TGR: Caught Up or Bought Up

lucius gantt
Lucius Gantt is a columnist and commentator on political and social affairs. Buy Gantt’s latest book, “Beast Too: Dead Man Writing” and from bookstores everywhere. Contact him at “Like” The Gantt Report on Facebook

By Lucius Gantt
1968 was a very important year in my life. I was a senior in high school and my classmate’s father was assassinated.
Yolanda’s dad, Martin Luther Junior, was killed in April and the neighborhood where both of our families once lived became the frontline of Atlanta’s most destructive and violent civil disturbance.
Atlanta’s famous Fourth Ward community was lit, literally and figuratively, as Molotov cocktails seemed to rain from the sky and rocks and bricks were thrown toward everything that rolled down Boulevard with a non-Black driver.
After the riots, Atlanta businesses were pressured to become more diverse and the city initiated “job fairs” where a few token Blacks got jobs in industries that had no Black employees.
I was one of those Blacks. I got a media job at WSB-TV when I was 17 years old and journalism, media and communications became my life.
Sometimes we have situations, or opportunities, come up that we didn’t plan or desire that we don’t or can’t shake off.
Career wise, I got caught up!
Moving on, Robert Johnson is considered by many to be the world’s most famous and most talented Blues singers, songwriters and guitar players.
He didn’t live a long life and he only had two record albums but almost everyone has heard his music. “Dust My Broom” and “Sweet Home Chicago” are two of his classics.
How did Johnson become so great? Perhaps he was bought up! Allegedly, Robert Johnson was at a Mississippi crossroad when he encountered the devil and sold his soul to satan in exchange for musical mastery.
Today, too many of the African Americans we believe in and depend on to teach us, lead us, stand up for us and speak out for us are either caught up or bought up!
Most of our so-called leaders in religion, politics, economics and other areas have been caught up, by design, coincidence or personal choice in living the lives suggested or mandated by our most fervent exploiters and oppressors.
We are encouraged to do business with closet klansmen, white supremacists and white nationalists instead of buying and selling goods and services from each other.
We have been led to believe that it is OK for Chinese, Korean, East Indian and Arab entrepreneurs to set up shop in Black neighborhoods but it’s wrong to open Black businesses in non-Black communities.
Our children are trained at predominately Black colleges and universities in the best ways to get jobs at white corporations even though our grandpa and grandma had thriving, successful business enterprises.
There is a “trap” outside of the “trap”. Even when we escape poverty and move on up, so to speak, we still are burdened by trickeration, controlled by a lack of cash flow and misled by misinformation.
The Black men and women that are likely to get a small bite off the American apple are mainly the ones that are caught up or bought up!
The Black people we are told not to read about or listen to are in fact the ones that we should be embracing.
No matter how long you follow the devil’s parked cars, you’ll never get where you need to go!
Caught up and bought up is not working for us.