Black privilege. Is there such a thing? Apparently Charlamagne does. Not only does he believe that there is such a thing, he wants us to believe it as well. This should certainly not be a spoiler, as the book, “Black Privilege : Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It,” has been out for nearly a year. The book is broken down into eight chapters. Each chapters dedicated to the eight principles that Charlamagne Tha God believes exemplifies creating you own opportunity. Charlamagne, who has made a name for himself as a radio and TV personality by basically being true to himself, seeks to convince us that we have the same ability within ourselves. Not to become personalities, but to do whatever it is that has been gifted upon us by God as our true assets.
Fuck Your Dreams
Perhaps the most polarizing principle or chapter of the book, Fuck Your Dreams attempts to force you to deal with the fact that what you think you want, may not necessarily be for you. The audacity of someone to tell you to fuck your dreams is as uncanny as the results that can come from the realization that perhaps you should. Some of us, as the book mentions, are caught up in the dreams of others and in the meantime, consume ourselves with someone else’s passion that may not truly be our own. There is a time when self-reflection and acknowledgement of our own goals and gifts must supersede those we are trying to emulate. For instance, I was inspired by James Baldwin, but only after I realized the writer I had in me already. So, as I aspired to be a literary force, I looked to Baldwin and now Ta-Nehisi Coates for inspiration. Somewhat like Charlamagne himself, I once thought I was destined to be a rapper. I did a few talent shows and although nobody had the courage to tell me, I told myself…fuck that dream! But, that wouldn’t be the only time.
Field of Dreams
In high school, I thought of myself as a decent football player. I played for one of the best football programs in the city of Detroit and thought football was my gift. Like many athletes from the inner-city, I figured I could take my somewhat athletic skill to college. Wrong! I realized once I got to college, that once again, this was not my true gift and subsequently should not be my dream. This realization didn’t come about until I started writing for the school newspaper. That’s when I realized that not only was I more passionate about writing, but I was clearly more gifted at it than playing football. Needless to say, I once again told myself to “fuck that dream,” and went on to create an alternative press newspaper for the college I was attending. So I suppose, Charlamagne’s words almost 20 years later would resonate with some principles I’d already unknowingly lived by in the first place. However, I still hated the book!
Yes, I said it. I hated the book, but let me tell you why. I hated the book, because every excuse I could have used for not succeeding was challenged. I hate the idea of not having an excuse or not being able to blame someone else for my shortcomings. I mostly hate that although some of his words pierce like a jagged rusty shank in a prison overpopulated by people who look like me, Charlamagne was absolutely right. Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE.