“The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better.” – Paulo Coelho
In case we did not realize it, black people are still upset about slavery. We are so upset that for the past 148 years we have marched, boycotted, picketed, protested, sung, danced, cried and died. We have been bitten by dogs, terrorized by the Ku Klux Klan, raped and killed. We have gone to separate schools, unauthorized to vote and stripped of our inalienable rights.
There was a time that this anger created beauty and pride. This emotion resounded in our art, music, prose and photography by igniting thought and consciousness. We created businesses and programs that enriched our impoverished communities and awareness to our children. In the height of this change and unity, our positive leaders were killed, leaving our communities in shambles and distrust by the latter part of the 1970’s.By the 1980’s our environments were saturated with drugs, sex and violence. By the 1990’s teenage pregnancy, gang violence and police brutality ran rampant erupting looting and more violence.
Though we could go on for hours about the plight of Black America, one can only ponder what Black America is doing to change the situation. What are we truly doing today to create a more positive atmosphere tomorrow?
Our culture has been depicted as a failure waiting to happen and we feed into that image by supporting negative actions with negative actions. Today, the community is enraged by the verdict in the Michael Brown case but when will we support each other’s businesses. When will we come together and keep our communities clean? When will we stop supporting “hate” music? When will stop forming cliques in our churches? When will we realize that our today is totally different from our yesterday? Yes, we have been subjected to cruelties like racism and segregation, but what are we doing to keep it from happening today?
Today, we can make a choice to be more united and supportive of one another. Today we can stop supporting arts and entertainment that represent us in a negative light. Today we can become more involved in our local schools and grass-roots organizations. Today we can stop longing to leave our hoods, become famous, never come back but paint it in a negative light because you don’t live there anymore. Today we can stop putting down people who view things differently and voice their opinions.
If we do this today, tomorrow will be better for the future generation that follow.
*Images found on http://www.google.com