Food for Black Thought
The countdown to end one decade, 2019 and welcome the arrival another, 2020 is upon us.
The axiom that begs my attention, is “…hindsight is 20/20”, if so I’m compelled to sharpen my vision as I reflect on a couple of monumental achievements in the past decade that left a staggering impression on my memory and undoubtedly, metaphorically the historical memory of our Republic.
Something occurred in this country in the last decade I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I’d witness; the election of an African American man, Barack Obama as president of the United States of America, not once, but twice. To be alive in 2008, in this country, knowing at that time, white Americans set aside whatever racial animosity as a vestige of slavery and Jim Crow laws to see what this Black man can do; and he showed the world. Obama’s election, in the eyes of many citizens in this country proved one thing, we can produce an excellent manifestation of what a Republic can accomplish. When Americans, in spite of the propaganda that feeds our insecurities toward one another, are laid aside, we see the similarities that bind us as a nation. We are one, therefore our oath or pledge of allegiance to each other should stand as a marker to anyone, who tries to divide, conquer and erase our voices. As a people united in liberty and justice, we are bound to protect the freedoms and civility of us all.
I’m not naïve to think Obama’s election could erase over three hundred years of negative thinking about African Americans or even how some African Americans see themselves. The question that looms large in my rear-view mirror is, what’s next? What does 2020 have in store for all of us? More social and religious turmoil, more racial anxiety, newfound freedoms of independence, a failed government? Do we pick up from where we were in 2019, head-out to pursue uncharted waters of thought, or allow ourselves to socially atrophy, get bogged down with the same social tropes that got us here? These questions are worth pondering but not to linger over. We have bigger fish to fry. We have a nation to build!
To African Americans, questions that lay ahead for us regarding our future is more prescient. Our fate and future is our mandate. Developing a plan and strategy for the next decade will require careful planning and decision making to mitigate the political, educational, financial and social justice challenges resistant to change.
White America, your role in garnering the mechanism to build significant liaisons with diverse ethnic groups, serves your social predicate for fairness in wages, job opportunities and overall mandate for a freer and more positive social environment. Dr. Martin Luther’s Dream’s doesn’t have to morph in to a nightmare. When nimble minds and bodies see the benefit of joint cultural ventures that uplift the underserved, allowing them to participate and fully contribute to the fulfillment of MLK’s Dream, we can all exhale, knowing America Works for Everyone!
My fellow Americans, in 2020 let’s start over and make a pact for the new decade. “Anyone who seeks to divide us, and turn one against the other, for personal gain or advantage, is not our partner or friend, and will be ostracized from our cause for unity. As citizens of the world, we will not be deterred from our goal to uplift and help those in need. Our goal, promote charity, peace, goodwill and laughter wherever an American, sits, stands or lays his/her head!”. It’s in Us!!!!
Robert H. Miller, Ph.D.