(Image found in Google search)
The two historical giants that are depicted above are not the only two who sacrificed for our people, but they are two of the biggest.
Not long ago, I was conversing with my cousin Elliot. We were talking about all the things that are happening in the black community. We discussed the education system. We spoke on the black on black crime in our communities. We spoke on the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The discuss was great but there was one topic that won’t let me go.
On that day we spoke about black leadership. But we weren’t referring to the figures that are present currently, no. Instead, we were referring to ourselves. See, we both desire to be a voice for the people. We both yearn to fight for the rights of all. Still, we both know that there is a cost when people like us use our voice to stand up for injustice.
My exact words were, “I consider very often being an Activist, but that would put my family in danger.” That was a sentiment that he understood as well. But it was his reply that won’t leave my mind. He said, “That’s true, but it was no different for Dr. King and so many others. So what do you think makes them different from us?” To this day, weeks after this conversation, I still have no response.
Sadly, the cause is still the same. To be treated equal. For our lives to be equally valued. And yes, we have “progressed” throughout the years, however I can’t help but to wonder, are we regressing? While that is a very important question, it is not the purpose of this writing.
I’m sure that my cousin and I are not alone in what we desire to do. But what is so different about Martin, Malcolm, Marcus, and so many countless others? Once again, the cause is the same. It is worth dying for, and the fore-mentioned did. Going forward, I can only speak for the author.
Death doesn’t scare me. I know that I am here for a purpose far greater than I. As I speak with complete honesty. What scares me, is my family being without me. What scares me, is fighting with my life for a cause that we shouldn’t have to fight for in the first place, and the efforts be futile.
Still, there is another fear. I fear my children being pulled over by a police officer and being treated like wild game. And when I say, “My children” I am not speaking merely of the ones in my household. We were created one people. “It takes a village”, as the old proverb states. So I will change “My” to “Our”. I fear our children growing up in a hypocritical society where the right to “Free speech and the right to protest” is only granted for select groups. I fear our children be treated as a Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Emmitt Till, or any of the others whose name never traveled outside of their neighborhood.
But which fear is greater?
I believe the leaders of the past were able to answer that question, and that is what makes us different. And yet, there is one last fear for the author; the fear of, “What if?” What if the efforts aren’t futile? What if this creates the change that we’ve all been looking for? What if these efforts encourages someone else to stand for what they believe in? What if I don’t act? Who fill in the gap where I lacked? What if no one were able to fill in that gap? What if…?
Again, speaking in complete honesty, my heart hurts for people and the world that we’ve come to know. A change must come. The truth is, we’re not cut from a different cloth. We simply must face our fears. Thank you for reading.
Love you, be blessed – AWS 04.05.16