Thursday, December 6, 2007


I had the fortunate or unfortunate experience (according to whom you speak with) to have joined a fraternity. In my youth and early college days it was something I resided at first, but in all things college I experimented. I had MEN OF HIGH DISTINCTION drop by my room for conversations, FRIENDS OF THE BROTHERHOOD pay for my lunches, MEN OF LEGACY come to my sporting events (I was a varsity member of my school's Track team) all in the good interest in getting to know me. In essence they wore me down. I eventually joined this whole new world which opened up to me. Some of it was good and I won't beat down the Greek System and claim that is was all bad, it has its place in the world and I gladly participated in it adding both its individual and group diversity.

The concept of the Group Dynamics was what I enjoyed the most. As an artist, part of me fought the whole inclusion thing, the whole " we are one" philosophy and yet living with my Brothers, I learned through osmosis, taking from each a sense of camaraderie that no one or one event can take away.

The "glue" that kept us together was our PLEDGE. The heart and soul of our organization. The PLEDGE locked in our commitment to the group, to the Brotherhood, to the organization, the Nation and GOD. It was serious shit no doubt. Outside of the secret handshakes and the secret passwords, the PLEDGE was something that as an individual, even if you were on the other side of the world, kept your focus on the WHY you joined in the first place. With the PLEDGE you were honored with all the benefits that came with the group and with that membership came privilege. I was an "us" in a world of "them".

If you have ever joined an organization, you know that a PLEDGE is very important. Even our Nation, The United States of America, has a pledge. It means that when you stand, say the words, believe the words, you or committed to the very essence of the PLEDGE. The problem with that sometimes is that if you join more than one group with an active pledge that is in conflict with the other .... what do you do? What do you become? How do you decide?

2001, I sat down in front of my computer and decided I was going to type out my New Years resolution. I wanted something that would be easy to do and non-superficial like promise to loose weight or not curse. It had to be something with meaning. So I decided to look back at my Greek days and see what was it that was in those words that I recited before dinner, meetings, and major decisions that effected the Brotherhood and made me join, made me stay and made me begin the path that I currently walk, and see how I could apply that philosophy to a deeper core for who I am. I decided to write my PLEDGE.

I took the time to look through some old files and folders, as "us" writers do, but don't do enough, to see the forgotten works and possibly update something unfinished when I came across my PLEDGE of 2001. I sat back in my chair and I said to myself, "DAMN" if only I knew what I know now six years later. For the most part, I had stuck to and committed myself to my resolution of 2001, the thing is, now do I get others to do the same?

I decided to add this PLEDGE to my Blog. Depending who reads this, it might sound a bit separatist, maybe (and I love this word) racist, but its neither. Its about self-determination and self-esteem building. For years my family have taught me that when improving self within a group, the group will see it as selfish and socially unacceptable. Words such as "Black Sheep", "Upstart", "Anarchist" come to mind. My parents also told me that LEADERS are often these things in the beginning and not a part of the group but those members that think outside of the box and take the intuitive for change and survive the demagoguery often rise above the chaos to do great things. My PLEDGE is pro-individual fostered by "change". In saying: I make the pledge everyday and in doing so, I foster my positive growth daily.


The legacy of our ancestors has survived wars, and diseases, persecution and slavery, environmental upheavals, genocide and civil unrest and second citizenship. Our legacy has touched the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in numbers uncalculated or reasoned and it will witness the birth of stars yet to be seen in the evening sky. Our Legacy has held our bleeding enemies within arms and placed hope in the futures of a Nation's children without pause or apology. Within our humanity are the seeds that our first Millennium of ancestors was founded. Today, the soil by which we stand is saturated with their ashes.

What we do with tomorrow gives us that same responsibility for the generations to come. Our ancestors have bestowed upon us the responsibility that we do the right thing; even when the days, months and years go wrong. It’s not a responsibility for Sunday sermons and Holidays, a colonial law or a dictated Right; it’s the one true responsibility for cultural and ethical survival. Survival of the fittest isn't a thing of philosophy, but a pure representation of a reality that I, as a human being, have to live by, to conform, and to shed a tear when it becomes a reality for passing someone by to reach tomorrow. We see our people, whom have lost their way or were enticed to stray from the path of continued evolution, and although others may carry the touch, the subtle breezes of ease and waste hold a greater calling for our people. More so now than ever before, this is the reality that rings true.

Today, I accept the pledge to grab hold of my individual responsibilities. Not as a Man or Woman, but as a Black Man or Black Woman. It is in the BLACK that I see my position in the World just as others see the ASIAN and the EUROPEAN in themselves in the world. What BLACK is for AMERICA is the global evolutionary road where World Cultures meet at its crossroads. As children of God we know there is a purpose for this design and we will live to allow this design to exist. Knowing that our existence came with a price, a purpose, and a reason, it will be my duty to make my ancestors proud that I have survived. Even for the ones that did not survive and or wanted to be brought to the Americas I will fulfill the promise of life by keeping the me in myself healthy, spiritual and knowledgeable..

Biological diversity or issues of race are no longer relevant. The focus is the respect in myself that I show today and the support I give to my fellow man, woman, and child to reach their tomorrow. So excuse me if I do not sing and dance anymore, I have too much work to do before the harvest.

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