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  • Writer's pictureStefan Antonio McClinnahan

Will We Ever Make It




For the past 22 years I have mentally clocked in to work for a retail organization that creates memories by selling technology that becomes addictive. As the years have passed the addiction for this technology faded, changed, or increased based on the generation. I watched people put everything they had into impressing the neighbors next door, the friends down the street or even the salesperson they purchased the products from.

 

These want’s, to belong to a specific group or community played out more in the black community. As a child we wanted what our parents wanted, we had nothing growing up, so we had this urge to show the hood that we made it. This mindset stayed with our culture and as the culture evolved, so did the attachments. The major shift was during the arrival of hip hop. This was the shift we needed to show the world that we could have our own and be successful but there’s always a catch.

 

Having our own meant we had to continue to prove ourselves and that meant we had to repeatedly be assessed by the people who didn’t want us to flourish and the people who wanted to flourish in the same environment. This created a culture war inside the black community. This war transitioned into a civil war that continues to plague our demographic in some of the most popular cities.

 

This civil war is currently playing out in the music industry. The only genre that publicly displays hatred towards one another is the Hip Hop and R&B genres, which are dominated by black artists. The most recent turn of events come from the altercation between Drake and Kendrick Lamar, two of our most prized assets in the hip hop community. The fact that so many blacks were quick to take sides and negatively tarnish brands, was astonishing.

 

The industry applauds this because it produces revenue but the long term effects has been a group that continues to stay behind and barely produce growth that pushes our race forward.

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