Black Unlike Me

Black Unlike Me


Something registered and then stuck in my spirit when I recently read Bernard Malamud's short story "Black Is My Favorite Color." (from "Idiots First", Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Inc, 1963; then in "The Treasury of American Short Stories", Nancy Sullivan Editor, Barnes and Noble 1981)

Check this out- we gonna have some English class up in here today:

 "If they knew what was in my heart towards them, but how can you tell that to anybody nowadays? I've tried more than once but the language of the heart is either a dead language or else nobody understands it the way you speak it. Very Few. What I'm saying is, personally for me there's only one human color and that's the color of blood. I like a black person if not because he's black then because I'm white. It comes to the same thing. If I wasn't white my first choice would be black. I'm satisfied to be white because I have no other choice. Anyway, I got an eye for color. I appreciate. Who wants everybody to be the same?"

Then I have also been listening to "Black and White Sports Talk" on Sundays Nights, WICC Bridgeport Connecticut, hearing the love-everybody-voice of Bobby Ramos.

Then a couple days back my neighbor she sort of thanks me yet and again, that I simply used her name.

When you don't have much material things in life, much to put in the collection so to speak, black folk still have time to talk. Still invite you to church.

If you're way tall or short, or fat or skinny, or some combination thereof, that ain't no thing.

When folks expect some sort of slavery beyond good service, black folk not going back.

When the scuttlebutt flies, black folk just as likely to turn a deaf ear as spread it around.

When Mr. Military Complex says "go into harms way", black folks know who's who, and what's what.

War on Drugs, not often where they're grown, or moved, but then and again right in the black community.

Long ago we fought the war that defined our country, and racial equality for the whole world, and which gave us a second birth. And we camp in front the the TV watching mostly black men play football. Yet and still, how many of us got any practice talking face to face? 

Loving black folks adds up to something like this: "a bruised reed he shall not break; a flickering flame he will not quench. He will bring forth judgment upon truth." (Isaiah 42,3)

Yes my black brothers and sisters teach me to keep on keeping on, just because we can.

So the next time you say "Black" (or even "Mexican") say it with a smile, in Jesus Name. Amen.   



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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.