Probably more so out of habit and conditioning than anything else, I turn to this guy whenever I need to further my understanding of something complex - and he is often not only my
first recourse to breaking it down, but probably yours too. As a lover of language and knowledge, he ironically had much in common with Father Allah and even the Nation of Gods and Earths today.
As a product of the American revolution, he believed fervently in developing the cultural independence of the United States, and he thought that an integral part of establishing identity would be done through America's own language; it's own idiom, pronunciation, and style. When he wanted to write his book he learned 26 languages to be able to do so, and as a result he published the first truly American dictionary in 1806.
This is Noah Webster (I bet you thought it was George Washington)...
Since Noah Webster is still today the reigning authority on what means what, I wondered if he could define the word "gang" for us;
Gang: (2)(b): Group: as (1) a group of persons working together (2) a group persons working to unlawful or antisocial ends esp: a band of antisocial adolescents 2: a group of persons having informal and usu. close social relationsThis just in…
"Gangs of New York"
On Sunday, Oct. 30th Gang hosts health & job fair… included were several initiatives on preventative care & wellness; the state of the Nation, and progress reports from the National summit, local and regional leaders were in attendance.
The brutality of it all—we were beaten over the head with greetings of "Peace", and offered food and drink prepared from the soul of somebody's mama - oooh the macaroni & cheese. The children of the gang all seem so happy, and well-adjusted... entering the room upright and almost regal. The women of the gang compile research on high risk diseases that affect their families, such as Diabetes-- 1.5 million African Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes and another 730,000 have the illness but are unaware. But perhaps even more appalling is that the women discuss things like reproductive health, and the importance of home schooling their children, but not to the exclusion of their socialization…
Back in the day, I would watch the Gods get together in a cipher - I might have been twelve (wishing I were fourteen) - and begin to build and subsequently generations of avid linguists, poets, & rappers were born.
Perhaps not coincidentally, at that same time I would open up a five pound book called Webster’s Dictionary and marvel at how such a comprehensive work might have come about. The person who wrote this, I’d say to myself, must know EVERYTHING. I once dreamed of reading the entire dictionary - all 1554 pages, so that I too would know "everything".
I never did read the entire dictionary, but as one who loves language I am thinking particularly on the diligence of the man called Noah Webster; and I suppose my point is that whether or not we are able to make the distinction between "gang" or "group", "criminal" or "culture", "unlawful" or "constitutionally protected", we ALL have the ability to count the pages between Nigger and God.