Wednesday, March 30, 2011
The Young Ones Don't Have Friends They Have Associates Revisited: On the Wisdom of Fresh and the Seduction of the Innocent
A clip from Fresh seemed appropriate given the earlier post on the calculating and coordination-game behavior practiced by children born to the ghetto underclasses. In light on Dr. Small's hypothesis, I wanted to quickly revisit the chess and life analogy so deftly used in that film. I wonder is there a bit of nobility in the fact that black folks in this country--and those who have historically suffered (and fought against) power--have to grow up earlier than the children of the privileged? Or in that necessity is there a bit of tragedy where many of our young folks learn "what it means to be a problem" early on, and are thus robbed of the freedom and innocence that ought to come with childhood?
I am at a loss. On one hand the strength of black folks in America is our ability to manage smiles and cries along with a deeply held, tragicomic sense of irony. However, I worry that as a function of our understanding of the ways in which life can be fundamentally unfair, many of us harden our children in order to give them the magical armor necessary to do battle in a world that was not necessarily designed for their success.
Are my worries misplaced or are they both necessary and reasonable?