..EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT IN THE END. IF ITS NOT, THEN IT’S NOT THE END! THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES & THE DREAM LIVES ON, IN ALL OF US..
..”During my lifetime, I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for. But, my lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to DIE”
—April 1964, statement from Nelson Mandela at the dock at the opening of his defense case in the Rivonia trial..
..“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”..Nelson Mandela
..“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership..”
e..Nelson Mandela(THIS is my fave Mandela quote
..“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others…”Nelson Mandela
..“Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will...”Nelson Mandela
I’ve admired Nelson Mandela all of my 50 years of life..Long before he was set free from prison bars; his existence had impacted mine..Many moons later his existence has impacted millions more..So today we mourn the loss of one of the GREAT people we’ve been privileged to have shared days on Earth with. He was tired..His job on Earth was finally done & he was called home. IF any of us can touch even an iota of folks in a positive manner as Mandela did; oh the progression we could accomplish! Can’t we? Shall we? Lets! I found this video clip and couldn’t help but to share it with y’all..This is my humble carbon tribute to Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela..He is truly free at last! Thank you for inspiring us all to never give UP hope & to press on forward in good works for others..1st Black President of South Africa! Nobel Peace Prize Winner. Time’s Person of the Year. Arthur Ashe Courage Award. United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights. WEB Dubois International Medal. Presidential Medal of Freedom. Harvard Business School Statesman of the Year Award. Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Award. Ghandi Peace Prize..R.I.P. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela(July 18, 1918- December 5, 2013) Thank you for gifting us with your God-given gifts and Unselfish humanitarian acts!
**EPISODE FOUR** “Making A Way Out Of No Way” Airing on PBS Tuesday 11/12/2013 8 p.m. ET/PT Check your local listings>>
During the Jim Crow era, African Americans struggled to build their own worlds within the harsh, narrow confines of segregation. At the turn of the 20th century, a steady stream of African Americans migrated away from the South, fleeing racial violence and searching for better opportunities in the North and the West. At the same time, there was an ascendance of black arts and culture, such as The Harlem Renaissance.
Making a Way Out of No Way is episode four of the six-part series, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr
**EPISODE THREE** “Into The Fire” (1861-1896) Premieres Tuesday, November 5, 2013 @ 8 p.m. ET/PT >Check your local listing..Whatever you do; don’t miss IT!
Episode Two >> “The Age of Slavery* (1800 -1860) Due to air 10/29/2013(Check local listings)
…”The Age of Slavery illustrates how black lives changed dramatically in the aftermath of the American Revolution. For free black people in places like Philadelphia, these years were a time of tremendous opportunity. But for most African-Americans, this era represented a new nadir. The cotton industry fueled the rapid expansion of slavery into new territories, and a Second Middle Passage forcibly relocated African-Americans from the Upper South into the Deep South. Yet as slavery intensified, so did resistance. From individual acts to mass rebellions, African-Americans demonstrated their determination to undermine and ultimately eradicate slavery in every state in the nation. Courageous individuals, such as Harriet Tubman, Richard Allen and Frederick Douglass, played a crucial role in forcing the issue of slavery to the forefront of national politics, helping to create the momentum that would eventually bring the country to civil war…”
>>After watching Episode One on its 10/22/2013 air date..I decided I wanted to share with y’all about the PBS ongoing series..It is hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr and consists of six episodes..I’ve attempted to post a copy of the video preview for episode two; but it is registering an error message. Ugh! If nothing else hope this serves as a notice to all of the upcoming episodes. The first episode kept me glued to my seat for the entire hour! I’ll post air dates for episode three & on when it becomes available. If you missed episode one; it can be viewed online at PBS. (and quite possibly PBS will re-air it on TV until episode 2 airs) Feel free to post your comments here after viewing each episode..
