As Black History month comes to a close, we can acknowledge that its observation, while laudable, is not nearly enough. So many of our young people have so little faith in their ability to thrive and prosper in the United States, or to safely raise their children here, that we have reached a crisis point in the history of Black people in America. Reflecting on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s historic 1963 "I have a Dream" speech, I realize that I too have a dream. I dream that one day little Black boys and little Black girls will be taught from the womb that they are luminous manifestations of the All That Is, endowed with the power, love and majesty we now ascribe to God.
Were every Black child taught to boldly develop their unique talents and interests, racism would cease to be an issue for African Americans. We would have an abundance of Black bankers, teachers, engineers, web masters, entrepreneurs, motor vehicle registrars, clothiers and neighborhood development corporations. We would have Black artists and sculptors making a good living while culturally enriching our homes, institutions and communities. We would have an abundance of Black book stores, accounting firms, manufacturers, and midwives. Do you see what I'm saying? We ought to be able to, under all circumstances, choose to conduct our business with our own people! And we ought to be treated with dignity and respect when we support Black enterprise so that we feel good spending our money this way.
My dream is that Black Nationalism be taken seriously by African Americans. I am a Black Nationalist in what I think is the best sense of the term: a proponent of a Black national identity not predicated on struggle and pain. I can foresee that as we commit to build our Black nation, we can correct many of the ills that are part and parcel of the current system. We can show the compassion and understanding for one another that is not now extended to us. The closer we get to the 2016 elections, the clearer it becomes that integration into the existing system has not worked. Pan-Africanism, attractive though it may be, is not an economic feasibility for most African Americans, nor would many choose to emigrate even if given the chance. So I dream that we create our nation-within-a-nation right here in the U.S.--starting in our own neighborhoods.
I have a dream that we come to experience community in place of fragmentation--cooperation rather than crabs-in-a-barrel-type competition. For those among us who are happy and faring well within the dominant culture, pay something forward toward the uplift of other Black folk. And for the overwhelming majority of African Americans for whom this system is not working, let each individual follow their inner guidance to greatness and find their unique gifts, which can not only create personal satisfaction and wealth, but infuse good works and vital energy into the world.
History is being made every moment. Let us not consign our futures and those of our children to anything less than the brilliance we are capable of creating by our own vision and determination.
Dream what we will--then make it real!
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