As I reflect on how we’ve overcome as a people, displaced Africans in a foreign land against our will, fighting for our freedom, and then fighting for our equality; all at the same time contributing to society in the world of agriculture, science, the arts, technology, etc., I realize presently we are not doing what we are suppose to do. We are losing…
Ricky Bobby’s father said it best, “If you’re not first, you’re last”. In America, even though we are considered one of the most advanced (and innovative) nations on Earth, we are still not the best. We are slacking in education (9th among industrialized nations from ages 24-35), and it’s even worse in Black American culture, having Black males among the worst in standardized test scores across the board. Without education, we cannot progress as a people!
How do we correct this? How can we educate a generation of people who we’ve lost because of our own selfishness and self-gratitude (greed)? How can we get back on track in order for America to be on top again like we were 20 years ago? The good news is we are capable of making the change.
As stated in the beginning of my rant, Black Americans were enslaved and forbidden to read, write, and learn in general. We defied this by doing whatever necessary to become literate. Some ran to freedom, some read secretly and taught others, some even positioned themselves amongst Whites in order to be in the environment where education was prevalent. We did ANYTHING to make it work. We were hustlers grinding to better ourselves.
We still have that “hustle” mindset. In Hip-Hop, when artist like Jay-Z, Diddy, Russell Simmons, and others used their talents, skills, and education to build an empire from their vision, it’s proven we are capable of living the American Dream. In athletics, the Michael Jordan story, where MJ was cut from his HS Varsity team then worked his way to being the most significant basketball player in history shows that hard work pays off. We have numerous examples in our culture to show this… we just don’t care to look. WE ARE TOO LAZY TO EVEN CARE…
What now? As a people, we tend to rise to the occasion once we either feel threatened or oppressed (being reactive). It’s proven: we fought slavery by the civil war, fought racism by the Civil Rights Movement. Once we acknowledge a problem, we solve it. The issue with us now is that we don’t have these feelings. We don’t think anything’s wrong. I’m here to tell you: WE ARE OPPRESSED. When about 1/3 of our black men are either in prison or juvenile detention, we are oppressed. When our black women have some of the highest STD infection rates in the country, we are oppressed. When the black unemployment rate is double than the average, we are oppressed. When black teenagers can’t finish school because they have children and they need to support their family in order to survive, we are oppressed. LET’S WAKE UP!!!!!!!!! THE OPPRESSION IS HERE!!!!!! NOW LET’S FIX IT!!!!!!!!!!!
We’re losing, but we haven’t lost yet. Let’s be proactive. Let’s make a goal to positively change the life of one person instead of tearing them down (it’s not that hard, I promise). Once you see a person improve, a euphoric feeling will go through you and you will be energized to help another. It’s so easy: open the door for someone, make someone smile, teach kids how to read, show a young man to line up his shirt with his belt and his pants to show the importance of not sagging. It’s very simple. We just have to be stewards of the gifts God gave us. If everyone does this, we will make the world a better place.
I’m done… I can go to sleep now. I’ve finished my reflection. Have a goodnight.
Let’s change the World,