An Open Letter to Black America.
You can color me red, but that won’t corroborate the essence of my continuance, because that is not who I am. You can color me brown, but such humdrum characterization, can’t hold a candle to my eminence. Yellow restricts my authenticity, as does white, that bounces off me, with every step I take. These colors don’t define me, nor do they echo my sentiments. Thus, color me Black; for that is my name, my world and my identity!
Three hours ago I received devastating news. Not tragic news—no one died, thank God. But millions of lives are at stake. Something I read, something I fought very hard, and for a long time ignored. Now, it’s as close as the French magazine protruding from my handbag. I feel numb, acutely troubled. I feel at this moment like a stranger in a foreign country, who is neither wanted nor appreciated. Naturally, my associates, with whom I share everything of an intellectual nature, will hear about this ominous tiding.
According to reliable sources, a disproportionate number of Blacks are convinced, African-Americans are Hampered By The Past and Afraid of the Future. Regrettably, I must add my name to this growing list. So, to better understand my position on this issue, read on.
To my African-American brothers and sisters, we are understandably angry, about the obstacles we face. But, let’s not forget what Dr. King and his followers fought so gallantly for. Frankly, from where I sit, I don’t think they would approve of the negative attitude, many of us have developed over the years. Besides, what does such behavior say about us, anyway? Oh sure, it gives some people a temporary sense of satisfaction. But that doesn’t change anything. And for those African-Americans who insist that our problems are insurmountable, my response is, are you serious? As a race, working together in unison and purpose, I believe we can create miracles, by alleviating Black-on-Black violence, and closing the educational gap to where our kids, are no longer considered “intellectually inferior.” And for those other problems we’re familiar with, we have four choices; we can solve them, eliminate them, decrease them, or accept them. The choice is yours!
In observing the state of 2016 Black America, what we need is a massive dose of positive reinforcement. Aren’t you tired of hearing that everything from racism to bitterness is impeding our progress? That statement is true to a certain point. But, if we listen to that small voice in their back of our mind, we admit that we are keeping ourselves down by refusing to listen to reason. Therefore, let’s stop putting each other down. Stop degrading each other.
It’s time to stand together as a race of proud, resilient and courageous Americans. Similarly, we must patronize and support Black businesses, and teach positive aspects of cultural enrichment to our children. And speaking of learning, we must learn about the struggles and great strides of our ancestors. Thus, we will be compelled to stand tall. So, let’s agree to stop the quarreling, and work toward building a better life, not only for ourselves, but for future generations. Now that we’ve familiarized ourselves with the problems, can a solution be far behind?
Before I conclude this commentary, I would like to offer this observation from Malcolm X’s eulogy, delivered by the late Ossie Davis on February 27, 1965.
He said: “Consigning these mortal remains to earth, the common mother of all, secure in the knowledge that what we place in the ground is no more now a man – but a seed – which, after the winter of our discontent, will come forth again to meet us. And we will know him then for what he was and is – a Prince – our own black shining Prince! – who didn’t hesitate to die, because he loved us so.” Black America, if Malcolm loved us, why in the name of all things compassionate, can’t we love ourselves?
Staff Writer; Peggy S. Butler