I first met Cornelius Maxwell when I was asked if I wanted to interview him for my “8 Questions with…..”series.
I was told that Cornelius wasn’t an actor or a performer,he was a former US Army veteran who did tours of combat duty in Iraq. Three tours of being on the front lines and under fire,a real life hero.
Cornelius came home and and in between public speaking engagements,he also created a new program called Transitions Units Theory. I admire and respected that Cornelius was always on the move and looking for his next part of his journey.
Later in 2020,Cornelius annouced he was writing a book and that it would be out before the end of 2020. After he self-published it,I asked him if I could get a copy to read and soon I got a email with “Unapoloetically” attached to it. He said it was a book of his poetry and once again,I was left most impressed.
I opened “Unapologetically: I Am A Man” and started reading and while Cornelius may not agree,I found this book not to see so much poetry but spoken word…I didn’t hear the soft verses of love and romance or seeking a quiet place to reflect upon life,I hear powerful emotions and outrage of what has happened and IS happening here in America. And as bad as it is for us all,its so much worse for Black Americans. But what makes Cornelius’s writing stand out is that he isn’t just pointing out the massive injustices but also holds his own people accountable:
What’s Really Gangsta?
Robbing old people is not gangsta.
Stealing is not gangsta.
Selling drugs is not gangsta.
Maintaining stereotypes is not gangsta.
Upkeeping slave thinking is not gangsta.
Being in the streets is not gangsta.
Sagging your pants is not gangsta.
Being a liar is not gangsta.
The reputation of what’s gangsta.
Is designed for your death and that’s not gangsta.
What’s really gangsta?
Starting a business and investing in your hood is gangsta. Carrying yourself with dignity and respect is gangsta.
Protecting your womenfolk is gangsta.
Willing to die to improve your family status is gangsta.
Doing the opposite of racial stereotypes is gangsta.
Standing up to white supremacists is gangsta.
Getting involved in the political process is gangsta.
Attending district meetings, and other political events is gangsta.
Read, study, and learn what’s going on in all 3 branches of government is gangsta. What’s really gangsta?
Standing up to oppression through learning the system of oppression. Now that’s really gangsta!
Like I said,I am not so much reading this book as I am seeing myself in the front row and HEARING the words being spoken by Cornelius. I tried and imagine what his emotions must be like knowing he was putting his life on the line far away from home because he was protecting the same men and society who have no interest in providing true justice and fairness to his skin color. Nothing really has changed in America in terms of eliminating rascism,fascism and bigotry yet we have no problem asking POC to fight in foreign lands in the name of protecting this nation.
We Shall Overcome!
From the coordination of the Arab slave trade to the indoctrination of cross-breeding methods to create a slave. Our history begins with our forefathers being stripped of their birthright to lead as men.
The creation of a slave taught and supported through empirical research by the likes of Willie Lynch were designed to prevent us from becoming men.
We were whipped so our women would never respect us. Our women were raped and forced into prostitution in front of us, so they could never feel protected by us.
Black women were taught to have the independent mindset, so she could never return to her natural state of being dependent on a black man.
From generation-to-generation she is trained to believe she is the mother, father, provider, and protector of the family. Thus, striping the black man of his position, because she is his competition instead of his companion.
History has shown when black men have a vision of leading our people in a direction to effectively change the dynamics of the black family. He is murdered or thrown in jail.
As men we must continue to fight for our birthright. We must fight to acquire and wear our crowns as kings of our homes. Fight for the trust of our women.
Fight for the love of our children.
But we shall overcome!
We will not be restricted from forward progress due to the shackles of slavery. We shall overcome! Inspired by God’s grace, our roles in the home shall be renewed. And this obstacle we shall overcome!
We will earn diplomas, degrees, and technical certifications through knowledge acquired by education. We shall overcome! Our Judges, and Attorneys will represent us justly in the judicial system. We shall overcome! We will build businesses in our communities and provide for our families as men. We shall overcome!
We will no longer abide by negative stereotypes, which pigeon hole us as slaves and slave thinking. We shall overcome!
We must deconstruct the process of thinking created by slavery in order for slavery to be black history. The keyword history, and no longer applicable in accordance with the current times. We shall overcome!
I found “Unapologetically” to be raw,honest,powerful and wanting every man,woman and child no matter what their color or income to be equally and fairly and also knowing it will be never be no matter how many true patriots like Cornelius shed their blood,sweat and soul in trying to make it happen. While you’re reading his book,close your eyes and try to HEAR his words……
You can buy a copy of “Unapologetically: I Am A Man” on Amazon by clicking here.
You can read my “8 Questions with……” interview with Cornelius by clicking here.