Abortion, African Americans Future in America, African roots, Alcohol Abuse, Birth Control, Black America, Black Males, Divorce, Drugs, Extinction, freedom, Gangs, Higher Education, Prison, Registrictive voter legislation laws, SCOTUS, Self Hatred, Voting Rights Act, WordPress
UNapologetically Black & very proud of my AfricanNESS(even though East Coast folks keep asking me if I’m Latina..NO I am not) with a natural deeply bred Southern Hospitality style courtesy of being from New Orleans; meshed neatly with much American Pride. Heck I was even born on the 4th of July! Having said all of that; I can’t help but be disappointed with the current state of Black America. Its overall downward spiral way of life; heavily laden with afflictions & chronic conditions, is disheartening to say the least. Recent events have brought this even more so to the forefront of my thoughts..Have WE become our own worst enemy? Will WE bring about our own extinction in America? Lets rap>>
*Might want to kick your feet UP & get comfy; I’ve got a lot 2 say on this topic..And I plan on taking my time with it..Letting my thoughts flow from my mind; mental notes & life experiences of 50 years of Being Black-Loving IT-Raising Blackness(our 3 sons..)-Promoting Black IS Beautifulness in all I am-Standing Still*
In my Life Journey of 50 years I’ve been labeled a Negro/a “N” word( I won’t use that word even as a 50 yr old; but I was called this by my “friend” before I was 5 yrs old/Afro-American/African -American..My parents lovingly labeled me as Bernadette(a Saint’s name..) Marie..These days I walk proudly as a Black woman who refuses to be labeled by other folks..When we allow others 2 define US; it can be easy to forget who the heck we are. Took me far to long to discover the in’s & out’s of who I am to allow that. So anyways, here is my outlook on how things look for the future Black generations that will be born here in our country; America. Including my unborn grandchildren..Its pretty bleak the way I see IT. First? Proof positive how far WE have fallen ..>>
...What happened to the days when Blacks walked out of their homes; dressed? Literally, some of these girls these days are butt naked! Or half naked..lawd! Might as well be leg-wrapped around a pole..Has it been forgotten that when one walks out their front door; they represent their ENTIRE family? Every single day; dead or alive and yep, even the yet-to-be-born. The shoulders of the ancestors we stand upon? They dressed sharp..even headed out to the supermarket. Teens included…Know why children/teens dressed well back then overall? Because children follow suit behind their parents. And I’ll go as far as to say children watch & learn from ALL of their elders..WE are teaching even when we don’t realize we are. Yet, slowly but surely we’re acting as if we aren’t proud anymore. What happened to “the Black & Proud” movement of the 60s? We must & can do better or we’re going to free fall to a level so low; we might not be able to recover from . Or are we already there?>>
**Going to rewind backintime for a minute..To a little known comment made by Malcolm X..(Its my opinion he was “made” out to be a villain by the media; but that’s another topic for another time) I wonder IF this is how Blacks feel about one another anymore..Love for one another..Why IS it that every other ethnic group..i.e. Asians, Latino, African, Jewish, and even Indians all help one another ; and Black Americans don’t. Its known! Other folks laugh about it..Black Americans have become a big, fat model for the “crab in the barrel ” syndrome. How IS that possible when we USED to be so tight? Were we only tight back then because back then WE were all we had? >>
More than likely I should’ve added a disclaimer at the onset of this post..But for the sake of doing so here is my disclaimer = All or anything I pen are my thoughts and or beliefs. Based on a lifetime of personal experiences/what my parents, grandparents, aunts, cousins have taught or shown me/combined with a healthy dose of common sense and statistical facts. Moving right along..You didn’t think I was finished did you? Just getting started. Literally..Moving forward>>
There are many things tormenting Black Americans..Including themselves as a whole; but I’ll leave that for the very last part of my post. Exclusionism(yep!, that’s a real word not a Berna’ism) , Drug use, Diseases, Lack of higher education, economic strangulation, incarceration, and Black on Black crime is killing us off in astonishing numbers..The #1 cause in that list pushing Blacks in America toward genocide? Incarceration of Blacks. Namely Black MEN. The statistics are beyond startling..I wonder IF the majority of Blacks realize how many Black men are behind bars in our country. The U S of A..I’m willing to bet other single & eligible Sisters out there know our Black brothers are dwindling in numbers..And its very noticeable. >>
