The mind is a terrible, terrible, terrible…thing…to…waste. I was on a bus the other day and a young African American gentleman boarded the vehicle decked out in a “European cut” skinny suit, armed with an iPad, Bluetooth and a false sense of accomplishment.
“Aubrey Bruce” he said to me as if we were about to discuss our 44th class reunion, “how are you?” I’m great brother and you?” He replied in his best “I am the sh-t voice; I’m great as ever.”
He then proceeded to rattle off all of the Kansas City Monarchs, Homestead Grays, Pittsburgh Crawford’s statistics and rosters that he had memorized from the Internet. He had to have googled most of the info because I am certain that he was younger than my eldest grandson. After he rattled of the completion of his sports based masters “thesis” he looked at me with a gleam in his left eye (the right one was sort of crooked) and asked me the $100 million question; “what do you think of that?”
“For you to memorize all of that information, you should definitely pursue a career as a sports journalist or broadcaster,” I said trying to encourage the young man.”
He pressed on with the inquisition; “what do you really think of that? I bet you couldn’t do what I just did.” See, see…see…it is always better to allow a sleeping dog or dragon to remain asleep, especially when you are addressing Monsieur Aubrey. All of the bus riders were tuned in now.
I said to him, “they lied to “rain man” when they said that he was an only child.” “Why do you say that,” the youthful Negro Leagues expert wanted to know. “Well” I said getting full of myself at this point; “you have to be rain man’s lost twin brother to remember all of that “stuff.”
The whole bus roared and dude was very, very, very “swollen.” “Well” he said with a voice filled with indignity and embarrassment, “I can see you are getting older and probably don’t remember half of this information.” I said you are absolutely right and if I need Negro Leagues info I surely will give you a “ringy dingy.”
Young, old, male, female, rich and poor African Americans have to understand that when Black History month is over we cannot revert back to being jerks. That reminds me of Black folks loyally attending church on Sunday, using the experience as one giant therapy and purging session, just to go and repeat the same negative actions over and over again. Regurgitating history is not freakin’ impressive.
Creating new history is really what’s up. I have written more Black history, Negro Leagues, Jackie Robinson pieces then I can remember and I love our history and the people associated with it. But now I am on a different mission. It is all about today’s Black athletes, Josh Harrison, Andrew McCutchen, LeBron James, Blake Griffin, Russell Wilson, Le’Veon Bell.
I recently celebrated my 62nd birthday. I want to enjoy the stars of now because if history is any indicator, I will be joining Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson Sr. and the rest of the “historical” Negro Leagues crew, sooner than later…peace.
(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: email@example.com or 412-583-6741. He is also a contributing columnist for urbanmediatoday.com Follow him on Twitter@ultrascribe.)
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