“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. ” - MLK
Ten days ago was the 4th of July here in America. In the past, I would have said "Happy 4th!!" But this year has me thinking about the word FREEDOM.
I find myself wondering:
Are we really free?
What does freedom actually look and feel like?
Why are we bound in such restriction that some feel like they cannot breathe anymore?
Freedom is valuable for me. Everyone should be enjoying things today because we’re FREE, but when I have to worry about people being killed just because of their skin color; I find myself questioning, “What does July 4th mean to me when my people can’t jog, can’t go to work, can’t go to sleep without being killed?“
We were told to trust the system but what if that system is working against us? If you can’t see the problem. You’re part of the problem.
On July 5, 1852 (168 years ago), Frederick Douglass gave a keynote address at an Independence Day celebration and asked, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? This Fourth of July is yours, not mine, You may rejoice, I must mourn."⠀
His words are haunting because here we are in the year 2020 and I'm asking a very similar question "What to the black person is the Fourth of July?! Is this 4th of July yours & not mine? Do you get to rejoice, while some people mourn?"
The fact is for CENTURIES my people have been screaming “Hey white people STOP KILLING US!!!” And the fact remains there are still some people who believe there could be a “yeah but….” afterwards. As if to say our place in America is just understood that we are to live less than. Just because….. we are BLACK!
But change is HERE! I will no longer remain quiet. I was afraid but I no longer am.
There’s beauty and POWER in my blackness as well as, love, faith in humanity, FORGIVENESS and compassion for all.
What I know to be true is time and time again, when ALL PEOPLE come together as one we are invincible!
I recently did a BLM round table podcast episode hosted by my mentor Jim Fortin. The conversation was so powerful and eye opening. It was a true honor to present.
If you’d like to listen to it then click here: