When comedian-turned-director Jordan Peele wrote his blockbuster hit film Get Out, I wonder if he truly understood how much of an impact it would have on us Generation Y babies. If you haven’t checked out the movie, it’s a must see – especially for young, Black professionals. Get Out is a racially-charged phenom that has challenged the way, we as minorities, view the world while urging us to steer clear of awkwardly impeccable Caucasian families and their thirst-trap daughters. But, I digress…
Get Out is not only a subliminally dense masterpiece that deserves every ounce of credit it draws in; yet, it also gave birth to this movement of “staying woke”. After its timely release, in a song featured in the film itself, Childish Gambino’s funkadelic single “Redbone” started to blaze the airways. The musician’s raspy, melodic voice shrills over a bass-heavy 70’s beat while urging listeners to “stay woke / niggas creepin’ / they gone find you… / ‘gon catch you sleepin…”
To the untrained ear, this mellow lyrical sensation can pass as a smooth groove but, to those of us who are declared as “woke”, it’s a Clarion call to African-Americans everywhere to maintain a steady awareness of professional, political and even social antics set forth by those who don’t necessarily care for your progression or well-being.
In my opinion, Get Out couldn’t have come at a more perfect time! The United States of America is in an absolute frenzy: as our “democracy” struggles to resolve issues within their own House, the country is falling to pieces under pressing racial turmoil. The billionaire we’ve elected as “Commander-in-Chief” is so bothered by pointless online polls and ludicrous accusations of being tapped that he can’t see into the real problems that our nation is facing. He’s turned a blind cheek to the significance of higher education, celebrating diversity and (of course) why Obamacare is the best plan to preserve the health of the American people.
Those of us (Black people that is) that have lived the nightmare of being publicly discriminated for the color of our skin have evolved into a “woke” species. We question and argue the points laid out by media outlets while going against the grain to allow our voices to be heard. This rise of Black resilience has ushered in an era of unwavering advocates, activists and political martyrs who will stop at nothing to ensure that the truth is cast out like a fish net into the sea, gathering all we can in hopes of spreading the knowledge.
Of those who rage against the machine and fight tooth n’ nail for fairness and equality, we’ve also come to discover the #BlackGirlMagic that is Angela Rye. The political commentator and former lawyer is a heavyweight when it comes to crushing blasphemous ideas created by so-called beloved politicians who would rather cloud the judgment of the American people than spit straight facts. In a recent CNN debate with former Congressman Joe Walsh, Rye defended President Barack Obama due to a tweet sent by Walsh himself that stated number 44 was “held to a lower standard” just because of his ethnicity; in addition, he also proclaimed how the media “did not criticize” or “vet” his every move. Rye’s response was nothing short of epic.
After dragging Walsh through the mud and back, she called him a “bigot” and proceeded to read him his rights in a rebuttal that was juicier than a cup of Minute Maid! The Warrior Goddess of Woke reminded Walsh of the endless scrutiny endured by both President Obama and his family which ranged from extensive criticism (and rejection) of his policies, the comparison of First Lady Michelle Obama to apes and let’s not forget about the infamous birth certificate dilemma. Angela’s sheer intellect and her passion to state the facts has placed a crown upon her head as the voice of a generation. Her unbridled tenacity and “I-don’t-give-a-eff” approach surrounds her ability to pounce on any naysayers who “forget” simple history. She’s the idea of “staying woke” personified.
The power of “staying woke” scares our nation. Plain and simple. Once upon a time, Blacks and education were forbidden. Cracking the spine on a fresh book was unheard of for African-Americans and literacy was a deadly situation. But, in a country that celebrates the enrichment of knowledge, we have a responsibility to our ancestors to stay awake. Don’t let the distractions of society cloud your own judgment nor should you let it dictate your day-to-day life. Of course, we all may fall victim to what’s going on in social media or what the latest craze may be in Hollywood, but don’t stray far from the conclusion of how the government still has, a majority of our minds, in a noose.
Stand up and be proactive in your communities, encourage other up-and-coming students to join a cause. Be strict in your convictions and don’t believe everything that is spewed as “facts”. Do your research while remaining succinct in your beliefs. Refrain from feeding your mind toxic waste. Fuel your thoughts with positive affirmations, works of literature and academic reports versus bashing your Facebook friend for continuously posting pictures with her boyfriend. We have bigger fish to fry!
As a young Black female, I know the difference between what is right and what is wrong. Not only have I immersed myself in Grade A schooling, but I also view the world with my own pair of blinders. My studies of political science taught me the way the way the United States should operate and, because of that firm foundation, I can look at the current presidential administration as one that requires more humility, more compassion and more English classes. I mean, why must the blind continue to lead the blind?
Stay woke, ya’ll!