By - Dr. Leslie Grace On Jul 18, 2016


Just found out that the Negro League played baseball during their era in Asia. “When they got over to Japan and Tokyo they felt a sense of freedom” stated a player relative. My grandfather Lefty Jones who played baseball for the Negro League was in Japan as well. I did not know the history of the Negro League or my grandfather being in Japan until I travelled to EAST ASIA and my uncle shared this valuable information. Maybe that was why I really enjoyed the baseball game in Korea with the Doosan Bears. Although, I may have been the only Black person at the baseball game it was a great time. I enjoyed the Doosan Bears so much because of my family history and the excitement of the crowd. This was the first time I seen everyone laugh, smile, sing, cheer and clap since being in this country. I’ve developed a love for the game of baseball and should be expected. Someone caught a baseball very close to me and what were the odds of that happening. If I were taller that would have been my baseball! Being BLACK in EAST ASIA almost felt more comfortable than being BLACK in America or rather a BLACK LIFE that MATTERS.

There were vendors selling food and items inside and outside the arena. Seeing these entrepreneurs taking hustling to the next level was very interesting to observe. No one was stepping on anyone’s toes in regards to making money. This is when I came to realization that Korea is known for chicken and beer and this was not a stereotype just a way of life. After talking with a few of my colleagues the consensus is that they were unaware of “Black people eating chicken all the time”. This was similar to the media stating that Nigeria got a loan from China when in all actuality President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and China are working on an investment deal. “Economic inclusion” a dirty word in America. Just know that we cannot take everything for face value, because there is more to the story.

The time has come for Black, African American, Native American, Negro, Nigger, Afro American, African, Moor, NGU, NCA, NGR and Americans or whatever you call yourself or choose to be called to invest in the family first than the community. Family is very important to Asians and I found it very interesting during my time in Japan that Sunday’s were dedicated to family. Remember on Sundays when we all went to grandma’s house because she cooked for the whole family. In Korea there was a section in the movies called the sweet box just for dating couples to sit and watch movies while cuddling. Whatever values we want our children to have we must embed it into the culture. The culture should not contradict what we want for our children, family and community. Life is a sport and everyone can win, however the unfortunate fact is that everyone will not win. Does America want unification with Black America? Does BLACK America want unification with Africa and America? This business of RACISM needs to go out of business.

What can be abstracted from this experience? I have brought back a piece of Africa and hidden it in my soul. I’ve heard that Africa had two great civilizations Egypt and Asia. The presence of Africa was everywhere therefore I felt as if I was home. I was on the soil of my people, your people, our people, the ancestors. I seen and felt their presence all around me. Being BLACK in America is a business with everyone capitalizing from the revenue flow except for BLACK America. Black is not a Nationality, so I figure that is why when I travelled to EAST ASIA I was just like everyone else. Being BLACK in EAST ASIA had not context, because I was among my people, my culture, and my birthright. Despite the history between North Korea and South Korea they are still thriving. Black America has the same capability to thrive as well by taking control of the way we are depicted and the way images are distributed around the world. I believe that a rich culture has to become imbedded in everything. We cannot wait for people to accept or make provisions. The Asians when they did not have something they created it themselves. This is a characteristic that BLACK people possessed before the hands of time. Economic inclusion, education reform, integrity and justice are the areas I would like to see thrive in America. I felt more of a since of myself in East Asia than in America. I was able to capture the remnants of our people’s innovation, drive, determination, love and peace. So now I question, what is BLACK? What is BLACK America? Who came up with those terms of endearment?

FAST FORWARD: I’m in the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection better known as Philadelphia, however within the last few hours of me being home the gun violence been on fleek. #BlackLivesMatter is the hash tag in America. Is being BLACK in America a business? Who is profiting? Who’s getting a kick back? Economic inclusion, education reform, integrity and justice are the areas I would like to see thrive in America. Can we position our children and our families for success? “You have to think and act globally,” stated billion-dollar businesswoman Janice Bryan Howroyd. It appears that BLACKS in America and BLACKS in Africa are dealing with the same issues like “limited access to finances, cross sector collaboration, infrastructure, skills, policy and bureaucracy”. When will we come together and thrive like others? Like our ancestors who inhabited the earth, when will we take control over our families, communities and nation despite all odds? When will we take control over our narrative? When will we take control over our finances?

So it has been brought to my attention that Harriet Tubman will grace the front of the $20 bill. Harriet Tubman will be on the front of the bill and Andrew Jackson will be on the back. Her story is just as rich as all the other women on currency around the world. I am inspired by Harriet Tubman and how many people she helped to reach freedom. I could only imagine what she had been through traveling the underground railroads to freedom despite a head injury from childhood that resulted insomnia. My experience in the Korean tunnel was nothing compared to Harriet Tubman’s many trips to the south. To be honest I suffered tremendously going through that tunnel, but I dug deep to get out before everyone else. When I came out I was shaking a lot, unable to catch my breath, confused, dazed, very hot with heels on. I thought about what had happen in that tunnel and what could happen in that tunnel. It brings tears to my eyes every time I think about this experience. Life’s a little different now when you spend time at the most dangerous border in the world. I am really grateful and thankful just to be here to document my experience. I think the serenity of the mountains and the wide green plains and species counteracted the fact that we were along the most dangerous border in the world. The sense of peace and freedom intertwined with control of the supreme leader sounds a little like my city. I often wondered, if I am safer being BLACK in East Asia than a BLACK life that MATTERS in America. I’ve had the distinct pleasure along with the help of my students to uncover the history behind world currency. Ironically, we are all currency and we must help our children understand that we are currency. Currency is a symbol of value, representation of energy and effort of creation. We are all currency.

I have seen on social media everyone say RIP “Rest in Power” or “Rest in Peace” for Prince and Afeni Shakur. What can we learn from these two icons? Afeni Shakur, an American philanthropist, ex-Black panther, political activist estimated net-worth is over $50 million dollars and it is evident she believed in “OWNERSHIP”. She created a trust to protect the legacy of her son Tupac Shakur. We can learn from Prince to reserve your energy for your goals and dreams and “OWNERSHIP” over your creation. They knew they were currency. Ironically, we are all currency and we must help our children understand that we are currency. Remember currency is the symbol of value, representation of energy and effort of creation. We are all currency. Let’s take control over our currency because if we do not someone else will. With that being said may we “LIVE IN POWER, PEACE and PROSPERITY”.
This is Dr. Leslie Grace and I endorse this message…


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