By Lucius Gantt
When some people want to disparage me, they don’t say I’m incompetent, untruthful, inexperienced, or uncaring. The only thing they can say is, “Lucius is old”.
Well, I am old. God has blessed me with life longevity. When you have children that are old enough to become a member of AARP, you do have some years under your belt.
I live clean. I exercise. I try to maintain a healthy diet. I avoid drama and stress, and, unlike many Black men, I schedule regular doctor appointments.
Longevity is a good thing in your life, in a career, in a relationship, and in your faith.
I don’t care what people say about me because only God can judge me.
My concern today is the ignorance younger people have about Black and African culture regarding the love and respect for elders.
Mature Black people all over the world have walked the paths of life that young people wish and hope they can navigate.
Black elders are custodians of Black culture, truth, values, morals, manners, morality, and more.
When a younger person demeans an older Black man or woman, they are only verbalizing the messages that Willie Lynch allegedly suggested to slave owners.
If you divide and separate Black people, you will be able to handle and control them far better, Lynch reportedly said. Turn the young against the old, turn the light-skinned against the dark-skinned, or turn the house negroes against the field negroes, and so on.
Whether young or old, all of us have a role in Black progress and Black survival.
When trouble finds younger Blacks, the first people they call for help are mama, daddy, or grandmama. They call “old” organizations like the NAACP or SCLC. They pretend to protest and march the way community activists did but they don’t want to risk their lives the way that older protestors did.
Young Blacks look for ways to diminish Black elders professionally by calling Black elders old. They do this because they have less education, less experience, less versatility, and less perseverance than Black elders that faced extremely hard circumstances.
Elder haters have never had to sit in the back of the bus, never had to drink from the colored-only water fountains, or never felt the sting of a whip, a noose around their neck, the attack of a police dog, or incarceration after an illegal arrest.
In the business world, being the youngest means little or nothing. Employers want to know, “Who can deliver?”
The elders are the wisest! The elders that I know have done many things that the elder haters could never do.
Stop hating the older players that have been on the front lines of the Black battlefields. Hate the Willie Lynch-type game.
Love your Black and African elders and treat them with respect!