by Jeffrey L. Boney
Special to the NNPA News Wire from the Houston Forward Times
If ever there was a time we needed to turn back the hands of time and return to a place where there was a strong sense of Black love and Black unity – that time is now.
I remember growing up and listening to songs like “Say it Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud,” by the phenomenally talented and extremely gifted James Brown.
I also watched the movie, “Get on Up,” which chronicled the life and career of James Brown. In the movie, the part of the movie where he introduced the song to America stood out to me. The power of those eight words, “Say it Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud,” gave Black people a newfound self-confidence in 1968 that they had not had before.
The most powerful part of the movie, to me however, was when James Brown brought several Black children into the recording studio, and had those children belt out the words, “Say it Loud” over the microphones. Those Black children said those words with so much conviction and passion, that you can hear just how proud these Black children were to be Black in America when you listen to it over and over again.
That is an example of Black love and Black unity.
I also remember walking through the halls of my elementary school, and witnessing my African American male principal lead our predominately African American student body in an empowerment chant, whereby he told every student to chant, “Black is Beautiful.”
There was something about saying the words, “Black is Beautiful” on a regular basis that was empowering to me.
There was something about having someone in authority, especially a Black man serving as the principal at my school that made me feel proud to be a Black young man.
There was something about knowing that there was nothing wrong with me making that declaration for the whole world to hear, and knowing that I was special. There was something about feeling supported and protected by someone else who looked like me and who could relate to me and my experiences.
That is an example of Black love and Black unity.
Those were the days, but many of us have an outlook on life, as if we can’t re-establish the type of Black love and Black unity we once displayed and embraced. It’s time to return to Black love and unity. Let’s refer to it as “The New Normal.”
We need to revisit this mentality amongst ourselves and watch what happens when we make the decision to reinstate something that has helped make our communities great once before – economically, socially, politically, emotionally, spiritually, etc.
It’s time for us to establish “The New Normal,” that forces us to return to a community culture that embraces Black love and Black unity on a consistent basis. Dr. King once said, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
If it is one thing I know historically about my people, it’s that we are a strong and resilient people who know how to work together and make the most out of difficult situations. Black people are not quitters. Black people are creative. Black people know how to be resourceful.
If history has taught us anything, it’s that us working together collaboratively in love and unity is the only way that Black people are going to progress and achieve peace and equality in this country. Now there are a lot of people who choose to be the fools that Dr. King spoke of, but there is a remnant of Black people in this country whose eyes have been opened and are dedicated to rebuilding their communities through Black love and Black unity.
Dr. King also once said, “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
As a people, we must stop hating each other and showing hatred toward one another. At the heart of most issues, conflict and hate-filled actions in the Black community, is a lack of love and a lack of unity. It is time for us to start effectively communicating with one another, with a foundation of Black love and Black unity leading the way.
As a people, we must both, have a LOVE for God and once again UNITE ourselves to God.
As a people, we must both, LOVE our community and once again UNITE as a community.
As a people, we must both, LOVE our people and once again UNITE as a people.
As a people, we must both, LOVE our youth and once again UNITE to teach our youth and help bridge the gap between them and our elders.
As a people, we must both LOVE our history and once again UNITE our minds with the knowledge of our history and embracing our culture.
Once again, it is time for us to return to Black love and Black unity – that is, if we really want to see our communities return to the strength, pride and prominence it once experienced. Without Black love and Black unity, the Black race as we know it in America is doomed. Let’s make a decision to make Black love and Black unity “The New Normal” right now and moving forward.
Jeffrey L. Boney serves as Associate Editor and is an award-winning journalist for the Houston Forward Times newspaper. Jeffrey is a frequent contributor on the Nancy Grace Show and has a daily radio talk show called Real Talk with Jeffrey L. Boney. He is a Next Generation Project Fellow, dynamic, international speaker, experienced entrepreneur, business development strategist and Founder/CEO of the Texas Business Alliance. If you would like to request Jeffrey as a speaker, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.