Black And White! Will There Ever Be Any Shades Of Grey?
I was born into a poor family from a poor rural area in Jamaica; my ancestors were from Africa possible from an impoverished tribe, and my forefathers were slaves in the West Indies.
Because my beginning was poverty-stricken, does this mean that my future will continue to be destitute?
Throughout the world, almost every single race or nation of people have been victimized at some point in history.
The Jews have been through Holocaust in Europe under the tyrant Hitler; Asian holocaust under the Japanese imperialism in the early nineteenth century; the West Indies slave trade from the 15th through the 19th centuries and other crimes to humanity.
Different nations of people are still suffering in our modern-day society where technology is advanced, and education and health have improved.
While doing this research, I found an article by Kristen Duvall on the blog ‘TheRichest’ where she listed twelve countries that are presently suffering the most. At the top of her list is Tanzania in Africa and Haiti is ranked number four.
She felt that these countries are least featured in the news media in spite of their impoverished state. She also said that these countries are suffering because of civil wars, government corruption, violence, poverty, and discrimination. (Duvall)
On the other hand, you can also see the top twenty richest countries in the world based on their Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with Qatar, a small peninsula in the Persian Gulf, at the top of the list with a GDP of over 75117.36 US dollars in 2015 (TradingEconomics)
The GDP of the richest countries is astronomically 195.3 times that of the poorest country.
Is it possible that the poor and suffering countries in this world can improve to the level of the richer countries?
The answer lies in a number of factors, but if each individual in this world tries to improve their personal circumstances and their sense of moral then eventually poverty will decrease.
Since this month is celebrated in America has black history month, I want to focus on encouraging the black race to return to their roots and learn from the many great leaders all over the world that have dedicated and or sacrificed their lives to improve their country.
This is the first of a four-part post that features some motivational quotes by some of the great civil rights leaders.
A call for all men to accept the responsibility that God has given them
This request for the improvement of black men was the aim of the million-man march organized by Minister Louis Farrakhan (Louis Eugene Walcott). He was born May 11, 1933, in the Bronx, New York. He instigated the march of over a million men in Washington Dc in 1995.
I, therefore, implore you, my fellow brothers, to reflect upon the following excerpt from Minister Farrakhan’s speech at the million-man march in 1995.
“And so, we stand here today at this historic moment. We are standing in the place of those who could not make it here today. We are standing on the blood of our ancestors.
We are standing on the blood of those who died in the Middle Passage, who died in the fields and swamps of America, who died hangin’ from trees in the South, who died in the cells of their jailers, who died on the highways and who died in the fratricidal conflict that rages within our community.
We are standing on the sacrifice of the lives of those heroes, our great men, and women that we today may accept the responsibility that life imposes upon each traveler who comes this way.
We must accept the responsibility that God has put upon us, not only to be good husbands and fathers and builders of our community, but God is now calling upon the despised, and the rejected to become the cornerstone and the builders of a new world.” (Farrakhan)
Martin Luther King Jnr (1929-1968) was one of the most outspoken and visionary civil rights leaders in the USA. Mr. King said in his famous speech in 1963 that after one hundred years since the emancipation of slaves the negro race was still not free.
Some people believe that the election of a black president would decrease this tension but it has not. The country appeared to be even more divided.
Read more about Martin Luther King Jnr life and journey here.
Martin Luther King’s dream was embedded in the American dream – a land of freedom. He dreamt that one day his great country of America would fulfill its creed that all men are created equal.
Martin Luther dreamt of the day when the oppressed will find true justice. He envisioned a day when the children of both the former slaves and slave owners would sit together at the table of brotherhood.
Mr. King dreamt of the day when his children will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
He dreamt of the day when every valley would be exalted, and every mountain would be lowered the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. (Isaiah 40:4-5) (King)
Other Great Civil Rights Leaders of America
Rosa Parks (1913 – 2005) became known as the mother of the civil right movement because she refused to give up her seat to a white person on a racially segregated bus. She chose to sit with her dignity than to stand up in humiliation.
Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993) was a brave civil rights lawyer during a racial divided America. He realized that the best way to bring change to the country was through the legal system.
Thurgood Marshall became the first African-American Supreme Court Justice in American history.
Malcolm X (1925-1965 ). He was a black nationalist leader who was a spokesman for the Nation of Islam in 1950 – 1960. He was a very radical leader who told his followers to “cast off the shackles” of racism by any means necessary including violence.
Malcolm X violent nature was abated after his trip to Mecca because he realized that a peaceful resolution to racism in America was possible. However, he was assassinated before he could embark on his mission.
Jesse Jackson was born October 8, 1941, in Greenville, South Carolina He is a civil rights leader who ran for president of the USA twice. He founded Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) and National Rainbow Coalition.
Stay in touch for the second part of this inspiring post – Redemption Song
Who else can you add to this list? Share in the comment box below.