Heres the fast forwarded & brief version of being Black- behind- bars- in- our -country..As of 2008(which more than likely means the number has increased) America is still #1 in something. It’s now infamously known as the “WORLD’s number one jailer” . I hate reading or writing that; I love my country!; but that fact stinks. The U.S . with a population of 300 million(mind you these stats are very 5 yrs ago..) has a prison population that is GREATER than China with a population of 1.3 billion people..Whoa! It’s guesstimated that translated to approx 1 out of 12 Blacks is either in prison/in jail/or on parole. That not only stinks; that down right sucks! Races does matter..The rate of incarceration of Black males is 6.5 times that of White males & 2.5 times that of Hispanic males. Keep in mind the amount of ‘money’ pulled in from those productive Black laborers behind bars. Keep in mind also that a person’s right to VOTE is stripped while in prison and often after they’ve been released. Keep in mind also that same person has to still PAY taxes; but can’t vote. Keep in mind one more thing..Its guesstimated the cost of keeping a person in prison; is comparable to matriculating at Harvard University. How different America would/could be IF drug offenses were sentenced in an equal manner..I won’t go deep into the meaning of that comment. Personally I feel its self-explanatory. How different America would be if the above mentioned Black men “could” vote. Or could afford to pay for an education..The OR’s are limitless so I’ll stop there. When I worked in a prison & saw all the YOUNG brothers, babies!, behind bars? Hurt my heart & moved me to tears often; too often. Moving right along>>
Roughly 7,000 Blacks are murdered every year..94% of the time by the hands of another Black person. 94% of the time folks; that’s alarming! Just as we are horrified by the senseless/unjust deaths of the Trayvon Martins; we should rightfully be upset/aware of this statistic. Blacks make up approx. 13% of the Nation’s population; YET account for more than 50% of homicide victims. OMG I read over stats like that and can’t help but wonder about the future of Blacks in America. Its hard , knowing such things, not to be concerned. Beyond tragic to fathom that a young Black male has a better chance of reaching maturity on battlefields in Afghan & Iraq; than on the streets of some of the major cities in our country. I try very hard not to think about such things often; its less painful to just try with all my might to be part of our progression. Yet, isn’t remaining silent something that can also been seen as acceptance of such stats? Or worse; lack of caring or concern..>>
I could continue to write on & on & on; as I’ve done off & on all day about this topic..However, I’d like to think the general gist of where I’m coming from has been clearly outlined..I’m hoping with all of my being that this might just start a fire under someone out there reading this; to get involved, in some way, for positive progression. What if just doing our part isn’t enough? What if the way to prevent extinction; folks have to take on an extra chore in this mission? What a difference we’ve clearly seen that UNITED groups can make here in America. (Gays fighting for their right to marry is just one thing that comes to mind..) Silence isn’t always golden. And often times words aren’t enough to express sentiment felt. IF my heart could talk out loud about how it feels about the future of Blacks in America..It would scream from the highest roof top & say “I’m scared about my son’s & unborn grandchildren’s future here in our country” Exclamation mark. Period
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Let me be clear..I’m PRO education. Exclamation mark. Period. Life has a way often times of getting in the way of our goals & dreams. WE also have a way of getting in our “own” way. There is a difference. Yep, *rant alert* because I’m on 1…
“In 100 years, it won’t matter if you drove a Cadillac
or a Chevy. It will matter what we do for children.”
— Reverend Anjohnette Gibbs
**One more quote/background..then I’ll give my opinion on this topic. Bear with me because I’m digging deep. Not easy subject matter to broach; but so very important. **
>America is failing its young Black boys. In metropolitan ghettos, rural villages and
midsized townships across the country, schools have become holding tanks for
populations of Black boys who have a statistically higher probability of walking the
corridors of prison than the halls of college. Across America, the problem of Black male
achievement seems intractable. We fail our Black sons more than any other racial or
ethnic group.< Excerpt taken from Fall 2011 Edition of Policy Evaluation & Research Centers’ Policy Notes…
I’ve got many PHDs..One in Life.(including the school of hard knocks) One in Family. One in Love Relationships/Marriage. I’m still working on attaining my actual “paper” PHD..As my eldest son is ,now only a few months away, from actually having his PHD it brings to mind some of the many questions I’ve answered (or attempted to..)over the years regarding education. Questions from my sons and naysayers who say the time has come for Blacks to weigh whether a college education is really worth it. I could use alot of old adages to express why I feel it IS; but I won’t. I could even post more graphs to illustrate the impact a college education has on one’s lifetime income; but I won’t. Last but not least I guess I could say what I truly feel…the price of a college education is not rising for NO reason. Is it purely based on the economy that tuition and books have skyrocketed? Or is there a very logical reason behind the madness? IF college costs keep rising at a rate of 15% in 2 years(the average from 2008 to 2010) ; it will become increasingly unaffordable for the poor or even the almost non-existent middle class…
Honestly? I can understand why the youth might ask these questions..What about ALL of the folks with degrees that are JOBless? Is a college education worth going into knee -deep debt for? Why can’t I quit college when an excellent job with benefits comes along? How do I KNOW there will be jobs available when I’ve got my degree? What IF I’m not college material and I fail & waste all that time/money?
