By Chris B. Bennett
As we close the book on yet another year, it’s time to reflect upon what we accomplished this year and time to set our sights on new goals and objectives for the year to come. Yes, there will be those who may want to get a new job, relocate to a different part of the country or world. There will be those who want to lose weight, improve their health, climb a little further up the socio-economic ladder. Whatever you choose to do as an individual in the New Year I wish you luck.
However, as we turn the page from 2012 to 2013 its time for our community to have a strong presence in our society. It is indeed time to be seen. Many of us are familiar with the saying that kids are supposed to be seen and not heard. So what happens when we become adults? We should be seen and heard, right? Unfortunately, too many in our community are neither seen nor heard.
In 2013, it’s time for Black folks to be seen. It’s time for our Black men to stand up and be counted. It’s time for Black men to stand up
for themselves, our youth and our community. It’s time for our young men and young women to see more Black men carrying themselves in a respectful manner. It’s time for them to see more grown men pull up their pants, go to work, and participate, to the best of their ability, in the institution of family.
It’s time for fathers to spend time with their kids and stop relying on women to provide the types of guidance, wisdom and nurturing than can only come from a father. It’s time for Black ment to be seen making your way to and from a 9-5, 10-3 or 7-4 rather than doing 24/7 on the block or a 15 – Life in the state pen. Oh Yes, Black men it’s time to be seen in 2013.
In 2013, it’s time for our Black women to take full responsibility for their actions and their families. Yes, it’s time to make sure that you know where your children are when the street lights come on. It’s time to stop using your kids as pawns in relationships that are far beyond repair. It’s time to put as much energy in to praising people as you do in putting people down.
It’s time for mothers to be mothers and for grandmothers to be just that “grandmothers.” It’s time for our kids to be raised by the person who gave birth to them. Oh yes, Black women it’s time to be seen in 2013.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not about bashing Black men or Black women. This is not about giving people lectures about what they should be doing. We all have our faults and no one is perfect. However, this is about uplifting our community. This is about laying the foundation for a brighter future for our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
The resolution to many of the problems that we have in our community begins at home. We cannot address the problems of youth violence in
our community if our children are living in households where the parent/guardian cannot or will not control the behavior of the kids that live in their house. You cannot deter a young man or women from doing something that is considered wrong by society and the law, if it is tolerated at home. You cannot keep a young man or woman out of the streets, if they simply wait for their grandparents to go to sleep before they go outside to do their dirt. We need strong men and women to run strong households, so that we can address the problems of youth violence, the incarceration rate of African Americans, drugs, gangs and teen pregnancy. It’s time to be seen in 2013.
We cannot address the political disparities that exist if we cannot or refuse to vote. We cannot hold politicians accountable if they believe that 7 out of 10 people in our community did not or do not vote. African Americans showed up and showed out at the polls in 2008 and 2012. But what about 2010 and 2014? Yes, Black people it’s time to be seen in 2013. It’s time to make sure that we vote in every election, no matter how big or small it may seem. It’s time for our youth to grow up seeing their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles showing them by example
that it’s important to vote and not letting them hear you say, “it doesn’t really matter” or “I’ll catch the next one.” It’s time to be seen on the political scene in 2013.
No matter what trials and tribulations await you in the New Year… remember this theme… It’s time to be seen in 2013. Black men… its’ time to be seen in 2013. Black women.. it’s time to be seen in 2013. It’s time for the Black community to be seen thriving, striving and high-fiving our way to economic freedom, social justice and political equality. As the song says, “This little light of mine… I’m going to let it shine.” It’s time for the Black community to shine through and through…so stand up and be seen in 2013.
Through the eyes of an ink barrel, may peace be unto you!