I remember when they use to teach us about Harriet Tubman in School during black history month. Every time they talked about her they always said the same thing… ” She would have freed even more slaves had they known they were slaves…” You be sitting there thinking to yourself, ” FOH, how did people not know they were slaves.” If slavery was so bad, who in there right mind would not want to leave it?” I thought it was a b.s. quote until I started traveling. I would try to explain to people the things I was experiencing and they just sit there looking at me like I am crazy. I gathered it was hard to imagine how much better the world could be beyond where you are. I don’t think the people back then were unaware they were slaves. I think they just could not imagine a life not being where they were already. We have a way of adjusting to our circumstances and making the best of our situation.
I was no different. I had struggled to build a good life for myself. Graduated from college, built a few businesses and had a lot of great moments. I had a great life. I don’t mind working hard, but I could not see any end to my grind. Where was all this going. It felt like I just worked to do more work. I did not want to wait until I was old to start experiencing life. After building another business up on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, covid hit. It was the first time I had not worked in 20 years. Instead of going back the same routine of more work, I sold my things and traveled around the world to see if there was more out there. Had I not seen anything different, I would have doubled down on what I was doing and accepted things as they were. But traveling opened my mind up to an entirely different way of thinking about life. The longer I stayed gone, the more I was able to see the United States objectively. At first it pissed me off because you start to realize there is a lot of propaganda that has been sold to us about the way the world is. And then I began to think about what I was going to do now that I was aware of what was going on outside of the U.S.
Looking at America objectively, black people are obviously the lower class. The whole economy has been, and is, built off of our cheap labor. This would be fine for me if I was a white man. Unfortunately I am on the losing side of this equation and I felt like nothing was really going to change about that in my lifetime. Every generation recycles the same old rhetoric about all of the progress we have made when we haven’t even scratched the surface of what we could and should have in our community by now. If we did not have the internet and all of this new technology, my vote would be to stay and keep fighting for “equality”. But the world is so big. It is much better places we could go and just build our own thing. That was the way America began anyway. Some people were like, “fuck this shit, we out.” Then they just went somewhere else. I know it is a big idea, but everyone is building out in the world RIGHT NOW. It is unbelieveable to watch. Entire communities, like Tulum, are popping up all over the world. It shows me that everything is just made up and we can create whatever reality we want in the here and now. The internet is empowering the growth of emerging markets and the eastern world. I feel the juice slowly transferring from the U.S. to these other emerging markets the way Leroy got the glow from Sho Nuff in the Last Dragon. I thought about the back to Africa thing, but Africa is too far. I went to Egypt and was on the plane for 17 hours. It was hard to sit still that long. Plus, I still got plays in the U.S. and I be missing my family. I don’t think a collective movement there would be sustainable. After 3 years of travel, I settled in Medellin, Colombia. I think it is a good place to start. It is what I imagine the black community would be like if we had no interference from slavery.