What is the future for black people in America? I am no scholar, but being a black man born and raised here in America at least qualifies me to have an opinion. It’s very strange to feel discouraged in a time where we can look back and see the progress of ancestors and there are so many opportunities in this age of information. But it feels like we are stagnant, or lost, or fractured, or regressing, or missing some foundational pieces, or to easily fooled, manipulated and divided, or all the above along with a few of others that can be added to the list. While I do not feel the situation is hopeless, I do feel overwhelmed when I think about the work that needs to be done to reclaim our heritage and be in a place where we have the power over the resources to control, create and dictate our path forward.
So where do we begin? For me the seeds of raising up, connecting and healing our communities were planted in me at an early age. I give credit to my family members who were not afraid to change direction and sought out a new way and new ideas by joining the Nation of Islam. I also give credit to the members of my family who remained with the Christian faith, who were shining examples for me and never let different ideas come between the family unit.
The ability to change course, challenge the norm, accept new ideas and not convict others for thinking different were integral in my thought development. In my twenties and thirties, in between the partying, video games, working, working out, raising kids and plenty of time wasted, there were debates between me and the peer group in my family (mostly the men). These debates were mostly about religion and the state of black people in America. These debates caused me to dig deeper into my studies. First out of a competitive need to be right and prove my point, but later because some of the opposing views made sense and I started to challenge my own beliefs.
Between then and now I have listened to a lot of other voices in places like talk radio, over the internet and in barber shops. There were many good thoughts and ideas, but they all faded from memory in time due to life’s daily engagements. Honestly, I have grown tired of all the talk, and I am looking for a way to try and create the reality I seek. So, I decided to take action and write down and journal what I learn on my journey. This is my step towards answering the question in the title “Where Do We Go From Here?”. I want to emphasize the word we, because I want to include other voices and hopefully collaborate and challenge the negative energy that permeates through our communities.
Peace and Blessings!
I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.Frederick Douglass