I, like most of you, don’t think black history month should be relegated to a month but that the acknowledgement of the accomplishments of the black community (and other cultural groups, for that matter), should be so much a part of the fabric of our society that a definitive time that we can say, “oh yeah, the first black this…” or, “the first black that…” is unnecessary—redundant, even.
To my chagrin, there are those—mostly, non black people, who have not lived the experience—that would like to say, race is not an issue in America anymore; media is hyping things up and makings things racial, that are not. I saw such arguments on Facebook after Zimmerman’s acquittal, but most brown people know that this is not the case at all. Had we been afforded opportunities in which we could ignore power, privilege and institutionalized ism’s, we could say so emphatically as well, but when you’ve lived it …well…let’s just say ignorance is not afforded as easily.
“Everybody thinks we’re wrong, but who are they to judge us simply because our hair is long (or we wear hoodies…or have brown skin…)?” –Marvin Gaye
It’s painful that we continue to see our youth…and we can call them by name—Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Adrian Broadway, Renisha McBride and Jonathan Ferrell to name a few—murdered for nothing more that being black and immediately associated with the negative.
“Mother, mother, there’s too many of you crying. Brother, brother, brother, there’s far too many of you dying….What’s going on?”—Marvin Gaye
…What’s going on?
Born in 1979, at the tail end of a decade known as, “the pivot of change,”—for it’s influence in actualizing some of the stirrings of the 1960’s in which revolutionary movements inspired social and political awareness—I cannot attest to the swell of the ground that led to such individual awakenings. However, in the past few months, with Zimmerman’s acquittal, last week’s, “mistrial” of Michael Dunn, and even fresh discussions of black feminism in the last quarter of 2013, I believe the ground is swelling again. It’s time for social change. We need to do something.
“We’ve got to find a way to bring some loving here today”
“People you know we’ve got to find a way to bring some understanding here today.”
What happens to so many of us, myself included, is that we see these things on the news. We get angered. Perhaps we even cry. We think of our sons, nephews, brothers and fathers and though we experience frustration that is where it ends. We leave that work to a select few who will do our bidding. But, that’s not satisfactory. We must be as Gandhi says, “The change we wish to see in the world.”
So today, as we near the close of black history month in search of a time in which black is not synonymous with the lesser and notions of our goodness are taken for granted, I challenge you to find ways in which we can address these issues as a community. You and I will be the deciding factor but we have to get up off the couch because as Gil Scot Heron says—“The revolution will not be televised…there will be no re-runs. The revolution will be live.” The revolution will be the work of you and I.
Feministas, what are some movements that you know of that we can partake in to effect change?
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