I was over at The Black Snob, and saw this post, and thought it was interesting.

When the teabaggers and their Black defenders yell about ‘ taking the country back’, one wonders about ‘ what country?’

‘ What time are you talking about?’

Snob breaks it down and challenges in this one.

Question of the Day: Where Would You Be?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 10:00AM

In light of Civil Rights Leader Dorothy Height’s passing, I’m reminded of a conversation I had with a friend of mine yesterday about what we would be doing if we had been born at the turn of the century, in the early 1900s, rather than now.

Sometimes we take for granted how much things have changed for us as compared to our parents and grandparents generations, who had to sacrifice so much and in some cases never saw their dreams come true or were compromised because of racism and sexism. My parents are in their 60s and on many occasions my mother would tell me how she wished she had my laid-back childhood in some respects rather than her hardscrabble own, which involved helping raise her many younger siblings, picking cotton and growing up very poor in the segregated South. And once, when I was very young, I asked my Grandmother, who was born in the 1920s which she preferred, the years of her youth or the life she now had in her then 50s and she, emphatically, said she preferred now. “At least there was air conditioning!” among other things, she said.

It’s hard to tell what I would be doing if I’d been born in 1917 instead of 1977. I’d like to believe that because of the history on both sides of my family of black people who were ambitious even in the face of racism, would still hold true for me. But the other reality is, both sides of my family were poor. Very poor, back then. While some relatives on my father’s mother’s side were slightly better off than others at that time, for the most part, my family was typical of many black families at the turn of the century with children born after the end of slavery — we were in survival mode. I’d like to think that I would have clawed my way out of Arkansas or Texas and made it to some industrious city in the North to be a writer, but nothing is guaranteed. There’s an equally good chance I would have just gotten married at 16 and started a family like my grandmother. There’s just no way of knowing what you’d do.

Maybe I’d be an Ida B. Wells, but then maybe I’d just be one of the faceless many just trying to make it day-to-day. I’d like to think I would have pushed for a better life. Many people in my family, including my grandmother’s siblings and others, left Arkansas and pursued their dreams by whatever means they could find. In some cases that meant moving to New York to be a seamstress or maid or moving away to join the military. My own mother, apropos of nothing, decided to forgo starting a family early and pushed her way through college, out of the fields and into a better life. Because I know the spirit of these individuals live in me, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t have stayed put either. Some things are just bigger than you, like the drive to find something more in life than the fields. Maybe I would have picked cotton for a while, but I don’t know how long that would have lasted. It didn’t really last for a lot of folks in my family.

Honestly, where do you think you would be?

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