Who Colored My History?

Who Colored My History?

Note: This blog is one that I published in 2013, but I thought it needed a repeat.

 

black-soldiers-2

 

February is the month officially designated to celebrate all that is Black in history in America. This is the time that the rest of the nation steps back, acquiesce to our request for alone time and watch us step out in unhinged celebration. There will be dinners and functions, programs and marches; books will be read that that are normally tucked away in seldom visited sections of libraries all over this country. For all of this I am grateful but also puzzled.  I ask, is my history really Black?

Consider this: the contributions made in America by slaves and their descendants are no more apart from American History than are those made by slave masters and their children. Our contributions are woven tightly into the fabric of American History; the strands brilliant and outstanding, courageous and strong and without them, the dynamics of America would be vastly different. Our history is American history; equally, American history is mine.

Although we are often divided on issues; we sometimes deprecate one another, insult and misunderstand each other, our hand in building this America is singular. What former slaves and their children have done in and for this country contributed to the building of America–my America. Your America. We helped to build this institution.

We all strive for the same things: freedom, a right to be seen, heard, respected and treated with dignity. Our way of getting such things is often unalike and sometimes even hostile but our humanness should transcend our hostility. And it is true that racism is apparent; a social strategy to keep us oppressed. But we cannot oppress one race or group and remain a “free nation,” because of our undeniable connectedness.

 

polish-and-black-workers-factory

 

We all thrive on the provisions of one another, even when we refuse to acknowledge the souls that have made such provisions.

The babies my great grandmother cradled and fed, the big house she cleaned and the clothes she scrubbed were not her own. But those children grew to be strong and viable; the house was kept immaculate and the way of living for her master was made easier. We all benefit from the work of those Black teachers and tutors, doctors and researchers that rose from the trenches of their enslaved parents and grandparents. They gave us light in the way of inventions and findings and educated individuals.

Likewise the language we speak and the laws by which we abide were not created by Black Americans, yet we abide by those laws and seek to create equality through them. It has taken citizens great and small to establish a nation that has remained a bastion in the world for more than 200 years. We cannot deny each other.

American history isn’t sweet or flowery. No, in many aspects it is brutal, despicable, embarrassing and painful to remember. But it is truth and cannot be changed or altered. But it is the way in which we face such truths that uproots us from our comfortable spaces and causes the scales to fall from our eyes. It is only when we begin to look at each other and see a reflection of ourselves that we can begin a sincere dialog. It is when we acknowledge this truth that we will begin to understand what makes us think and feel and act in the manner in which we do.

To join us as we celebrate those who endured much hardship and bravely adopted this country as their own is not a separate celebration. For as you recognize our history you also celebrate your own.

To deny the contributions Blacks have made in history as American history is to broaden an already growing disparity between our races. A people who will not be heard will always be misunderstood. Celebrate with me, learn with me, discover and be in awe. My history is American.

When You Share Your Faith

When You Share Your Faith

When we talk about sharing our faith many of us get visions of Bible-waving believers or John the Baptist messengers preaching that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. But at the end of the day no one cares how many Bible verses you can quote or how many inspirational phrases you tweet. And on the other hand many of us don’t even bother talking about God at all at the fear of being off putting or too much.

Be a Doer

But the sharing of your faith is most effective in the demonstration of your faith. At its core, at its foundation it is simply about sharing the love of God. And that always takes action in which we connect with someone else.

His love covers the gamut of good deeds and heart felt dealings. It can be as simple as texting a co-worker to say “you are in my prayers”. It could be listening attentively as stranger shares personal information with you—people are crying out to be heard. It is offering hope instead of exchanging instances about how hard things are, how this country is doomed, or comparing illnesses and family drama. It is demonstrating the peace of God and the love of a Father.

You see when we speak in Christianese or try to convince people that we are good church going folk we are at that moment like the long line of believers who go through the symbolic motions of being typically religious. It is boring and ineffective. It is mediocrity in its purest.

When we demonstrate our faith it is a reminder to the cynical, non-believer, the hurting, the doubtful that there is yet hope for mankind because there is a God of love that is real and he is long-suffering. Good things do happen. God loves us and yes he answers prayers.

Every time we behave as the world does we reaffirm what many already believes—mankind is eternally lost and the God above isn’t doing much about it. When you demonstrate your faith you plant that seed of goodness. Another will come along and water with a word of God. Perhaps another will cultivate with an invitation to church or some event. But it starts with your seed. Your seed opens up the heart of someone who may have stopped believing that there is a good God.

Love without action

Demonstration of our faith can be a moment or singular action but it is also a lifestyle. As we walk in love, our demonstration becomes as natural and as much a part of us as our accent or eye color. It becomes woven into our DNA because it is who we are.

In one passage of scripture Jesus said:

“Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can’t believe that, believe what you see—these works.” (John 14:11, MSG)

Others may not believe what you say, but they believe what you do. And that is demonstrated in and through us every moment of every day.

 

Why We Write

o-OPEN-BOOK-facebook_012816_fb_twt

Today is that day: be inspired

Today is that day: be inspired

Today determine to live on purpose live_I

Get Focused, Stay on Track

Get Focused, Stay on Track

 

 

 

There are a million things that will come in to view when you try to bring your goals in to focus.

focus_1

Everything isn’t meant to be a part of your objectives. It does not mean that you do not support, but…

funny-people-protest_Save Twinkie

 

Know on what to set your attention.

 

And then….

focusGo and get it.

%d bloggers like this: