There is no doubt the country is currently in a crisis. The recent string of loss of black lives by the hands of officers or other persons have struck a chord within communities of all races and ethnicities. Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, 9 church members in Charleston, SC, Eric Garner, Jordan Davis, Sean Bell..the list goes on and on. Some people feel these victims bring trouble onto themselves. Others feel excessive force is abused in this country and it's prompted a social media craze and newborn hashtag, #BackLivesMatter. The hashtag is a reminder to the country and greater world that as black people we do matter and we do hold weight on issues. It's also further self-confirmation to black people that we mean something in the world; we are worthy. But I would challenge everyone to take this simple idea one step further. As my pastor in church stated, "It's not just black lives matter now, but black lives have always mattered, since the beginning of time."
When I first heard this I was not sure what the pastor meant. He went on to explain further that black life is power. From the beginning of time the more black lives a person had through slavery, the more power they had. Today, as black people we are feared because we are so capable to do such great things. That is why politicians and large corporations strategically put forth laws and deceiving restrictions to hold back an entire race. What if most black people went to college and graduated? What if suburbs were overflowing with black families the way lines around the corner are for the latest sneaker release?
We hold power, we hold greatness. It's time we recognize it and internalize the idea blacks lives don't just matter now, they have always mattered. As young black men we need to raise our children in the way that will allow them to be successful. In our communities we need to be productive and demand the best from ourselves and others.
lives by one word: achievement. in anything and everything, achieve.