worked over by the Great Muhammad Ali.

Every culture was on display, even if finding yours was a bit obscured however, with some searching, patience and acceptance you could eventually identify your roots.

A number of artistic associations with their diverse hand-prints could easily be seen and attributed to its source, for in-stance; The Motown Review!

This was an exquisite and a prideful display of a Black musical era that was shared by all even if it was done secretly back then. Yet now it was ours all of ours to share and bathe in its splendor. The shame and offensiveness  associated with Black music would develop much later.

I was realizing through this infusion of expressions both seen and other wise expressed, that what we were told long ago about being accepted would either be through our athletic ability or our learned skills of song and dance.

These remarkable talents were on display throughout the “City that never sleeps”, unfortunately for us we fell asleep at the wheel.

Venturing out into Harlem I got hit with a stun gun, not a real taser but an eye opening experience.

We were going to have dinner at a restaurant that had a historical beginning back in 1938 when jazz musicians use to meet there and have a good time.

I knew that we were in for some good old fashion soul food. I must clarify that I am not speaking about Sylvia’s, even though for my money we should have went to Sylvia’s.

Now I must admit that I was only the second person of the group of eight that was not totally taken by the cuisine of this Black owned restaurant in Harlem.

Yes, I’m putting emphasis on a BLACK owned restaurant in HARLEM, because there was NO chicken on the menu, that’s right NO CHICKEN!

No fricassees, no cardoon blue, no baked, broiled or stewed let alone fried to which my palate longed for when I was first told that we would be going to Harlem for dinner.

I was now wondering if former president William Jefferson Clinton’s move to Harlem didn’t reinforce the slogan, “There goes the neighborhood.”

Don’t get me wrong, I am accustomed to eating all sorts of foods from a plethora of ethnicities; from camel to squid from Africa to Hawaii and you can bet wherever I am I desire to eat their food.

My experience this time in New York left me wondering, “Why are we losing ourselves in discovering diversity?”

For the remainder of our visit our conversations would always take into account questions that address or elude to the issues that surrounds the loss of identity from our people both young and old.

WHY do we as Black people become so entrenched into losing our characteristics just to gain the company of the others?

“Dear God if I must change, let me change for you.”—Bobby R. Henry, Sr.

     When God changes you, you are forever changed.



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