June 27, 2020
I have been watching several fishing posts on YouTube about monster bass and catfish noodling. When I wake up, I usually pick up my phone and spend a few minutes seeing what has popped up on my recommends before I get up. I realize this is a frivolous waste of time, but it does get me awake in the morning. After all, the old saying is, “Man does not live by gardening alone.”
You can imagine my surprise when out of nowhere I got a recommend for “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man,” hosted by Emmanuel Acho. Acho is a former linebacker in the NFL and now works as an analyst for Fox Sports 1. His weekly posting features white celebrities and Acho having a conversation. As the site states, “Emmanuel Acho sits down to have an “uncomfortable conversation” with white America, in order to educate and inform on racism, system racism, social injustice, rioting & the hurt African Americans are feeling today.”
There have been three of these weekly posts to date. The first was a monologue by Acho but the intent was always to have a dialogue between Acho and a white guest. Acho began the second episode addressing terminology and said it is best to say Black. Not all people consider themself African and many others feel they have had their African heritage stripped away by slavery. “Black is the most accurate but also the least offensive.” I have not even followed my fishing video sites, but I subscribed to these future posts.
THOUGHTS: I have seen this terminology shift several times between African American and Black during my lifetime. This is not unusual for any of us as we struggle to find our identity. Our world is constantly changing, but the one thing that seems to remain the same is the powerful imagery created by words. What we say and how we say it does matter. We can use words to tear each other down or to lift each other up. I hope you choose the latter. If you can, work to keep the conversation going.