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West Point cadets. Black pride. Not politics.

West Point cadets. Black pride. Not politics.

THE ONLINE backlash against 16 black female West Point cadets who took a raised-fist photo in uniform is a fascinating study on race and politics in America.

The picture has led to a U.S. Military Academy probe on whether the raised-fist gesture represents banned political activity. It has sparked a debate on the loyalty of the cadets. But most of all, it’s forced us to consider what it means to be black.

Perhaps that’s because so many Americans believe blackness is something to be ashamed of. And for those Americans, the very idea that blacks would openly embrace who we are seems ridiculous.

So when we hoist a fist to say black is beautiful, or wear natural hair in a corporate environment, or speak our truth above a whisper, such actions are viewed as a political statement against whites.

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Photo: West Point cadets in raised fist photo, via Twitter


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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon.

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Written by Solomon