My stance? By whatever legal means necessary college is still worth it…nobody ever said anything worth it was going to be easy. Or without sacrifice. And these days a TON of moolah..Or good grades! to offset cost by landing a scholarship or grant. Which leads me back to where I began with this topic. Anyone out there know what the average reading level of 12th grade Black males was in 2010? On average, Black 12th grade students read at the level of White 8th grade students; or lower. Quite impossible to gain academic scholarships with those stats..Some don’t even consider college as a viable option. Sad, isn’t it? And then we wonder why prisons are filled with Black males; and college campuses aren’t. And we all know its happening because the media posts the stats EVERYWHERE; on purpose. With a purpose..
In my opinion when ANY group of society is lacking or falling behind; ALL parts of society will be impacted by it..I’ll let you think about that for a minute before I proceed.
I’ve tried to analyze where “we” can begin to solve this major issue..First, I guess one would have to figure out where it begins. Heres a quick breakdown..In any given situation PARENTS are/or should rightfully be a child’s first teacher. Giving guidance, direction and stability, etc, etc. Why isn’t that happening with today’s Black youth? Especially young Black men..Sometimes an issue can seem so HUGE we don’t know how to tackle it. Don’t even know where to begin solving it. But that doesn’t mean don’t do anything or attempt. And I also feel that those of us who have the wherewithall & care enough about the future; have to give till it hurts! Give our ourselves, our time, our experience, our ideas for progression, mentor!, etc..It is mind boggling to me that the situation has gotten this BAD. I don’t know about you but I’m tired, no tyeeeed, of seeing the dismal statistics. How can we, with good conscience, not do our part to help? We can’t…
Bottom Line~ IF or when your children , or anyone, asks you any of the aforementioned questions..You can use my answer if you like; I’ll let you borrow it…College is ALWAYS worth it.(or some form of higher education) My own Dad taught me long ago that one thing that could “never” be taken from me: knowledge. And in society these days that translates to a degree. A piece of paper , true!, but it is the way it is these days. A high school diploma doesn’t hold the weight it once did…In a quick minute a bachelors degree won’t even be enough to get a decent job. And that clock is ticking rapidly. A college degree isn’t a guarantee to get a job; never was! But it can open doors…and once inside that door it can lead to rapid promotion. Personally? I think high school should extend for another 2 years…An associates degree should be part of the regular public school system curriculum. But that is another topic for another time. And if saying ALL of that; doesn’t satisfy the person who asked you if college is worth it. The very , very final answer I resort to when I’m truly desperate IS…Because I said so!
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February is Black History Month in America…The controversial question that still begs 2 be answered IS= Does America really NEED a Black History Month? And if so, why is it important? Also, is ONE month tribute ENOUGH? For those that are BLACK; aren’t ya’ll BLACK every single day? For those that aren’t Black ; do you attempt to learn anything new regarding Black History during February? One last question I’ll give my views on= IS Black History Month just a “token” given to Blacks to put a band-aid on old wounds? WHY is it so difficult to have a decent, honest, OPEN dialogue about RACE still in America today? ~~~~~ First, a brief history lesson on how Black History Month came to be. Or do ya’ll already know? Oh well , for those that don’t know it began because of the efforts of Dr. Carter G. Woodson & Rev. Jessie E. Moorland. Dr. Woodson was the former son of SLAVES and the SECOND Black person in history to receive a degree from Harvard University. Because Dr. Woodson felt preserving one’s heritage was important he urged the fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, to create ‘Negro History and Literature Week’ in 1920. He “chose” February to honor two men who had a great deal to do with altering the future of Black Americans. President Abraham Lincoln and Abolitionist Frederick Douglas(both men were born in February) Thus the creation of what we now celebrate as Black History Month in America was born…
I’ll briefly answer my own questions I posed earlier..Later, I’ll dig deeper. First of all , NO, Black History Month, isn’t a “token” given to Blacks in America for any old wounds caused by years & years & years & YEARS of slavery…As I’ve briefly explained earlier Black History Month was created by a Black man for Black American citizens to feel a sense of PRIDE about themselves..Something that was badly neeeeeeded when he first worked so diligently to have it created. Next, do I feel America still needs a Black History Month? Yes, I sure DO…Why is Black History Month important? I’ll dig deeper into that later. Aren’t Black Americans Black & proud every day and not just during Black History Month? Well , I sure AM. Every morning when my feet hit the floor and I look in the mirror I know several things for sure. I AM BLACK. I am a WOMAN. I am a loved child of GOD. Not necessarily in that order but being Black is always first…and I make no apologies for that. But later I will try to explain why. And the last question=WHY in the heck is it so very difficult to have an open & honest dialogue(among Blacks , Whites, and any other race/color/creed) about RACE in America??????! Especially when WE all know it is still very much an issue in our country….
