By Dedrick D. Henry, Sr.
With the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the March On Washington, I pray that we as a people grasp the significance of this occasion. Dr. King visualized and preordained the realm of the good ole U S of A one day accepting people of color as human beings, rather than pieces of property. We have come a long way but we still have a long way to go. We as a people need to be reminded daily of the progress Blacks have made and continue to make. Black people have been and will always play a part in the history of building and the restoration of things to come today, tomorrow and forever.
Whether accepted or not we are here to stay. But we as a people have got to take a stand and be accounted for other than a statistic or a stereotype. Be accounted for by becoming a registered voter who exercises all their rights and by being a productive member of society. This includes applying for grants, loans and most important free education, as well as abiding by the laws that govern our land and especially practicing the Ten Commandments throughout your daily activities. These things provide a foundation for the preservation of a person and a people.
Owning property, houses, land and a business was once a dream for people of color. Our ancestors and freedom fighters shed blood, sweat and tears for those dreams to become a reality. There are many opportunities for minorities that many of us don’t know about that can be obtained by making a few phone calls or just asking a few questions. Help is near and help is here, just as long as you want it. Remember “closed mouths don’t get fed.”
Trailblazers like Dr. King, Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, Frederick Douglass and many more have paved the way for us to demonstrate our strengths in numbers. We have progressed to the extent where we think we have done enough, it is never enough! Enough is when you are successful and uplift our brothers/sisters to share in your success. I’m not saying give them your possessions but show them how they too can become successful. This is what it is going to take for us to continue to progress, instead of regress. We have to take the initiative to push and pull our brothers and sisters in the right direction. This could be giving them advice, sharing information or delivering a message, whatever is necessary for us to succeed as a people needs to be done.
There is no time better than the present. If not now, when? We cannot allow ourselves to be subjected to segregation, misrepresentation and definitely not gentrification. Black people as a whole have suffered enough degradation, false accusations, and imprisonment to allow this to continue to transpire in today’s society. I am totally aware that there are racists individuals which is why we must demand respect and equality on all levels and in all the terms of everyday living.
Sometimes turning the other cheek prevents you from unexpected incidents because in actuality you being Black, are already at fault and the one to blame. Dr. King envisioned of the day that the Black race would rise above the deprivations that have held us down for far too long. We have to fight for ourselves and not fight ourselves, fighting one another only makes it easier for our own destruction. Let’s fight for the will to live, fight to see another day, another generation and another lifetime. In honor of the late, Great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and all the freedom fighters, we thank you and we truly do appreciate you sacrificing your lives’ for our preservation!!