Elevating a Race and the results of the failure to do

So much is made of how any particular race is viewed by a society and many times that society is often overshadowed by hos that particular race views itself.  Highly educated and very intelligent people who are of those races may often times speak of how it should be elevated but the rhetoric and actions are often so far apart from each other.  Fortunate people of these races may find themselves in a position to complete the process of elevation but for some unknown reason fail in the attempt or never even attempt it at all.  This is an article dedicated to those in a position to elevate a race but for some reason are failing to do and speculations as to why that might be the case.

I concentrate on the African-American community because being a member of this group allows me a certain view that I may not do justice attempting to bring to another race of people.  For years, history books found in many school systems and districts are filled with those who helped shaped this nation but little of it shows any contribution from people of color.  This does not give children from that color scheme nothing or no one to feel connected to nor does it give them someone to emulate or aspire to become.  This must change if we are ever expected to elevate our children unless we are content to just have them become starry-eyed about professional athletes, movies stars and the tough guy on the corner.  We need to show them as often as possible that greater heights are possible if we just put in the work and this example has already been set for us if we would just take the extra steps to make it available to them.  I speak of great leaders who happened to be African-American and who actually accomplished great things.

These examples are taken from Atlanta Black star and are quite easily found if one would only look.  I speak of individuals like Toussaint L’Ouverture who led “the Haitian Revolution, born in 1743, in an effort to equalize master and slave. His effort, which began in 1791 in Saint Domingue as an uprising of enslaved Africans, eventually created the independent state of Haiti, bringing the vile institution to the attention of the world. L’Ouverture also worked to improve the economy of Saint Domingue, instated paid labor on plantations, negotiated trade, and built a formidable army. Rather than war, much of L’Overture’s success was a result of  carefully strategist political and military tactics to overcome his enemies.”  Or even individuals like “King Shaka Zulu, born in 1787, Shaka Zulu was drafted into the military at 23. He rose through the ranks at a rapid pace, proving to be especially skilled in battle strategy and tactics. He became the chieftain of the Zulu in 1816 when his father passed away. Shaka Zulu developed several methods of battle, to include the use of short-handled spears to create better cover and accuracy in battle; and military formations which proved optimal for success. Shaka Zulu also instilled a discipline in his army that made them legendary throughout the region. These changes and advancements as an army led to a better economy for the Zulu Nation, and had a lasting effect on South African history.”

Where we fail is when networks like Black Entertainment Television (BET) and the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) fail to capture these individuals and make this stories come alive on the big screen for the billions of young African-American children wishing to look past that tough guy on the corner or see themselves as thinkers, creators, and leaders like some of the millions African-American leaders, thinkers and creators that has gone before.  We celebrate Black History one month out of the year so for the remaining eleven months, our children’s memory fades of the contribution that the race they were born apart of has made.  What if these same children could turn to a particular channel and see more people that look like them showing a type of character that they know they possess but rarely ever express because of their surroundings, up-bringing or low self-esteem.  This does not have to be a network so numerous as now exists for the Hispanic community but just one or maybe two that truly captures and relays that the color of one’s skin does not limit him or her to anything in anyway.  That the only true limitations any of us face, regardless of color, sex or origin, are those limits we place upon ourselves.


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