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Friday, February 5, 2016

What I Learned This Week: I Am Part of the Revolution

I guess, when I look at the history of the United States I have to admit that I am heartbroken. There is so much that is so wrong with this country, its history and its people. The death and destruction, but most of all, the hatred. The fear that has been born and fed from misunderstanding and self-righteousness. We take what we want, we give little, and demand more. Who does that?

So, reflecting on my own life, I have discovered, declared and decided that I am part of the revolution. I lift my voice on paper with pen and I say what needs to be said to the people that need to hear it. I speak words of encouragement and I take up arms in your defense. I want to walk blocks with a paper pinned to me that lets everyone know that I am woman, I am mother, I am wife, I am Black...I am African American....whose ancestors were not given a choice but simply a place and we continue to accept that place as our own as if that were the only place that we have.

We hold on to religion as if the only real hope that we have is in death and that our lives are simply the result of a sinful nature which we are hopeless to control. And, brothers and sisters, that is a lie.

I have decided to be a change. Even if it is for the sake of no one but those who share a roof with me. But it won't. It will be for the man who hates me before he knows my name. It is for him and her who decide my fate based on the way my hair doesn't lie flat against my scalp and despises me because I allow it, in all its glory to wind upon itself and stand at attention. It will be for the children who, in awe, reach out to my skin to see if, in fact it is a permanent state of being and whose mothers have insisted that they stay away from it lest they become a victim of the disease it carries. It will be for the old woman I listen to as she rambles on about her past and the one Black friend that she had growing up. How that little girl shaped all of Black America for her and in her mind, we are all made up of that one. A culture bound in limits.

As I type on computer keyboards and watch words come to life, I realize that I have become part of a renaissance that has lasted and tested time. A symbolic shift from an era of masters to masterpieces of me and you bound together. An artistic rambling of thought and temperament. Pen and ink, paint and keys, colors that rise to the surface like hot grease voices singing negro spirituals turned jazz sonatas with a blues back. This is the place where I dig my heels in and reminisce on times past and make promises to myself that the past will not be the future for my sons, or the sons of my sons and my daughters will not cry out in the dark of nights for the souls of forgotten boys.

A shot cries out as I throw away plastic guns. My sons will not be the victims of fear and hatred and so I teach them a lesson in the revolution. We must arm ourselves with knowledge and power. We must not be afraid to be who we were created to be and own our place on this planet. None can make you less, son. None can make you less. No one can make you anything unless you decide in your mind that the revolution is over and take the place that is thrown toward you.

Today, I have decided with the determination that my fingers pound on these keys that every breath that I take and every word that I write and every thought that goes through my mind must be for the building up. As I take my place on the battle line and the marching line, locking my arms with those who stand united with me. No longer will the shade of coffee in a cup divide and separate me from who I love. No longer will I stand idly by and watch the shift in the atmosphere as if I have no control over my own airspace.

I am part of the revolution. My job in it, is to impact your mind.

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