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Much of the remnant called Black America has never experienced slavery first hand, but they have successfully taken ownership of the slave mentality. With the crisis surrounding current events, it is not difficult to understand. Even still, the time has come to take responsibility for our freedom and let go of the slave mentality. With police brutality and the influx of black-on-black crime, this is not an easy feat. Racism is so prevalent in today’s society that a recent public opinion poll revealed that more Caucasians now share the view, long-held by minorities, that racism is a national problem which should be confronted. This, however, does not eliminate the need to seek emancipation and fight for freedom.
When most people consider the word freedom, they instantly think of physical slavery. The truth is, ANYTHING that keeps a person from doing something they want to do, is limiting their right to freedom. Most people know the generic definition of freedom which falls under the following three points:
- The state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint.
- The power to determine action without restraint.
- The power to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without.
Even after years of slavery, a lot of damage remains in the minds of colored people. Despite the progression of the nation, racism still flourishes in today’s society. Unfortunately, it is one of those predicaments Black America has to deal with in the struggle. Tines are different, and yes, things have changed, but many African-Americans still suffer from the after-effects of what seems to be a hopeless struggle for justice. They are mentally lost in a time warp.
The problem with enduring the struggle is it left much of Black America mentally crippled due to personal choices and behavior patterns. They overarching attitude has been, “They must do something for us, or else.” This behavior indirectly transitioned to surrender for some, and for others, a life of dependency despite the success of many hard-working African-Americans. This, however, does not resolve the serious problem within the culture which is the inability to develop and orchestrate effective strategies in order to solve social problems on community levels. Some have become so entrenched in the struggle that even when it began to diminish they held on as if there was a prize for keeping it alive instead of embracing the opportunity to grab hold to freedom.
Doctors have said hypertension is killing the African-American people; however, these strongholds prove a great deal of the stress is self-imposed. It is easier to major on minors while real issues within our own “person” continue untouched. We have become a society which refuses to look inward and realize that our current situation is a report card of yesterday’s choices.
If we would analyze some of our problems with truthful intention, coupled with our behavior patterns, we might find that the solution is simpler than we want to believe. Instead of recycling the slave mentality, destroying property and carrying protest signs, we must change our slave mentality to one freedom, complete with the courage necessary to do things for ourselves. Many times we sabotage our efforts due to the inability to manage conflict with others who are harnessed in the same struggle; hence the ongoing crisis of black-on-black crime.
As we seek to become emancipated, there are three important principles concerning the fight for your freedom:
1. There is a fight for your perspective. Your perspective is the way you see things unfold in the world around you. It governs your behavior; truth is, you are bound or free as a result of your perspective. Simply by shifting your viewpoint concerning your world, you can drastically change the effect of every experience you encounter. Instead of obstacles, you will see opportunity, potential, and possibility. Perspective is a profound resource that is often taken for granted or willfully overlooked.
2. It is a fight for your creativity. Many find they have grown stale because nothing new is being produced, instead, they have become a host of recycled belief systems and outdated information. Far too many would rather watch reality television instead of reading a book; without an investment, there can be no return or increase. The world around us is filled with the “miracle” of technology, which is the result of innovation known as executed creativity. Innovation is a series of processes predicated on a reservoir of experience, creativity, and knowledge that provide the foundation for new concepts and ideas. Contrary to popular belief, instant success often takes years.
3. It is a fight for your story. Everyone has a level of untapped potential that is not subjected to others around them. Your story is one of the most treasured and priceless things you own. Too often people are afraid to share their story because of embarrassment, guilt or shame. Either they are ashamed of the choices made or embarrassed about things that were thrown their way void of personal control. All of these are relative because experiences make up our story and are important to the person we have become. It is a tragedy to doubt the power of your story. It is the force that connects you to the world and is a source of empowerment for others, some you will never meet. Even still, your story is a liberating source of healing. Never relinquish the power of your story!
Research shows that the increased rise in the killings of unarmed black males by police has helped drive new attitudes among whites about the realities of racism in America. This does not justify the negative behavior often demonstrated among our race. Choose now to own your freedom by taking responsibility in every way possible. Why settle for less when you deserve better? The power is yours; you just have to take hold of the wheel and start driving! Take your life off of autopilot and be proactive in the fight for your freedom.
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
ABC News: Analysis of Racial Polling Shows Whites More Aware of Racism
Top Image Courtesy of Ryan Lintelman – Flickr License
Inline Image Courtesy of National Museum of American History – Flickr License
Featured Image Courtesy of Charles Hoffman – Flickr License