For the naysayers, Black and White, who want to keep their heads in the sand; and think RACE issues don’t still exist in our country…Ask President Obama’s good friend Henry Louis Gates, Jr if it does. A highly! educated Black man who in recent years was reminded that NO matter how educated he was/is..he is still BLACK. Not even being the close friend of the President of the United States could save him from public humiliation. Just because WE don’t discuss race issues doesn’t meant it isn’t still an issue…And mayhaps IF we did discuss it more(in a civil fashion..) it could finally begin to solve the issue. Unless you were blind and deaf you certainly have seen RACE raise its ugly head just prior to and since President Obama became President of the United States…I don’t have enough time to list all the ways but ya’ll can google all the incidents/things said/happenings if you don’t believe me..
In my opinion , Black History Month, is necessary to educate ALL American citizens..Quiet as kept there are MANY Blacks who don’t even know their own history! For IF they did why would “some” feel Black History Month is no longer necessary? Begun by a Black man to give Blacks a sense of pride; I truly think it is still needed for that very reason..and more. Mayhaps if other races are educated about Blacks the race issues would cease! As I’ve said many times before we are ALL far more alike ; than different. And often times ignorance about a topic can cause people to have distorted beliefs/thoughts about said topic. Note to parents: IF you’re depending on the American public educational system to teach your child about being BLACK or about other races or Black History …it won’t happen! Get them books, share their family tree with them/ share with them family history stories..etc..KNOWLEDGE is POWER. My sincere hope/prayer is that people are indeed learning something new every single time Black History Month rolls around…As much as I’ve studied Black History including my own family history; I’m still learning new things my dang self. It is closed minds that will take far longer to move past the old ways of thinking…
~~As a person I love ALL people…of all races/creeds/beliefs. As a Catholic Christian I know we are ALL loved children of GOD. I don’t understand how any Christian could with good conscience call themselves a Christian and yet HATE with the level of hate I’ve seen/witnessed/experienced! ; simply based on the color of one’s skin. Matter of fact there is no one on this planet I hate. There are a handful of people I ‘ve run into that I don’t care for; real talk. But I don’t hate them. I just don’t care to spend ANY of my precious time being around them nor speaking of them. And only one of them isn’t Black.. I’m still praying on how to get past that…never said I was perfect.
Quite honestly in recent years I’ve heard the N word used more by Blacks than anyone else..As a word of affection no less! What kind of shiiite is that?!? You can’t turn a WORD thats past is so negative that Blacks died cause they REFUSED to be called that word; into a positive word. I don’t care if it is JUST a word. I don’t allow it to be said in my surroundings . And I didn’t allow our sons to say it either…the ignorance has to stop somewhere. And I draw the line there. There is enough ignorance about what is or isn’t racism to wrap around our country a cazillion times..For the record there is a difference between racism and prejudice. Every time any of us labels a person by race, unless asked to describe someone by their race, we are exhibiting our prejudice. I’ve got my hand raised high; I’ve done it. And I try to catch myself but I’ve done it…I’m still working on that too. More proof I’m not perfect. In closing my sincere hope is that we can open up honest exchanges about RACE our country…Its past time. We’ve just TOGETHER put into office , for the 2nd time, the first ever Black man in the highest position of our country. That alone wasn’t enough to stomp out racism..Anyone who thought that was going to be enough wasn’t thinking logically. Rome wasn’t built in a day…nor can something so monumental be solved in one day or action. BUT we’re making progress…and that is wonderful! Like any good parent my DREAM is for my sons to live in a country that they are considered EQUAL…judged based not on the color of their skin..but ALLL of their years of education, their experience, their HEARTS, and all of their hard work. I co-raised my sons to LOVE all people and they do! I refused to teach them to hate..What we did do was teach them to be PROUD of who they are. Which includes embracing their Black heritage. One can’t know where the heck they’re going in life; if they don’t know who they are & where they’ve come from. And while I do have a preference for who will be my love mate/life mate; I’m not racist. Though! I’ve had White guys who have asked me out say they felt that was racist. It isn’t . It is a preference. I just happen to be HONEST about my preference from the jump…Chalk it up to the level of highest respect I have for my highest male role model. My Father/Daddy who is Black..Little girls either are attracted to men like their Fathers or the opposite…I fall into the first category. Think about the preferences people have with who they’re attracted to??? Blondes. Women with big boobs.(even if they’re FAKE) Women with small waists & big butts. Women with small waists/big butts & big boobs! How about women who won’t date a man under 6 foot? Or won’t date anyone that isn’t fit or fyneeeee as heck. My preference just happens to involve skin color. And I absolutely LOVE chocolate skin..and the swagger of a confident brother??? Omg, no substitute for that…. Also, if anyone out there reading this has anything to add or correct me on things I’ve written; feel free. I’m ready to rap if you are…4ever sincere, Berna (the 1 & only)
