It. Is. July! Half the year is behind us.
Can you believe we made it? We’re still here my people, alive! January, February, March, April, May, June, went by slowly. Here comes July 2020. What a whirlwind! First, the world went on lockdown. Now America feels like it’s going through a metamorphosis. The racial divide, which has always been a burden for black people, is now on display for the world to see. Like a boil has popped and the contents are draining out.
Black people have been here since 1916, and think about this truth for a minute, all that time, they’ve been carrying the weight of not being accepted as humans. From men marching with “I AM A MAN” signs to black women reciting “Ain’t I a woman” poem, begging to be seen. Suffering through national indifference when it comes to basic rights. Yet, it’s sad to see that their white counterparts who have lived in the same country with them, are suddenly surprised about the inhumanity, fear, and trauma that categorizes a black person’s way of life in America. Every. Single. Day.
Here’s the thing, as a black person from the Caribbean, living in America, I understood the burden of being black in America. Things are just not equal. But I must admit, being shut in safely inside and having to deal with back to back murders of black men and a woman, that I’ve felt the collective, compounded suffering and trauma of my black brothers and sisters, born in America. I discussed it in my last blog. Like Buja Banton an acclaimed reggae artist sang in his iconic song, It’s not an easy road ,“He who feels it knows.”
To be born in a place, where boys, men, and even women, are killed so unnecessarily often, is a lot to bear. Where just because of skin color, these people are chained to a history where white folks deem black folks as semi-human. Not just you, but your parents, grandparents, and great grandparents endured great suffering. Overt violence and fear unleashed on them, from slavery to Jim Crow Era, and even the Civil Rights Era. These people tried to tap into their natural ambition to get ahead. The obvious way is to get educated. Starting from nothing, they built their livelihood and began to see shadows of progress, then success, like Black Wall Street and 9th Street in Little Rock. Soon a begrudging, evil mob, burns down the businesses in it’s prime. Constantly harassing and lynching their men. Two steps forward, ten steps backward, economic dependence for blacks is far too often the rule, not the exception. At this point, as the cycle of inequality continues they should all now be traumatized. And like a soldier coming back from war, they can’t just get over it.
Look at the next video where white Americans are giving an apology prayer to black Americans. Begin watching from 10:10.
Did you feel the pain of that one lady as she cried out? It hurt didn’t it? Like she’s been carrying decades of oppression. Now, fast forward to today, in 2020 a recent study shows, there is a 50-year wealth gap between them and their white counterparts. For a college degree black family, a white family without a high school diploma still earns more.
When you hear an African American say the words, “I am tired.” They have been carrying these burdens of alienation for over a century. Emotions always on edge, in the only place they know as home. Then to have a very basic livelihood in a place like Atlanta or cities outside the perimeter, it tells a dismal story. A story of haves and have nots. I read somewhere that the top 5 percent of people living in Atlanta earn 20 times more than the bottom 20 percent. Let me write that again and bold it. The top 5 percent earns 20 times more than the bottom 20 percent. I’m not sure what is the racial makeup of that 20 percent. It’s any body’s guess.
Then I saw another thing, many Atlanta families don’t have $400 on hand for an emergency. Out of a job could mean out of your business, or out of your home. That’s the case for minorities across the country. One large group of people living on the edge and the other comfortably coasting.
I live about 45 minutes outside of Atlanta. One day just driving around, I decided to drive into a random neighborhood. I turned off the main road and drove up the hill and all I saw ahead of me were homes on a lake with boats in the backyard. The very next thought that popped into my mind is this, “Where do the people that live in this neighborhood work?” And there are neighborhoods like that all over Atlanta, some very affluent, some average and others downtrodden, on the same street or just one street over.
To wake up to inequality every day that isn’t a secret– inequality in living quarters, inequality in pay scale, inequality in how they are treated, and inequality in how they are judged. Our black American friends are mentally, physically, emotionally exhausted, and traumatized. So if you are black from the Caribbean, Africa, and any other part of the world, let us join our hearts and pray for them, starting today and continue for the next two weeks.
Lord you are close to those with a broken, weary, tired soul.
So we present our African American brothers and sisters and their children to you.
We feel their burden, and their alienation and according to Isaiah 61,
Lord set the captives free today, heal their broken hearts today.
Let them know in a tangible way that if you are for them, who can be against them?
As they mourn, comfort them for the generations of sorrow they have been carrying.
Cloak them in praise instead of a heavy spirit.
Lord, rebuild and restore everything in their lives that have been destroyed.
For their shame, bring them a double portion of blessing.
Stand up for them and bring them favor, bring them equality, do something brand new that has never been seen in the history of this country.
Anoint them Adonai to live your written plans for their lives.
Root out every counterfeit contrary plan that goes against your will for them.
For God’s sake prosper them, with good health and wealth.
Release the wealth of the wicked into the hands of the righteous.
For the generations going forward, break every chain connected to slavery, & oppression.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I have a mentee. This week she shared something with me that I want to try and hope you can come along as well. Exercising when you’re stuck in the house can be challenging. For me, I don’t do crowds, so going outside is just to grab essentials. But if you don’t move, the pounds will come piling up. So, some people go for walks, some do youtube classes, and my mentee started jump roping, for 30mins. So while others are packing on pounds, she’s losing them. When was the last time you jump roped my lady? I don’t remember, so today I’m starting. Can you join me?
In January, an idea came to me to design a shirt for black teens. Since I have a teenage son, born in America, I didn’t want people who don’t know him to judge him as dangerous, just by looking at him. Instead of accepting him as simply, a teenager, with toss salad for hormones, not 3-4 years older. Mothers you understand my plight. Maybe it will give the aggressor pause, before inflicting harm on teens. Just maybe. My son and his dad designed the shirt, and we’re taking pre-orders in the No DangerZone! Simply order by Venmo (firstname.lastname@example.org). There’s another surprise there as well.
FRIENDS HELP FRIENDS
My friend lost her hubby unexpectedly. This man was her best friend. Their kids lost their daddy. This loving couple was only a few years older than I. I cannot imagine the grief. If you can help, please do.
Another sister-friend of mine her sister is going through cancer. Together we can help.
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