We Must Have a Renewed Hope and Faith in 2017 – 12/31/2016

We Must Have a Renewed Hope and Faith in 2017

As we move into the new year of 2017, let’s reflect personally on 2016 what went right and what went wrong and more importantly what you plan on doing in 2017. This same exercise must be done for the Black community and if were honest with ourselves, we can do better and we must do better for the future of Black America. Given that there are just too many Black children who wake up every day living in poverty and/or near poverty and all of its manifestations – this my brothers and sisters is unacceptable. What’s more troubling is that all statistical data show that the number of Black children living in poverty will grow which will significantly cripple and handicap the liberation of Black people in America without a local or national plan to address our “specific” issues.

Our individual challenges pale in comparison to our group challenges and if we are not addressing them as a group, our individual success will continue to diminish and be limited to just a few success stories – this is what we see today. While we have a few individuals that have been able to achieve financial independence, the overwhelming majority of the Black community spends most of their time in a “survival” mode either at low-middle income or low-to-very-low income levels – this economic condition is the “legacy of slavery” that our community has inherited. With this reality, our community lacks “individual” or “group” wealth which complicates our ability to mount any strategic real long-term plan to address our issues. Our issues are unique and to combat our issues will require that we do something that we have been unable to do with fidelity and sustainability – THE BLACK COMMUNITY MUST WORK CLOSER TOGETHER (FUNCTIONAL UNITY) AND I HAVE HOPE AND FAITH THAT OUR COMMUNITY WILL IN 2017.

WE MUST RESTORE HOPE – While we have a number of issues that the Black community must defend (internal and external), I have hope that our community has the desire and will to undertake this fight – not just for today but more importantly for tomorrow. Where does this hope come from? It comes from knowing of the great history and struggle of our people (knowledge gives me hope). Our people have overcome so much over the past five hundred years, including the trans-Atlantic passage; chattel slavery, Jim Crow racism and discrimination; and KKK terrorism and not only survived but we still remain one of the warmest and sincerest people on the planet. Our ancestors exhibited the highest level of hope in the face of odds greater than we face today.

However, due to a number of legitimate reasons, too many members of our community have lost hope; they have seen things stay the same or even worsen for so long they’ve succumb to the feeling of hopelessness – we must help them, we must help ourselves. It’s very easy for White America and the media depict Black people and their current social and economic conditions as a true reflection and narrative of our group value and it’s is equally easy for Black people to see their current social and economic conditions as a true reflection and narrative of their group value. In addition to addressing our issues, our work must involve restoring hope the masses of people for no fault of their own have been bitten by White supremacy and therefore, Black inferiority.

We must reinvigorate our culture with hope no matter how bleak things seem to appear. We must utilize the remembrance of the plight of our ancestors for courage and strength. Brothers and sisters, this isn’t a weakness, this is our strength; this is our blessing; and this is our gift from our ancestors and we must use it to our advantage. We can’t allow our children to not have hope, we must allow them to make an honest comparison and gauge for themselves whether the proverbial glass is “half empty” (pessimistic) or “half full” (optimistic) and conclude like millions of Black baby boomers did that we can do and achieve anything we set our minds and hearts to do evidenced by unparalleled successes the Black community achieved in the 19th and 20th century. Optimism was ingrained within our culture and collective our spirit and we must do the same for future Black children so they too can be inspired by our potential and not burdened by our current reality because this is a marathon and not a sprint. I’m optimistic that our Black leadership (i.e. clergy, decision makers, content specialist, businessmen and women, etc.) will begin to work closer together in 2017 to restore hope to our community and to our children.

WE MUST REGAIN OUR FAITH – When hope is subdued, faith is has been arrested. Have we forgotten the basic tentacles of faith and the belief in a Supreme Being and a higher plan? I can recite several that fit our struggles “after hardship comes ease;” “if it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger;” “man plans, but God is the best of planners;” “the struggle of good versus evil, God versus the Devil;” my life, death belong to God;” “the weak shall inherit the earth;” God is on the side of those most downtrodden;” “I fear no one but God;” and “if you believe, you will be tested.” The struggle the Black man in America faces is a test from God and this is a religious struggle; therefore, we must have faith that we’re on the right side of history and God has a plan for victory and liberation of the Black man.

If you stare out into the universe and take in the sun, moon and the stars; watch the rivers flow and the massive containment of the world’s (three quarters) awesome seas and oceans; admire the highest and most majestic mountains and the energy, minerals, and natural energy resources buried deep into the earth; acknowledge the multitude of gifts that the earth produces from the sweetness of sugar to the bitterness of salt; and the millions of other physical attributes and benefits of creation, you must conclude that this existence we call “life” isn’t some accident. As you study the creation, you must come to appreciate that there is a definite hierarchy within creation with man as its sole benefactor – man is at the top of the food chain and God is above man no matter what name you ascribe to Him.

We hear about the ultimate friction between good and evil; God and Devil and many of us are confused by this dynamic. My belief is that this contrast is part of the Creator’s design. The devil, if he does exist (I do believe that a devil spirit exist) is part of God’s creation – this is no accident. Also, the devil is not in competition with God. God has no competition. If the devil wanted to disguise himself (this is the nature of the devil), religion would be the best place to hide because once you someone to believe it’s nearly impossible to reverse and White Supremacy is a lie. The devil spirit is competition with the human spirit and has used the human to elevate himself to God; God-like, or a kin to God and this can be more demonstrated in the dynamics of White Supremacy played out in the oppression of Black people in America. Our spirituality and faith must be tied to our liberation without exception. We must view our struggle in a spiritual and divine perspective and this should free us – how else can you explain what has happened to our people for so long.

In addition to our faith in God, I faith in the concepts of America and democracy. The same key that locked us up, is the same key that can deliver and free us. The Constitution, Bill of Rights, Voting Rights Act, and the Declaration of Independence are all legal documents that support our freedom and provide the Black community the ammunition needed to hold America accountable. Don’t get it twisted, America will never change on its own, they will need to be forced to repair the damage done to our community. We should never forget that Black people in America are not like any other group in America: we’re not natives, we’re not immigrants, and until just recently we achieve the status of American citizenship. The journey of the Black man in America is on par with the painful struggles of the most aggrieved people within scripture – we must connect our struggle to a spiritual one and we must renew our faith. I’m optimistic that our Black leadership (i.e. clergy, decision makers, content specialist, businessmen and women, etc.) will begin to work closer together in 2017 to regain our faith in God and our liberation.

After hope and faith must come the work – in fact, the measurement of how much hope and faith one has can be seen in the amount of work that one undertakes – this equally applies to the group as well. God will never do for us what we must do for ourselves and we must take ownership and do the work. Our liberation must be earned and the current level of Black disorganization and disunity could never be the foundation and/or recipe for the collective strategy needed to improve the plight of Black America. Restated, if we don’t begin to work closer together, especially our leaders, we don’t have a chance in the world to not only defend ourselves but to advance our agenda. If we don’t do better, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

I know everyone won’t agree with me and many will continue to operate in an isolated (silo) way believing that their work is so good and will save the whole Black community but it won’t – our issues are too complexed and to complicated that any one individual or organization can tackle alone. However, for those who do agree that Black people must work better together for our success, I have hope and faith in our people that we can come together in 2017 to form the foundation needed for a movement that can be sustained over several decades if not centuries. MAY GOD BLESS THE BLACK COMMUNITY IN AMERICA IN 2017!

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