You know that saying: The more things change the more they stay the same. So much has occurred within the African-American community. Many changes and advances; yet, so much has stayed the same. And it is where things have stayed the same, that is causing a change within the structure of the community and the heart of its people.
It's only been fifty years since the civil rights movement. For some, it has ended. For many, they're still in the fight. Fight for equality, for justice, for the simple right to be able to afford to take care of one's family, or send their child to a decent school, or on an errand without fear that their life may be taken because of the color of their skin.
What has really changed in the African American community? The heart of the people. That is what has changed the most. There is s passage of scripture in the Bible that admonishes believers to not grow weary in well doing. That, if they continue to keep "doing well"; obeying the laws of God, they will reap what they have so diligently been working and praying for.
What happens when those who knew how to fight, how to stand, how to hold on, pass away without anyone to take their place? The same thing that happens when the last man of a family dies without anyone to carry on the family name—it dies with them.
The fight for equality, justice, for our civil rights is being left in the hands of a generation where many are not equipped or educated to carry the fight on. They are unaware of their history. All they know is what is before them. The constant struggles that they are facing today.
Before them is a world that seems cruel and disheartening; especially for the African American male. They feel it each time they leave their home. They feel it within their homes, with many suffering from not knowing their father, and having to be the only man of the home, while navigating a cruel world that seems to be plucking off young, Black males at an alarming rate, without any repercussions.
The heart of the African American community is what is changing. We are losing a generation of children to a war that was going on before they even got here. They know nothing of their past or history. They know nothing of fighting the system instead of one another. They have no idea about the sacrifices and lives that were taken so that they may have the liberties they have.
How can one say they do not know? It is evident when they take one another's lives. It is evident when they don't know that by destroying one another and their community, they destroy themselves. It is evident when you look into their eyes, and see an emptiness and longing for something they never had or aware that exists.
There are countless young men and women that are doing well. There are moments when they receive the recognition for all that they have accomplished and are doing to make a difference. Yet, there are an abundance of others who have never even heard the words, yes, or you can. And those are the ones that need to be reached and spoken life into.
It is hard to change a community for the better from without. It must come from within. There must be a radical change that occurs with the life of those residing in the community. And in order for that to occur, there must be a willingness and a spark of hope.