A powerful message of our reader, Kimberley McIntyre, to all black sisters and brothers.
This afternoon I took my 18 month old son to the park. I just bought him a new tricycle and he was eager to test it out. My other mom friends came along with their babies and we had a ball. Fast forward three hours; we were so tired, baby was literally falling asleep.
Home was only fifteen minutes away but we came by tricycle; so forty-five minutes and two very weary arms later, we made it to my building.Going up the stairs to my first-floor apartment is risky business with a sleeping baby to carry. Above my prince’s head, all I could see were the stairs. One by one. One after another; each getting me one step closer. With my view handicapped and my arms becoming more like jelly with every second that ticks, all I can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other.
To get where we want to go, we have to make an effort, no matter the load we are bearing, the wounds we are healing; the strikes against us. In order to get from point A to point B, we must keep it moving; in the right direction of course.
As a people, it could appear to some that we Blacks do not know where we are going or have lost our way. While this is a fact for a percentage of our fellow men, there exists the rest of us, who see a future for our race. A future where we are centered around values like love – for oneself as well as for one’s brother; honesty; acknowledgement of and thankfulness for the experiences of our forefathers; respect – for the environment, humankind and in turn ourselves; pride in our race; kindness to and support for each other, (to name a few).
If we could one day understand that the cultural setback that occurred some generations ago, (what with slavery, wars; robbery of our goods, our people and our ways), that brought us to inhabit another man’s land, should no longer be decisive in the lives we live today or determine where we end up ultimately.
To see the change we have long dreamed of; we must be it.
If we look at any long-term success story, we see that one key point is investment in and sustenance of a solid foundation or framework, long before the end results are even seen. The ones who invest may not be around to reap the rewards, but that would not change the work they have done.
This concept holds true for raising up a generation who, when the baton is passed on to them, will be well-equipped to carry on our legacies and to guide our people in to the future we deserve.
Today, we are products of the life our ancestors lived: their accomplishments, defeats, the wars and rebellions, king and queenship, survival, victories and triumph. Hence, it is important that we sow the right seeds in the lives of our children and young adults. The lives we lead today will determine their future.
As far back as his-story tells us, our people have been victims of racial violence and injustice and it is factual that over the last decade there has been a rise in the rate of cases reported. There has been little conviction and punishment for these acts and we are enduring such treatment even today.
For us to get through this horrid disastrous period that threatens our race, a solid foundation is vital. Our roots must be well watered and tended to. We must know who we are as a people; the truth of our identity – not the conformation guidelines or made-up stories written in their books. We must understand our capabilities and surpass them. We must believe our value and cherish our worth.
To succeed against our enemies, we must be united and each of us has a role to play.
If we could regurgitate the lies fed to us, about our colour, our potential, our purpose, our position, our physique, our intelligence, our skill, our due, our rights, our hair, our style, our language, our food, our culture; all of it, and replace it with knowledge that our blackness is a badge of beauty and strength. Replace the lies with assurance that our unique ability to identify with fellow Blacks anywhere in the diaspora is a sign that there is hope for our race; that despite the separation of our people, our hearts remain united in brotherhood. Replace the lies with surety that the world has room for us and our greatness so we do not need to compare ourselves or fall into others’ shadows. We are a force to reckon with and we can break every box they put us in but it all starts with the right mindset. Replace the lies with the belief that we have the right to our unique way of life; we are who we are and we should not conform to society’s interpretation of us.
Each man in his own right –
talent abounding – plays his part,
victory hounding; power in
Take your brother’s hand,
we are greatness
Author: Kimberley McIntyre