Monday, February 29, 2016

Reflections on Black History

(c) 2016 image by Google
February will be ending at the stroke of midnight tomorrow night. A new month will emerge called March. I want to take the time to reflect on this month. The reason why I want to reflect on this month is because of recent events that have happened within the past 5 years.
Now I can see many of you mumbling under your breath “here we go again, she’s got another one.” No, it is not that kind of a post. I just want to reflect that’s all.
It has to do with a sermon I heard my minister say today. It is all about the phrase, “Young, Gifted, and Black.” In case you are wondering about that phrase, it was actually a poem by Nina Simone, who also turned it into a song called, “To be Young, Gifted, and Black.” This song was written in 1969, and it talks about how beautiful to be young, gifted, and black. What she talks about in the song is the whole world was waiting to see how talented billions of boys and girls are. To me, this song reflected on how I should be, even though I did not quite understand at 4 years old.
Today, as I listened to the lyrics of that song at 51 years old, I fully understood what those words meant, as my minister read them from the pulpit. Sometimes, you have to read between the lines in order to understand a song that was written so long ago. My understanding is that I should be proud of what I have accomplished so far in my life. But more importantly, I should be proud of what my race has accomplished before I was born, and after I was born. What I also understood and those lyrics is that we should never let someone, thing, or idea hold us back. This is both as individuals and as a race of people, who has felt like they were held back for a very long time.
Do not wait for permission. What I meant by waiting for permission is you do not need anyone’s permission to learn, to research, to think, and to do (within reason) good things, in order to make this world a better place to live in.
I never had a problem with the #blacklivesmatter movement. It is a worthy cause towards ending racism once and for all. I do not have a problem with protest, when it’s done right, but there have been several incidences in the past 3 years since the protest, where protesting did not work for the common good. Is it really necessary to burn down buildings, loot, beat, and call people a name that hurts and maybe scar a person for life? No, it really is not necessary to do those things, and much more that have been seeing on the television, and read online. I agree with some people who say that all lives matter. So to me, there should be a protest where all lives matter, no matter what.
“But, you are on their side.” No, I am not. I am on the side where Jesus says to accept everyone, no matter what they look like, act like, or economic situation. This also includes those who do not have the same lifestyle as you.
One last thing before I end this post. Do not honor black history in just the month of February. There are so many accomplishments that black people have contributed to in the past. It doesn’t even boil down to that. When you think of it, there are so many talented young people who have lots to contribute with their talents. It is up to us as older people, and I’m talking about adults over 26 years old and older, to steer them in the right direction. If you know of any resources where a young person can steer their talents at, such as community service, then show them. Don’t just show them, take them by the hand, and lead them in that direction. You never know how that person will turn, which I hope will be a valued member of society.

“Young, gifted, and black does not mean they are thugs, rappers, drug addicts, and dropouts”, as my preacher said today. It means that there is potential, great potential in that head of theirs, if they were guided in the right direction. Here’s to February.

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