Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Times, They Are a-changin...

It is good to be an American. That's right.. Not just a black American, but an American. We have just embarked on a journey that will be full of challenges and situations, but we just thank God for the opportunity to exercise real democracy as opposed to unmitigated authoritarianism. Barack Obama has taken the Oath, got his party on as he and Michele ran through a slew of inauguration balls and has gotten down to the business of running our nation.

I am so proud of this man. I am so proud of this nation. A nation who has overwhelmingly agreed that we need change. We need to be more about the people as opposed to self interests and destructive tendencies on the world stage... The election and inauguration of Barack Obama has caused me pause to look inward. Yes, I am a conscious brotha who definitely understands the legacy of black people in America. In my lifetime I have been privy to a lot of African American firsts however, the Presidency was still a far-flung achievement in my mind. But Barack changed that for me. I loved that the center of his political consciousness is rooted in the essence of community development. It is the extension and result of what used to be considered revolutionary standards. It is an ideology that holds the needs of the people first.

And while I watched Barack Obama move to the nation's highest office, I look inward. I am inspired to do better. To be a better man, because just as this black male represents me and the best my community has to offer, I represent him. No longer can I say "The Man" is holding me back... I am "The Man"On election day, moments after the announcement was made that Barack Obama had been elected President of the United States, a young woman whom I know, and deeply respect looked me directly in the eyes and said " Greg J., you can't say that they are holding you back anymore.. you can't blame them, Barack just showed you that anything is possible in the country."

And so, today I am now walking taller. I am aspiring to be a better husband(if that's possible, cuz I'm pretty darn good!!). A better father (er,uh, grandfather) and willing to serve God even the more... I want to do more to help my community get better. I want to be the best I can be. Speaking of being a better husband, isn't it refreshing to see a positive images of the black family? I mean, no gum-smacking, neck rolling, loudmouthed sista girl... no inebriate, verbally abusive, don't-wanna-support black man... no out of control, foul mouth loud, bad-azz kids... I mean this is a real black family, intact, intelligent, positive.... Just like mine and the one I came from.... the stereotypes have been shattered!!

The times require a paradigm shift in everything I do. I need to really go for my dreams. Never hesitating nor stopping to wonder what limitations are before me. Because now, more than ever, I can accomplish any dream that God has placed in my consciousness... The times also require, now more than ever, that we treat each other better. The self hate among black folk has to be abated. Your image in America has been fundamentally changed. You are "The Man"... Our sensitivity toward our women must change. We have to do right by our children. Women have to do right by us... It is a cultural paradigm shift that is necessary and taking place whether we are ready or not...

I hope you realize that this time is a result of the prayers and sacrifices of our ancestors... Mama, Big Mama an' em praying and marching and giving their lives for equal access... This is the answer - direct from the Most High!!

As we start along this road of progress, let us recognize the paradigm shift that is here. Let's do better among ourselves... The Times, They are a-changin...!

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