As we reflect on the many important contributions to our world made by African Americans from times past and present, let us draw inspiration, courage and strength, but also curiosity.
Let us be curious about what enabled them to persevere and to succeed. Let us be curious about what we have in common with people of such innovation and creativity, passion and intellect, bravery and determination. Let us be curious about how we can carry on the legacy of overcoming odds and effecting change to contribute something to our world as well.
As we celebrate and explore the multifaceted history of struggle and triumph of African Americans and as we learn and remember the context in which those struggles and triumphs occurred, let us be ever mindful of how far we’ve come and of our ability to continue on.
Be encouraged. Remember your own dreams and ambitions and do not go to sleep on the vision that has been placed inside of you. You must not be afraid to dream new dreams should things not work out the way you had hoped they would. You must not hesitate to open our eyes to new possibilities should your plans fail.
Remember your ability to bring about change in your own life. Do not allow your ideas to be discouraged and your voices to be silenced by those who tell you, “You can’t.”
We would be served well to attend to ourselves and our relationship to bad habits and destructive tendencies that hinder our progress and stifle our success. We must be willing to let go of people who bring us down and deplete from our lives and begin to surround ourselves with those who elevate, inspire, and enrich our lives.
As we reflect on Black history as a significant part of American history, let us be reminded of our ability to write our own stories of failure and resilience, struggle and triumph, and of lack and abundance. Our stories must have in them the key element of life’s journey-truth.
A truth that charges each of us to end the dreadful cycle of fiscal irresponsibility and other misuse of our resources. A truth that challenges our fellow man and woman, boy and girl to exercise discipline in acquiring things, and instead encourages them to acquire knowledge. A truth that exposes hatred in the form of racism, sexism, and homophobia and reveals the real demise of the people-ignorance.
Let each of us teach another. Let us inspire, encourage, uplift and help another because we are all interconnected. Let us make a commitment to carry out our everyday duties and responsibilities to our families, to our jobs, to our neighbors, and to ourselves.
Accountability must be the language spoken among us as we each take steps toward “being the change that we seek.”
Be encouraged. Pass it on.
Contact columnist LaTonya Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org.