By Roy Douglas Malonson
“Wake Up everybody, no more sleeping in bed, more backwards thinking time for thinking ahead…The world won’t get no better, if we just let it be. The world won’t get no better, We gotta change it, just you and me.” ~Singer Teddy Pendergrass
The African-American community needs to “WAKE UP!!” It is time not only for us to get in touch with history, but We MUST Understand the clear and present danger of being ignorant of it. I challenge to the community to stand in the mirror and examine the current conditions in the Black community and ask ~What happened to change the progress in the Black community?
Understand that up from slavery, our African ancestors left southern plantations with uncertain futures and the perils of starting life with no land, no money, no resources and little to no reading and writing skills.
They overcame unemployment and lived under constant threat of death, lynching and intimidation from those who used various dehumanizing methods of torture to create fear and ensure conformity.
We MUST Understand that despite all the challenges, Blacks were able to rise up from the challenges to become successful teachers, pastors, inventors, builders, researchers and farmers. They established and supported their our own businesses and opened banks and held influential local and national political offices. It was accomplished because our ancestors had a will to succeed and a desire to fulfill the true meaning of freedom after living over 350 years in bondage.
Today, the Black community has suffered a massive power outage. This loss of power all started at integration. The idea of being equal at water fountains, bathrooms and schools was tempting and seemed like a good idea at the time, but in reality has become our worst nightmare. Since desegregation, we have lost our schools, teachers, our neighborhoods and our way.
That loss of the “village” and the absence of positive Black male and female role models living in the community has cost us dearly. As a result of these lapses, we are witnessing the crumbling of the family structures, plummeting education scores and crime and drop out rates soaring to record levels. Black politics, economics and religious power are suffering the same fate, being diluted and “sold out” to the point that we are losing our power bases at alarming rates on every level – thus putting us further behind as a people.
We MUST Understand that we as a people are under attack and are slowly being divided up, separated and weeded out. This is a war that could be won by our enemies without firing a shot. I believe we are not being true to our ancestors sacrifices and hard work and that we have failed them, by not truly appreciating their hard work, sacrifices and their challenges and struggles.
We have been left one of the greatest legacies in the history of the world and have chosen to have our conscience seared with a hot iron. Black folk are throwing away our greatest strength in the fight for justice and equality because we refuse to face the truth and cannot handle the truth.
We MUST Understand that if we don’t change the way we think and behave, we could end up forever on display in historical museums across this country as a race gone forever from the earth.
And when we are gone, the knowledge of our struggle and our history dies with us. It is time we stop neglecting the present challenges, mobilize and bring the fight back to the people and the streets and the Black press (media) back to the struggle. One of our greatest problems is that we hold each other back.
Turning things around and reversing the current downward trend means we must stop selling each other out and competing negatively against one another. True progress happens when we cooperate and work together. Advancing the dream means having a strategy, putting a game plan in place and a complete united team on the field. Blacks must develop the kind of community spirit that calls on the race to “rise together” and demand an economic justice plan that is designed to lift people up from the bottom of the economic ladder.
WAKE UP!! and stop jitterbugging on the graves of our ancestors and become serious and concerned about our history and how it ties into the future of our race, people and our communities. WAKE UP!! because we are facing the “De-Niggerization” of America; if the Black community does not regain touch with its ancestors, roots, history and the urgency of the current struggle… our people are doomed to be wiped out and we will disappear.