399 Years and Counting
Next year in 2019 will signify the 400th year since the first black slaves reached the shores of America in the colony of Jamestown, Virginia. 400 years of injustice, ingratitude, violence, disrespect, chains, broken promises, lies, deceit, economic and educational disparity, inadequate housing, tightened nooses, fiery torches, public humiliation, peonage, mass incarceration, sexual oppression, stolen heritages, and the lists of a vanquished people continues to grow 399 years later. How can black people reconcile having a celebration that spotlights the stolen lives of our ancestors?
Do we as Maya Angelo wrote focus on our people's ability to rise above those horrid experiences? Do we look towards this date as Langston Hughes wrote as searching for our dream still deferred? Do we funnel our energies in hoping for Martin Luther King’s dream of our communities reaching an as of yet mystical promised land? Do we focus on the words of Frederick Douglass no progress without struggle? However, does our people’s struggle in this nation have to be seemingly everlasting? Does the color line have to always be America’s line of human stagnation and oppression? Was Dubois a psychic in 1906 or simply a realist about the eternal racial divide in America?
Black peoples significant role in building the wealth of this nation is without question. Did our black ancestors not make Cotton King and the tobacco leaf prosperous? Did we not create the soul of this nation while we were being crushed to a hopeful oblivion by the majority race? Did we not unselfishly take up arms to salvage this democracy? A democracy that ignored our presence before and after that sacrifice? So how do we celebrate 400 years of selfless dedication to principles that continue to ravage our communities? I’m asking America, how do we? Whose, answering?
399 years and still we wait;
while being denied social action;
while getting all sorts of lethal unjust action;
while suffering from treacherous Jim Crow action;
while being ravaged by economic inaction;
while our communities suffer from America’s strategic drug-induced reaction;
while going overseas to support America’s excessive military action;
then coming home from those wars still without human rights action;
while being ignored with white misplaced affirmative action;
while still getting little or no judicial action;
while experiencing constant police state murderous action;
while understanding that your time is up for waiting for your promised action;
while knowing few are awake as we undertake personal action;
while knowing no one really wants to rebuild our blighted cities and broken schools action;
while stopping to waiting for the truth to reveal promised action;
while being stuck in a state of perpetual inaction;
yes, now the time for real strategic, creative balancing the scale action;
yes, the time is ripe for truth, economic, social and racial equality action;
399 years and no longer can we wait;
it truly is the time for blacks to demand right now action;