Stereotypes. Prejudice. Implicit Bias. Racism.
The problem is the Black Man. You know. The one who is threatening. The one who won’t do right by his children. The one who is lazy. The one who kills his own. The man who doesn’t respect women. The one who doesn’t know his own worth.
The problem is the Black Woman. You know. The one who is trifling. The one who parties too much and neglects her children’s needs. The woman who can’t keep a Black Man. The one who wants to look White. The one who doesn’t respect men. The one who doesn’t know her own worth.
The problem is the Black Child. You know. The one who wants to be a professional athlete. The one who hates school. The one who has ADHD. The child who prefers video games. The one who hates going to the library. The one who sags, twerks, and is disrespectful to elders. The child “they” say won’t amount to anything. The one who is failing in school. The one committing crimes. The one who doesn’t have a father. The one headed straight to prison. The ones who don’t know their own worth.
The problem is
The problem is US. The ones who don’t know our worth.
The ‘problems’ are
We are witnessing the promise of the ‘problem’ Black Man, Black Woman and Black Child who is realizing their worth.
Every single one of us is either a Black Man or Black Woman who has been a Black Child. Every single one of us has been a problem or known a problem. Fortunately, every single one of us is also the solution. You know who we are. We are the ones willing to work hard to create the answers to issues of poverty, miseducation, unemployment, crime, violence, poor nutrition, health disparities, incarceration, historical fallacies and lies, corruption and greed, inferior housing, inadequate access to capital, and the granddaddy of them all: institutional racism. We know these issues have been designed to create inequality and inequity, but we also know they can be re-aligned, dismantled, destroyed and, best of all, reinvented and directed to create the change we need.
We are geniuses. We are smarter than the ones who created these issues of misfortune and disadvantage; these systems that created fortune and advantage for the few. We are the brilliant architects of the systems that will benefit the many.
We are the thinkers. We read. We study. We meet. We discuss. We plan. We implement. We evaluate. We cry. We pray. We laugh. We march. We sit in. We stand up. We speak truth to power. We are faithfully toiling to create the just, humane, and loving world that every human
We know that everyone deserves compassion. We understand the importance of morality, integrity, ethics, and justice. We are guided by the principles of truth, fairness, and justice.
We get discouraged sometimes and we experience the pain of our struggle to solve the problems that create the issues. We have been defeated and we wonder if we will ever resolve the issues, but our saving grace is that we are resilient and willing to work hard because we know who paved our way. We know they are counting on us to keep making that road straighter and wider so our children and their children will make a way to the goodness they also deserve.
We are willing to work smarter and harder because we are the dreamers and the
We believe. We know. We are certain. We are rising.
We are witnessing the promise of ‘the problem’ Black Man, Black Woman and Black Child who are realizing their worth. We are witnessing a great awakening as more Black Men, Women, and Children learn facts and truth, empowered through Sankofa, and realize their worth. Reaching back and learning ourstory is part of listening to our ancestors as they guide and protect us. We again respect our elders for providing the wisdom they inherited to teach us to build again and restore our greatness.
The problem Black Man, Black Woman, and Black Child is emerging to become
solutionaries, understanding who we are and the value of knowing our worth. Together, we are rising.
Our deepest and sincere gratitude for the vision you are helping us see. You inspire us. You teach us. Thank you for demonstrating the love you have for our people, for all people. Thank you for caring about our future. Thank you for your commitment to working smarter and harder. We respect your genius. We value your friendship. Thank you for being the change we need to see.
Thank you for your goodness. Thank you for creating the solutions we need. Thank you for creating the progress that moves us…forward.
As we celebrate our 30th anniversary in community development in 2018, we’re wishing you only peace, power, progress, and prosperity.
Joanna Grace Farmer (c) All Rights Reserved