Attributing a single characteristic to the Black race as a whole can be as inaccurate as attributing one characteristic to the entire human race; whereas living, loving, and dying are possibly the only three that extend to the entire human race.
I have compiled a list of 10 things that unite, but don’t define Black people as a race.
1. Black pride is the appreciation for the past, the present, and future of the people. It isn’t discretely defined as celebrating Black History Month or knowing Black history. It’s the lifestyle that many live day-to-day or even the appreciation and support of their race. Just as pride for your country or profession bring people together, the pride of accomplishments bring Black people together.
2. The irony of the word “soul” is that hundreds of years ago it was taught that Black people didn’t have souls. Today, Black people define the word “soul.” Many black people embody a phenomena many people can’t explain or emulate, but can recognize and feel when they see it, hear it, or experience it in any form. I must point out, not all black people have soul, and the lack thereof does not make them less black. Call it soul, swagger, or charisma; Black people possess this quality that originates from the Black experience.
3. Whether you are Black, White, Asian, or Hispanic, funerals bring the family together as death unexpectedly unites people. We are united by different histories of pain. Historians typically desensitize and de-personify tragic events by describing people as merely numbers. Thousands of slaves were captured, thousands of Jews were killed. It all boils down to the fact that thousands of people like you, me, or your family were killed. That’s pain that unites.
4. Whether you are a high school graduate or president of a corporation, you will most likely gravitate to people who share your accomplishments. There are many levels of success black people attain, and on every level of your climb to success, you will unite with those who aspire to your level of success.
5. Sometimes we get caught in defining Black culture as what has happened in the past, when we should be looking to the future. Black people are always looking towards the future. A few years ago, many aspired to be the first black president, or even thinking of changing society so that it would be better for their own children.
6. Black people have historically been a welcoming, xenophellic people. A race that is open to new cultures, people and trends. Black people extend their families by inviting people to be god-parents or fictive kin (pretend aunts, uncles, and others who are close to their family). The ability to adapt and welcome people allows Black people to understand others who are different and have compassion for Blacks they might not personally know.
7. Religion brings millions of black people together. The Christian and Islamic faiths account for a majority of the religious populations in the world. It is a foundation in most societies and probably unites Black communities the most.
8. No matter where you go, you can appreciate meeting someone from your hometown or country. Many Black people will travel to a distant state or country for a family reunion or cultural parade. I know many people in college who picked their school because it was far away from their hometown. Ironically, when they arrived to college, they mainly befriended people from their own hometown.
9. Black artistic expression has influenced music, movies, and American culture itself. Black art connects people’s mind’s, bodies and soul; for example, it has created music sub-cultures like Reggae, Hip-Hop, R&B, Rap, Soca, Jazz, and Soul.
10. How we speak and what language we speak connects people. Black people speak all types of languages and have many unique accents. While there is no such thing as “talking Black,” there are certain mannerisms, accents, and voice tone sounds that are unique to Black peoples’ heritage and origin.