I am Christian, a husband, a father, a friend, a writer, and an employee. The fact is, I wear many different hat's which I rotate on a daily basis. But first and formost I am a Black man living in The United States of America. Some choose to call themselves African- American, but the so called African- American has little or no ties or knowledge of what it is like to be African, or has ties to the culture. Black people of African decent have no relation to African, dialect, custom or culture. Most Black people of African decent do not have family names that are relative to who they are or to who their generations were. When you hear the names Weinstein, Kawalski or Martinez we know that they each represent a unique heritage that is treasured by each group with pride, and a legacy to be passed on. So, being called Black is accurate as far as i'm concerned. To me being Black means that I have to use America to make my own valuable background on a dark canvas. Black people in America have struggled to live "the American dream". A dream not designed to include us and in many ways lets us know it at every turn. Black people who attempt to live the American dream often find themselves in a monolithic subculture whose influence on popular culture has made it what it is. Yet success is often visible, and glorified through mass media but far more difficult to attain and maintain. We are part of a struggle that has been so difficult at times that the majority of us have never established a since of kinship. An innate since of family that gives us the desire to help one another. We have individualized our journey. So, instead of each one, teach one. It has become, each one figure it out on his own, often with devastating consequences. I could go on and on about racism, prejudice and a corrupted system but these things have already been given far too much lip service as it is. Living life in this skin doesn't have to be a hinderance or a road block. Our experiences represent an opportunity if we dare to strive. The fact is that to thrive being who we are, we must often navigate our way across choppy waters by prayer, relying on God for supplication, and putting faith into action. We must use our free will and wisdom in all things, and after we've done all we can we must stand. Like the old song says, "Nobody told me that the road would be easy, but I don't believe he brought me this far to leave me"!