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empty Posted July 2005
 Karen Kossie-Chernyshev
Happy Africana American Living:
Of Course, I Am Happy!

by Karen Kossie-Chernyshev
Texas Southern University
Houston, Texas

Ideal Africana-American living is full and rich, dynamic and humanitarian. It balances internal precepts (spiritual, moral, philosophical, intellectual) and external manifestations (economic, political, technological) of the same. It is a marriage between comprehensible theory and sensible practice.

Africana Americans who enjoy living respect the totality and confluidity of the past, present, and future. They also encourage the establishment and maintenance of Africana customs and traditions while always leaving room for a healthy reinterpretation and recreation of the same.

Mindful that life is by definition fluid and evolutionary and contains both individual and communal dimensions, Happy Africana Americans understand that achieving optimum vitality throughout life means welcoming the intergenerational cooperation of men, women, and children.

Happy African Americans are resilient and resourceful. They have learned to thrive on the bittersweet dynamism created by internal African vitality and (in)external European…Native American…Latino…and Asiatic…influences. Sitting comfortably on the hyphen, they have learned to cull the positive and discard the negative fruit engendered by this challenging cultural conundrum.

Additionally, Happy African Americans understand that progressive ideals inform and buttress internal precepts. Therefore, they seek diligently to interpret and draw life from both kinetic and potential moments, both of which automatically shape the human experience.

Participants have also established and on-going appreciation for an education that is broad - manages multiple perspectives; rigorous -maximizes intellectual ability; and real-seeks truths and values realities comprising the Africana-American experience.

To deal with incidence and change, the most stable Africana Americans have learned to monitor the fault-lines characterizing their existence (race, class, gender, and generation) without surrendering to the quakes bound to upset their equilibrium form time to time.

Beyond all else, Happy African Americans pursue peace, befriend wisdom, and cherish love as they give and forgive…give and forgive…and Ahhh…yes!…LIVE!

We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of


__Thomas Jefferson-
A founding Father of,
And Faithful Contributor to,
The American Multiculture.

Karen Kossie-Chernyshev is an associate professor of History at Texas Southern University in Houston, where she teaches African American and American History. Her current research focuses on African American Pentecostalism in the Southwest.

Copyright © 2005 by Karen Kossie-Chernyshev. All Rights Reserved.
Used by permission,

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