Black History Month Pledge To Dream
William Jackson, M.Ed.
This blog was written while listening to:
”God Favors Me”, by Hezekia Walker
Proverbs Chapter 19:20 KJV
“Hear counsel and receive instruction that thou
mayest be wise in thy latter end (years).”
The 50’s, 60’s and 70’s were tumultuous times
in American/African American history with
socio-political, socio-cultural and socio-economic
events that affected African Americans and changed
the thinking of many Americans both Black and Whites.
The laws of Jim Crow and segregationist of the past
still affect our racial and cultural interaction and
future expectations in our society for racial equality
Someone had a Dream to change the way of thinking
from segregation and racial prejudice to cultural unity
and national equality. Those born in the eighties and
after were probably never exposed to direct affronts
of racism; generation (50’s/60’s/70’s) and the
generations before do remember and bear the scars.
Those scars are emotional and psychological that
will be carried unto death. Some even have physical
scars from violence inflicted upon them. Those reading
this that participated in the “Movement” or
“Civil Rights Movement” remember and understand the
power of a Dream.
The acts of segregation, intimidation, violence,
racism and various forms of social degradation, that
were imposed upon minorities, regardless of
these those in the “Movement” were inspired by a Dream.
A Dream towards equality in education, political
equalization and employment, a Dream to equal rights
that are in the Constitution of the United States
that focused on social modification that would allow
for African Americans to be treated as Americans, to
be given an equal chance and equal opportunity in the
United States of America.
To be treated fairly and justly with no hint of
prejudice or bias.
“We hold these truths to be self evident that all
men are created equal.”
Declaration of Independence
These words rang true from a Dream and apply to all
men and women regardless of color, creed, race,
religion and age. Having a Dream and the courage to
follow it against supposedly insurmountable odds
takes prayer, passion and purpose. How many
dare say today we have such commitment to a cause?
Where are these traits in today’s youth, for the fight
for equality is still being fought. Where is the
commitment, where is the drive and where is the willing
to sacrifice? With that said many youth of today
need to refocus their direction to having a Dream that
does not involve instant self-gratification, but a
long term Dream of educational and career
success for themselves first, their families
and their culture.
There is a generational gap that has grown from
Dr. King’s Dream of equality and cultural unity.
Even the Dreams of Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey of
educational obtainment to the highest order seem
to be dying among our Black men. Too many are
satisfied with mediocrity and quick to complain,
but think they are owed something
even though they do not contribute to anything.
A quote about Dreams that demands inspection.
“During your life, never stop dreaming because
no one can take away your dreams” Tupac Shakur
Even in his lyrical raps that talk about his
journey into manhood from poverty, loneness and
his love of his mother Tupac had dreams that
went beyond where he currently was to a better
life for himself, his family and his race.
There was a powerful Dreamer that united a people
to reach for a perceived impossible Dream. To lead
not just HIS people to a promised land, but others
of different races that believed and followed
the Dream. This Dream was not just a Negro Dream,
although it directly affected Negros, but it brought
about a change in thinking.
One quote that rings true today…..
“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than
sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This translates to the inability of people to act
in the face of injustice and unlawful legislation.
Dr. King had a monumental impact on all our lives
as a result of one Dream. We all know the power of
a single Dream. His Dream was not a selfish Dream.
His Dream was not for self-gratification, inflated
ego, building a ministry for self promotion.
Dr. King’s Dream was not influenced by the
entertainment industry in gangsta rap, his Dream
was not driven by drug induced hallucinogens from
crack, crank or cocaine, nor liquid courage of
the latest drink .
This Dream was powered by prayer, humility, faith, and
what many believe the just power of the spirit of God.
Dr. King’s Dream, and those of his followers worked
for a future where there is respect, trust and peace.
Looking past the color of skin, judged by the content
of character and the generosity and love in a person’s heart.
As we celebrate a Culture and Heritage let us not
forget the Dream and how it extends into Black History Month.
We must recognize Black achievements and share
them with children so they know they are more
than athletes, entertainers and puppets in a
entertainment industry that only sees them as
a dollar symbol.
The Dream is for all of us throughout the United States; regardless of race, political association or religious convictions. Let us not forget the sacrifices that
were made to achieve the reality of a Dream.
Blacks not only benefited from this Dream,
but other nationalities and women. Unless we continue
to act upon it, work towards it, and sacrifice for
it there will only be Dreams, Blacks have not arrived
yet, but the goal is closer.
This quote of dreams rings true, “Nothing comes to
a sleeping man but dreams”.
If we do not continue to take action we are destined
only to Dream of what could be. Just as for education,
Blacks should be excelling in all educational pursuits
not statistically at the bottom. It is a travesty to
the history of Slavery when Black people used to
fight tooth & nail just to get into school when
slavery was over. Now many play hookie, make
excuses for not studying, not turning in homework,
being late for school, disrespecting teachers.
There are plenty of excuses, but the results are
still the same.
Blacks are not taking ownership, responsibility
and accountability for their own education.
Dr King, Juilan Bond, Shirley Chisolm,
A. Phillip Randolph, Andrew Young, Jessie Jackson,
Rosa Parks, Carter G. Woodson, Malcolm X,
Homer Plesey, and others were powerful in their
quests to follow a Dream. Each different in
their execution, but all were important in
the struggle and the cause for acceptance in a
country they were born in, but rejected them because
of their color.
The powerful quote by Heavy D (Dwight Arrington Myers) stated,
”I will say that if you or anyone you know has a
“ridiculous” dream remember, it doesn’t take much
to encourage someone to go for that dream.”
This is the power we as African Americans should show
to each other. The respect and dignity to Dream and
support the Dreams.
African Americans should allow Black History
Month to reinforce their dreams of economic and
educational success; cultural growth and understanding; family unity. African Americans should continue to
honor a Dream, and work to better themselves because
of THEIR DREAMS.
As a united people let us remember the men and women
who fought and died for this Dream, let us continue
their work towards achieving a Dream that can still
slip away from us. Youth of today rethink your
Dreams, refocus your efforts to serving your community, participate in your ministries, become better educated, redirect your energies that help build up your brothers
and sisters not tear them down.
Heavy D, “Black people are tired, especially amongst
black people. Tired of us seeing us kill each other,
us go through that situation of lack of love
for our race and for ourselves.”
This Black History Month let Love, Respect and Pride
carry over to the rest of the year and beyond.
Respect Yourself, Respect Your Culture,Love Yourself,
Love Your Culture Honor Yourself and Your Culture
and let it grow not just in Black History Month,