Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families

11May/150

Understanding and Nurturing Creativity and Self-Determination – A Monday Morning Meditation

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If only the world was as conversant in the historical context of Black self-determination as they appear to be in the extent and historical context of racial disparities. Unfortunately, this nation, and its host of media institutions, continues to perfect the art of telling stories of Black misery and hardship. It takes the form of new reports on old patterns of racial disparity.

We must be clear, however, that our community's challenges will not be resolved because we understand the extent of persistent racial disparities... as important as it is to always understand the nature and context of our current condition.

Our challenges will be resolved by our insistence that others take us seriously. More importantly, our challenges will be resolved as a result of our insistence on taking ourselves seriously.

This begins by investing just as much time in understanding how we survived the many centuries of white supremacy, racism and outside interference with our community's survival and institution-building, as we invest in understanding our current ranking on one scale or another that others use to measure community well-being. In this regard, Malcolm X's old admonition is worth the reminder... "Of all our studies, history is best qualified to reward our research."

After years of being involved in efforts to eliminate racial disparities in child welfare and related child and family serving systems, I'm convinced that equal or more of our time must be invested in understanding and nurturing the courageous and creative problem-solving capacity within our community. This includes understanding our capacity and efforts today and in years past.

There are plenty of very smart and skilled people within our community - perhaps more today than at any time in our recent history. We have within our community - at this very moment - all of the know how we need to bring about the kinds of conditions we want to see and experience for our children, our families and for the collective African / African American community. We have to be far more thoughtful and deliberate in understanding and pulling these skills, talents and resources together in support of our vision of a healthy and whole community.

I'm certain that some will feel threatened by this. But be reminded that this is only controversial to those who benefit from Black misery and death. All people deserve, and have an inherent responsibility, to promote the health and well-being of the community to which they belong.

On this day, and every day moving forward, I will recommit myself to doing more to promote the health and well-being of our community... to restore the way of health and well-being our ancestors have taught us. My only great desire is to be able to join you in doing the same.

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