“Change in our Black Community”
Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream indeed. A dream that encompassed the Supreme Court Decision in 1954 which overturned the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision that stated “separate but equal.” His dream included the Civil Rights Act of 1957, which ensured voting rights for the black community. Which led the dream of the first African American president of the United States of America.
Even with Dr. King’s dreams and many others manifested into reality we still find ourselves asking how we can bring change to our Black Community. Have we ever considered our actual ambition to change our community the reasoning behind black suffering? There was a time when our community was filled with cries of black pride, black power, and black progress. What happened? Could it be the initial intent for change (push for integration in the Civil Rights movement for Freedom and Equality) in our black community is one that doomed us as a race eternally? Even Dr. King stated, “I fear that I am integrating my people into a burning house.” Kings greatest fear has become a reality. The black community of today resembles nothing of the past.
Between the evolution of men sagging their pants, women referring to one another as bitches, men portraying images of women as mere tools whose ambitions in life fail to exceed flaunting their unmentionables and having sex with the so called stars of our society. We are lost as a culture, we are lost as a race and we are lost as a people. In order to realize what we must change in our community we must clearly define the community in which we are members of. Dr. Na’im Akbar states that the first step of breaking the chains of psychological slavery is to develop knowledge of self. But a problem occurs when you achieve self-enlightenment and your newfound revelation is not a mirror reflection of the human being you wish to be.
We changed our identity in our attempts to assimilate into a culture that does not uplift the spirit and refuses to cultivate the soul. In order to change our community the next step must be to separate our people from this malfunctioned cultural systematic way of thinking. In reference to Dr. Kings quote, we must escape this “burning house.”
I am careful to state that the problems in our community have nothing to do with racism, discrimination upon gender, or classism. Rather a dream deferred, we were integrated into the American Way. The American Way includes guns, sex, and lies; we now are reflections of that damaged culture. We talk about changing BET and ridding of reality TV, but shows like “The Game” and “Hip-Hop Wives” were preceded by shows like the “Real World” and “Bad Girls Club.” Again this is not a matter of black and white, this is a display of the addictions of America.
Once we develop knowledge of self and escape this “burning house,” the last step will be to rebuild what we know as the black community. We must build a community that values itself on the nurturing of the spirit, the development of the mind, and the quality of the people in which it produces. This is the only way the black community can truly change!