Social commentary on the cause and effects of Tavis Smiley's Covenant with Black American, including opinionated views on what African Americans can do to effect change.
The greatest challenge to a Black man is being everything to somebody else, but nothing to himself. For over 400 years we’ve wondered and wandered about never achieving and reaching goals that God originally intended. Along the way though, we’ve proven to be a resilient bunch, survivors and achievers in our own right among ourselves. Integration came along and we again were disillusioned and allowed to dream, even. We survived blatant racism and have lessened the score nowadays to subtle forms and vestiges still of the proverbial ‘ole boy’ syndrome. We endeavor despite all of this, to hold our heads up and stay the course. There’s no reason for us to live life in anonymity. The purpose and destiny for all of us is to find incentives to make a difference in the lives of those around us and beyond. Recent essays I’ve written mention Tavis Smiley and his Covenant with Black America, and there are a few more on tap that address the issue and other relative subjects. This is serious, has merit and shouldn’t be ignored.
To take it further, there must be a starting point and the starting point is in the hearts and minds of men wanting to make decisions to be viable and accountable to enhance himself, his family and the community in which he lives. The keynote speaker passionately implored that we men stand up and do what we should be doing. He asked the questions, “what is your responsibility as men?” And, “what is your purpose in the church?” As I listened, I turned the questions over in my mind and surmised that there are others that I can add to the mix. The more I thought about it, the more I felt relegated to serve and be served. We’ve come a long way since the Civil Rights Movement. We castigated Jim Crow and forced him out of the ghetto and into the suburbs. They did away with The Dreamer; brothas of the same mind plotted against Malcolm, and managed to elect the sorriest president since reconstruction. In the meantime, and well after the latter, they freed Mandela. Can we say then, that the more things change the more they are the same? Can we challenge status quo and embrace this ambitious plan that Mr. Smiley is introducing?
I cannot embark on any journey, or write the type of essays I usually write without first overcoming the fear of proactive progress. The absentee male has to emerge and stay constant to the work that has to be done. As a united front we can make a difference...the challenges will not deter us, and change will give us hope. We must place ourselves in position to make inroads. My erstwhile essay ‘Adam Where Art Thou’ addresses this concept and admonish Black men to come forward. If you are male and want to make a difference in your community, be the champion of your family, and be reverent to God’s will then you will realize the three maxims I list below to start your journey. You must:
§ Maximize the Vision – You must be diligent in maximizing insight; See more of what God is showing than what you see.
§ Minimize the Villains – Try to avoid barking dogs and pesky critters…they abound in the devil’s workshop
§ Mobilize your Motives – Continue to take initiatives; Do something about adverse stimuli; Survey your immediate surroundings and move against the grain
These three things are paramount and imperative to fulfill the type of man God is looking for to triumph over ill will. Our intermediate mediator is the good deeds and message that comes in the form of all of the Tavis Smiley’s that descend on our neighborhood turfs.
11:15 A.M. The Aftermath and Affirmation…
…The sermon reached a crescendo and ended with high fives, back slapping, and pious prayer. We were on one accord, vowing to individually and collectively be a force on the home front, stalwart Deacons and Elders come Sunday morning, and community crusaders for the cause. We want to continue to work in tandem to affect the challenges to cause change to me more than happenstance. We do this with that Covenant firmly embedded in our consciousness – Tavis, we’re with you all the way Brotha!