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~Did YOU know that January 1, 2013 marked the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation? Me neither. I slept it and as a Black American, American period!, that is awful..Thankfully the date is NOT too far past to pay tribute to it here on my blog. I am a very proud Black woman. I am a very proud American. I celebrate life daily and in doing so pay homage to my GOD, my ancestors , my parents, and myself..There is a project in the Black Voices section of the Huffington Post(I’m a subsciber and read it on a regular basis) that is called “Letters to Our Ancestors” It is in tribute to the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Huffington Post asked leading members of the Black community to share their own letters to their(our) forefathers. With these letters, it is hoped to look back on the progress our community has made & give thanks to those who paved the way for US…They were a generation of BRAVE souls who embarked into a NEW world after hundreds of years of subjugation…You’re free to pull up the Huffington Post site and read the many letters there in the section of this project. For the sake of this post and tribute in my blog I’ve selected a letter from The Rev.Dr . Otis Moss III to post. He is a descendant of enslaved African named “Tinko”. I found his letter to his forefather very inspiring and heartfelt..So I chose it out of all the other letters I read there. This is an excerpt from the actual letter…
I wish you could visit Harlem and hear the songs and sounds of who took the genius of your contemporaries and created poetic works and literary songs of a new “Negro” renaissance. I wish you could walk the campuses of Tuskegee, Morehouse, Spelman, Howard, and Hampton, and witness ideas blossoming in the mind of the grandchildren of slaves yearning to be men and women . I wish you could witness Marcus Garvey speaking to us as God’s children and not “the wretched of the earth”, or read the essays of W.E.B. Dubois, as he reflects on life post-reconstruction, or sit in on an organization meeting with A. Phillip Randolph as “Pullman Porters” claimed their dignity through organized labor. Atlanta, Georgia the citadel of the genteel south produced a prophet named Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., who forced the Constitution to repent and America to reflect upon her creed.
I know I am leaving out much more:yet, the triumphs are too vast and tragedies are too numerous to count. I must also share an unbelievable moment in our history. Our current President and First Family are people of African descent! As unlikely as it may sound, democracy and history collided and produced a moment you or our ancestors only dreamed was possible….
There are those who claim we live in post-racial society and others who claim we still live in a racist society. I say we live in a race-consciousness society, fearful of class and apprehensive about color. We are NOT post-racial, nor are we soley defined by the social construction of race. We are post-emancipation, but, we are still a pre-promised land nation still looking at the future from the mountain-top and not the plain of realized dreams. Gains have been made in this nation, but the beloved community still waits in the harbor of our prophetic imagination. Maybe ONE day we will reach it but as of now we still dream….
I thank you for your courage this day, and look forward to meeting you one day in our Father’s house, when time and space cease to be weights upon our temporal existence.
The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III(Descendant of enslaved African named “Tinko”)
**I found this letter to be close to what I feel to this day….I’ve read books from every single author he noted(starting when I was a child in my own Daddy’s house..) I’ve read in history books, NOT the ones I was given in school, on dates/events the Rev. Moss speaks of..Reading his letter has inspired me to follow up on the family roots(he has done extensive work on “my” family tree:maternal & paternal sides) that my own Daddy has worked on for over 30 years!(collecting data from records from long ago isn’t easy by far)..And I’m hopeful to also encourage/employ my 3 sons to help with completing the task. One needs to know where their roots begin. Yep, including me!/my 3 sons/my future grandchildren. How many of us as Blacks here in America(born & bred here..) know IF we are descendants of slaves? How many of us as Blacks here in America know with certainty we hailed from Africa? Stumbling upon this tribute to the 150th anniversary of the emancipation proclamation re-awakened an internal spark inside me to know. Mayhaps it just might have also done the same for one of ya’ll reading this. Until I read you/write you stay UPlifted N blessed. 4ever sincere Berna(the 1 N only)
I've learned that fear limits you and your vision. It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for you. The journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities, and your self-worth can empower you to walk down an even brighter path. Transforming fear into freedom how great is that? - Soledad O'Brien
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