morning I have a ritual; first I pray
and thank God, prepare myself for the
day, check my messages (missed calls,
emails, text messages etc.) and go on
CNN.com to read the news. Recently
while on CNN.com, I clicked on "Specials
Reports" which led me to "I-Report: Black
in America." CNN.com asked people
in Atlanta (of course!) "What does it
mean today to be black in America?"
CNN.com also gave its readers a chance
to write in their responses or send in
reflected on all the great Black Americans
from Harriet Tubman to Tony Dungy (the
first Black American NFL coach to break
boundaries, break boundaries.it's 2007
and still there's a need to break boundaries).
I couldn't ignore the most important factor
of the question; "What does it mean today?"
when I began to think about my nephew
who's 28 years old in prison on his third
strike and another nephew, who once held
an NCAA title championship for track and
field who's now carrying a gun.
thought about Demetrius Perry who was
visiting a friend at Drew Middle School,
who was killed when gang members ran up
on the campus and opened fire on a targeted
"black crowd." Then I thought about
Sean Bell from New York who was wrongfully
killed by police on his wedding day.
thought about the families who are left
behind in pain.
thought about 14-year-old Cheryl Green
who was killed standing on a corner probably
laughing with her homegirls waiting to
thought of the now black "woman" who used
to be a black "man" dancing on a parking
meter while intoxicated on Melrose, too
ashamed to hold his head up.
thought about 17-year-old Matthew Love,
who attends Dorsey, aspires to get a degree
in financial investment from UCLA or UC
Berkeley, who hates his father who takes
care of him, yet loves his mother who
left him for crack.
thought of Tyra Banks, an accomplished
black supermodel that recently cried and
fought back at media scrutiny over her
I thought of the headlines "African Americans
should be happy at this Year's Academy
Award nominations." Huh?
Why? Then I thought about our children's
"role models" Jim Jones, Lil Wayne, Beyonce,
Young Jeezy, Rihanna, Ciara.fa real?
thought about the South being the new
frontier of AIDS in America, not only
that, but how African Americans make up
54% of new cases and our women make up
2/3 of those cases as well as the rapid
spread among our youth.
thought back to when I was a teacher at
Compton Ave in Watts, CA. I broke
up a fight between two black preschoolers
(two babies). As I led one to the
bench, he shouted out to the other "Wait
til we get back to the projects, cuz!"
(Come on) Then KATRINA!
I allowed myself to become overwhelmed
by the pain of my culture, the Lord reminded
of today's progress.
Oprah Winfrey opened "The Oprah Winfrey
Leadership Academy" for girls in South
Africa. If it takes for a Black American
woman to remember her ancestry all the
way back to Africa and plant a seed large
enough to spill over onto American soil.Let
Thy Will Be Done!
it takes Faithful Central Bible Church
of Inglewood, California to birth one
of the city's largest Christian based
youth movements "The TAKEOVERS".Let Thy
will be Done!
it takes the NAACP to develop the "Image
Awards" to acknowledge Black Entertainers.Let
Thy Will Be Done!
it took years of bloodshed, vigils and
prayers, and a hopeful, fearless mayor
(Villaraigosa) to attack gang violence.Let
Thy Will Be Done!
it takes the depth of Rev. Al Sharpton's
experience and the underlying historical
figure Rev. Jesse Jackson to still Let
Freedom Ring.Let Thy Will Be Done!
Black in America means loving thy neighbor,
supporting our children (of all races).
Being an example of a liberated
young black woman of God who's not ashamed
of the Gospel, enduring long suffering,
extending gifts of constant encouragement,
dreaming big. Conquering tainted
grounds-I said conquering the tainted
grounds of L.A., Inglewood, Compton and
Watts [Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Harlem,
Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Philly.]
showcasing the Glory of God, reaping the
harvest God promised me, standing, building,
pressing, studying, learning, teaching,
leading, following leaders who came before
me. Crying, rejoicing, dancing,
praising, applauding, celebrating, giving,
cheering, supporting, correcting, understanding,
acknowledging, relating, helping, trusting,
believing, breathing and LIVING!
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