TEKA’s TAKE: Lift Every Voice???
As we usher into the 2nd month of 2017, I know some people are dragging their feet begrudgingly into February. Aside from our typical winter woes, which let’s face it, we’ve been lucky with our fairly mild winter thus far (crosses fingers, eyes and toes). But with a new “President” on the cusp of his four year stint as Commander-In-Chief, most Americans cannot find one loving thing about the month supposedly dedicated to love. Oh yes, and the blacks, cant forget the illustrious 28, sometimes 29 days reserved for our people to squeeze an entire history into. A time for book reports from the kiddos on Harriet, Frederick, Dr. King and Mary McLeod Bethune. The many unsung heroes and heroines that have helped to shape and build our country while providing inspiration to all of those that have looked up to these leaders for years. While I am in no way minimizing our history and those that have contributed so much to it, I am over being forced into such a short period of time to explore, learn and teach our children with. As Americans, we are not afforded the opportunity for our children to truly learn history as it was and I by no means ever would leave that in the careless hands of our education system, but would instead like for them to at least “get it right”. That way, we can save ourselves the time and trouble of having to correct and fill in the extreme gaps in the chopped and screwed versions of Black History.
But I digress.
This month’s take is actually a look into how, despite our ancestors’ greatest efforts, we do not choose to “Life Every Voice & Sing”, but instead use our voices for dissension, and ridicule. A far cry from the poem turned song and dubbed the Black National Anthem. I feel as a community, a race and a Nation, we couldn’t be further from the hope those lyrics once brought our people. Even our elders once respected life lessons are being disputed as baseless rhetoric or unreliable counsel as reflected in the “I’m not my grandparents, you can catch these hands” t-shirts would suggest. Self-service has become king and everyone honestly believes their cause/case or situation is more of a “real struggle” than others. How did we get so far from removed from the generations that hoped for peace and unity for all? Were our grand and great grandparents not the very people that fought for our equality, with “their hands”? They paid for so much more than we’ll ever know or truly understand as we have never lived in that part of history.
How did we get to the point where movement towards positivity was met head on with cynicism? When and why did we stop applauding those doing well for themselves and their community? Maybe those ghost “haters” everyone is always talking about are very real. People are so very brave behind the letters on their keyboard. Is social media to blame? News media outlets? I have no real answer for how we got here, but truly believe there are enough of “us” that are ready to be freed from the internal segregation that has been created amongst us as a people. We’re still reeling from what will be seemingly an unfortunately long 4 years, no matter how #Unbothered you are. You will be affected in one regard or another.
I’m a firm believer in safety in numbers…no, not the mob mentality type, but the type that incites real change. The people who share their specific talents, traits, trades to build and rebuild structures and communities and give our people our very own hope for our future on this earth. That type of self-reliant change in a community that makes others take notice and join in the movement. Everyone is needed, and all are welcomed here. It’s a place where our children can be fed mentally, spiritually with nutritious supplements for their minds, bodies and souls. A place where women are regarded as necessary as their male counterparts to the growth and building of the community, as they have been throughout history as our dark past has taught us. A unity so strong, that our harmonies resound loud as the rolling sea. Its time. It’s time for us to stop allowing ourselves to be swayed from what was once worth risking life and limb for. Hell yes, Black Lives Matter, and its time we all start acting like it in every word we speak, every article we read or write, every social media post we make or share, every opportunity we have available to build someone else in our community up, every chance to serve others and give back to others. Your personal circle may be small, but make yourself so large your contribution can be seen for miles. Words are power. Let your words exude excellence in every syllable flicked from your tongue. Give pause to harsh words, use your voice to elevate…yourself and others. Proverbs 18:21 reads “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. And before you anti believers jump down my throat, just the words resonate a moment and reflect on them, what they are saying. Everyone has this great power; it should be respected and always used with caution. Life your voice and make the change you wish to see manifest. I could go on, but will let you all take it from here. Love Love!
~ Teka Rose
Urban Tymes Contributing Writer
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