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All Hands on Deck

I've noticed a trend within the black community and tonight I want to address it. Have you ever noticed how after a police shooting or public display of social injustice takes place EVERY brother and sister has an emotional status or meme to post? Everyone becomes riled up and the frustration with the world we live in comes to the surface. Here's the trend though, all of the posts usually stop within days or weeks of the incident everyone was angry about. Why is this? I have one idea as to why, we just DON'T care ENOUGH. Yeah we care, yeah it hurts, but nobody is really rolling their sleeves up and doing more than posting a paragraph about how unfair it is to live in America. Do you want to prove me wrong and show that you care? Keep reading.

Every Black history month we highlight those few who did roll up their sleeves and we talk about how we should all be just like these brave men and women, but we hardly ever actually practice what we preach. You might be reading this thinking, "we does not apply to me, I do my part". This might be true, but you are still apart of the "we" because you care enough about the "we" to do your part, make sense ? As a people, we have to start thinking like this and holding one another accountable, hence the title of tonight's post. We complain about the state of the black community but fail to realize that a few groups advocating for a better tomorrow has nothing on ALL OF US advocating for a better tomorrow.

Advocating for a better tomorrow for our people does not have to mean you put together rallies, scream about being pro black, or do anything outside of your comfort zone really. Advocating simply means you are spreading a message, one can do this however they see fit just as long as they are DOING IT. For example, we know that our young Kings and Queens are growing up in neighborhoods set up for failure yet we still allow them to have bad examples as they grow up. If you are a Black man or women with their head on straight, why not take it upon yourself to mentor a child or two. Yes, kids are bad, but they also really appreciate having someone to look up to that they know believes in them. Having someone tell you you are great and capable of anything does measures for the overall success of a young black man or women. One or two days out of the week spent with a child/young adult who needs guidance will do something for both you and the individual you have chosen to take under your wing.

We complain about the fact that we do not have access to the same healthy food options as those in white neighborhoods yet we continue to spend our money on the junk and feed it to our kids. Do you have a green thumb ? Are you willing to learn how to gain a green thumb? Why not start your own farmer's market in these neighborhoods that lack resources? These are the type of changes that we need to put into place and allow our children to see. We have to begin to set a new standard of living within the black community and we have to do it together. We know that America has no intentions of ever truly making things equal for us so it's time that we make things equal for ourselves. Almost every other race/culture/group of like people seem to have developed this mindset except for us. Haven't you noticed how Hispanics look out for Hispanics, Asians look out for Asians, Whites look out for Whites, and so on? This doesn't mean that you do not interact with other races but this does mean that you put yours FIRST. This is being pro Black. Being pro Black does NOT make you racist, it makes you self aware and smart.

We need all hands on deck to break these barriers holding our children from the same opportunities as their counterparts. We need Black men and women who have mastered certain essentials i.e.. medicine, technology, culinary, health, wellness ect, to put those skills to use WITHIN THE BLACK COMMUNITY. Why are we striving to work in the white areas because we think we will get more money? Why are we not using these skills that we posses to build up OUR communities. Are you a great nanny? I get it, white folks seem to pay more, but the Black mom struggling to obtain a degree and take care of her kids could use your services and you should want to help her for the greater good of our people. This should always be your mindset no matter what your hustle is. Are you into fitness? Why are you only training wealthy people? Why aren't you going into these low income Black communities and stressing the importance of health and fitness?

What I am getting at is the fact that none of us should be perfecting our chosen skill set/ career JUST for money. We should be honing our crafts to help our people. This will create a cycle and a standard for what Black excellence is. We all get angry when a Black man or women has experienced social injustice but I guess we don't feel the need to fix things because it hasn't happened to enough of us individually. It usually is not until something happens individually that we truly understand the importance of protecting our own, looking out for own, and stabilizing a financial playing field for our own. We may all live in America and we may all have the same opportunities but this is only true to a certain degree due to the conditions that most of our people live in/with.

I will end tonight's post by simply saying that if you care enough to make a post about how unfair things are, care enough to do something. We all must roll up our sleeves and fight this fight any way we can, whether it be motivational speaking, perfecting your craft and teaching it, funding, or volunteering, WE NEED ALL HANDS ON DECK. I hope that some of my words have resonated with you and that you take some time to think about how you can sharpen your own individual tool in order to help Black people in America win the fight for equality. We may never be equal in their eyes, but if we can compete financially, mentally, and physically they have no choice but to accept that we are here and we are prospering through every piece of adversity as we always have. 2018 and the years to follow are the years of stabilizing the standard of what BLACK EXCELLENCE IS. Let's get to work ! See you next Tuesday.

I love you,

Imani Blaize


Charlotte, NC, USA