By Erick Kline, Editor
They say (whoever they are) one must either change or die. This country is changing right now, begun the moment we were brought here kicking and screaming from the Motherland; followed by the struggles between slavery and Reconstruction; precipitated by the Civil Rights Movement; and currently entered into a new phase.
Change is never easy, particularly for those who know their days are numbered. We see it in certain people’s bizarre, insane lengths to hold on to something slipping from their fingers. But don’t get it twisted. Pay attention to the side show, no matter how ridiculous, because the outcome will affect you, even if you think the possibility is too remote to consider.
Change is also for the better, especially when we learn to look past ourselves. Black folk cover an immense spectrum in between Spike Lee and Tyler Perry. Black Panther and Get Out’s successes only prove my point.
“I want you to know,” Bob Marley sang, “I’m a rainbow too.” Truer words were never spoken. We love comic books and horror movies, horses, skateboarding, gardening, tennis, cooking, NASCAR, cosplaying – we are so much more than the sum of our parts. We’re artists, poets, bus drivers, police officers, lawyers, preachers; we’re Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist; gay and transgendered. And there’s nothing wrong with any of it.
It’s time to get over any prejudices and realize these are facts, not fake news. We must not only embrace our diversity, we must celebrate it. The FILL IN THE BLANK you think is going to hell may be the very one to save your life or help you out of a similarly unpleasant situation. Be like Mike, look in the mirror and make that change. At this juncture, a united front is critical.
Change doesn’t happen overnight, and those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. A Sankofa proverb translates as, “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.” We must take the good from the past and bring it into the present to make positive progress through knowledge. Learning to understand one another leads to greater solidarity. Move past stereotypes. We shouldn’t give society the satisfaction of treating each other the same way.
Change also takes effort and can’t happen without participation. Get up, get out and do something. Work a poll (you see what I did there); volunteer, visit a museum – expand your comfort zone. It’s amazing what you’ll find out about yourself and the world around you. Knowledge is power, and you can start a revolution. Great beginnings have started with less. Every adventure requires a first step. Let this be yours.
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