Dear Black America,
Congratulations! It’s February 2018 and this is black history month. The 28 days of the year that our nation steps back to examine our history in this country. Yeah, I know… 28 days is hardly enough time to remember, explore, and pay homage to all things “Black”. However, recognizing the time limitations, I believe it’s most productive for us to focus on the future of Black America. We know where we came from, our past is colored by the blood of our ancestors and this has left a permanent scar etched into our very DNA. Today we are conscious, “woke”, and aware of both how far we have come and how deeply entrenched we still are in institutional racism, even now. So we feel our past as we continue to fight in the present but what of the future?
In Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I have a dream” speech on August 28th, 1963 he mesmerized an entire nation officially immortalizing himself as one of the greatest civil rights leaders of all time. He delivered a prophetic vision for the future of Black America. This vision of hope, beauty and peace earned him his place in our history. He pointedly spoke on resisting the urge to become satisfied while we still face injustices such as police brutality and stated poetically “we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream”.
He was directing us to look forward to a future where we would find the equality we seek. His words are as true today as they ever were. This transformative vision for the future is the American dream in the hearts and minds of us all. But somehow it seems these truths have been forgotten. Many of us have become satisfied with our condition despite this warning, even becoming desensitized to the continued suffering and injustices laid out before us everyday. We can watch multiple videos of uniformed police officers murdering unarmed black men and all we do is passively leave an angry emoji in the comment box and feel we’ve done our part as “internet activists” to affect change.
While others of us have been pacified by mindless rap noise and consumed by this drug culture that it creates. Nothing is really being done to further our cause and one way or another it feels to me as though we’ve sacrificed our passionate drive to change things for these trivial satisfactions.
Don’t get me wrong, the internet support helps but it’s only a tool in the fight. Nothing would have ever changed if Martin Luther King, Jr. had only placed a sad face sticker on the Washington monument and simply walked away.
This is the time to reenergize, reorganize and restructure a new vision for the future. We need to push legislation that will protect us from police brutality and severely punish officers found guilty of these atrocities. I even advocate for the rewriting of American history books to include the black contributions, these are just a couple ideas of the top of my head. Because, I too have a dream that one day the police will not kill unarmed black men. A dream that the history books our children read will include them in a positive light as valuable citizens of this nation. But there is so much more that needs to be addressed…
What is your dream for the future of Black America?
Leave a comment with one thing that you would add to the “I have a dream” speech if it were rewritten and updated for 2018. I may write an I have a dream 2.0 2018 version in the near future and include your ideas.
Let this black history month be a wake up call. There is still much work to be done before we are seen as equals in the country that WE built. The revolution WILL NOT be televised, nor will it play out on youtube or Instagram. No, the changes we seek will only take place when we take action. But first, “We need a dream. We need a dream. Dear God almighty, we need a dream”