The legacy of the black leaders was one of strength, fortitude and faith. Everything they stood for and at times sat down for could have cost them their lives and for many, it did. They were selfless and gave themselves for the sake of the generations that will continue to come well after their moments of remembrance have passed. Their contributions changed history for those who have come to walk in the trails they blazed. It was for our sake that they braved unthinkable horrors, that had no promise of reward. So today, with a black president at the helm of this great country of ours, we must ask ourselves; for whose sake have we given our contributions and what is the new promised land that we working towards? We must first acknowledge what we’re facing as our challenges.
The black community has gone from fighting for equal rights to fighting against self segregation. Our families have been mutilated through the exploitation of drugs, sex and music, to the point that over 90% of black americans are blood related to a current or former drug abuser, alcoholic, sex offender or ex-offender. Its one thing to say that individuals pumped drugs into our communities. Its another to say that no one forced our communities to buy, use or sell such things. The latter being the underlying truth that often goes unspoken.
We’re not reaching the next generation as best as we could, and some of our methods have been deemed controversial. In education we face record low enrollment and record high dropout levels across the board. One response has been to reward freshmen in high school with “green for grades”. It may work, but is that the embodiment of the new value placed on basic education? Why are we creating things to sell the next generation. Making music, scoring baskets and touchdowns, a misconstrued version of success, false fulfillment and self degenerate conflict. Black America makes up the worlds number one supply of re sellers and not originators. We weren’t the first to sell people on the idea of being down because the ancient Greeks and Persians originated Get Down or Lay Down . We weren’t the first to sell ones own people the idea of By Any Means Necessary because the Roman Empire was built on such a framework. We weren’t the first to have fraternities or sororities but we borrowed that as well.
I find that there isn’t much difference between post-Egypt Israel and the 21st century African-American community at large. We were delivered into a new land called Equal Rights, a land flowing with free speech, the right to worship and the right to vote. The blood of men like Dr. King, Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X have stained the gateway to this land. And unfortunately, like Israel, we didn’t think to capitalize on what we truly had from the onset. We have become the greatest spenders of all time with the least ownership of any race. Dick Gregory isn’t going to be around in the next 50 years. Bishop Desmond TuTu isn’t going to be around in the next 50 years. Who will our children be speaking of that made great sacrifices for our issues plaguing the black populous? Who’s names will be etched into history and printed in the textbooks that my grandchildren will read about from this generation? Who will be a source of inspiration to a college senior yet to be born into the earth. One man cannot stand alone to be the glimmer of hope and change for our people.
There needs to be more men that can find their phone so they can answer the call. There needs to be more fathers to love their wives and their children. There needs to a change in the minds and hearts of those so called men that haven’t made the choice to humble themselves and choose to make it work with the single mother they walked away from. Men that must make the choice to choose family over finances, and faith over fiction. In a world that reads like the last pages of a fine manuscript, there must be those that not only understand the times but act within them.
To know better and not do better is foolish so the question is how do we move forward in wisdom?