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BellaOnline's African American Culture Editor

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A Common Thread Across Black Communities


Tragedies. Murder. Death. Poverty. Unemployment. Racism. Incarceration. Recidivism. Fatherless. Motherless. Homeless. Hunger. Pain. I could continue on with a list of words that would and can be attributed, but NOT define, our Black communities. We are much more than these words. Yet, the media, and even some of our own people who have come to hate themselves, would say those are the only words that define our communities and who we are. That…is a lie!

Love. Resilient. Strong. Determined. Innovators. Creators. Fighters. Overcomers. Mentors. Entrepreneurs. Dedicated. Hopeful. Believers. Faithful. Trailblazers. These are the words that DEFINE who we are. These are the attributes that have kept us forging ahead, and producing greatness in the midst of adversities. This is our common thread.

Across every state, in every nation, there is a common thread in Black communities: the fight to never give up or give in, no matter how seemingly impossible or daunting a situation appears to be. We will always manage to rise above the controversy and the hate, and any given atrocity, and bring forth our very best.

We are like diamonds. Coal that has been crushed and under years of pressure, that comes forth as polished diamonds. Diamonds of a rare quality and of a high value. We are crushed on all sides. We are squeezed and knocked around; hindered and preyed upon; our very lives taken, and yet, we still survive, excel, and thrive.

We cannot allow ourselves to become so embittered with the many atrocities that we see, that we forget to celebrate who we are, and the accomplishments we have achieved. We must remember to encourage and show our children how far we have come, though we still have a ways to go. We must teach them about our history and whose shoulders we stand upon. We must instill in them hope, even when all around them looks hopeless. We must return to village living, where every child becomes your child, and not one is left behind.

There is greatness happening every single day in our communities. We must not allow the trials of this life, or the redundant and relentless, biased coverage in some media to define who we are, or continue to present a one-sided perspective based upon their fears, their personal truth, or ignorance. We—the Black community—must take a stand, rise up, and begin to do what we know is right. We must change our focus. Change the focus of our children, and let them know: Yes. Great things come from our Black communities.

There are so many accomplishments by African-Americans in this world that go unnoticed because it doesn't garner as much attention or accolades as sports or entertainment. We have to change that. We must inspire our children through education and our own dedication. Our history dictates that we are of such good soil, that even in a drought we can still produce good fruit.

Our common thread is more than the color of our skin. It is what we all have inherited from generations before. A legacy that is filled with determination, fortitude, power, resilience, faith and love. We must support one another in our endeavors. It is time to take it back to Old-School ways. Go back to the lessons of our Grandparents and their Parents, that said: Come hell or high water, we will make it, and our children will live a life that is better than ours. They didn't give up, and neither are we. It's in our DNA. It's the thread that binds us together and keeps us not only alive, but strong.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 "And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a three-strand cord is not quickly broken."
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Reviving Our Black Communities
Working Together in Our African-American Communities
Twenty First Century Black Diaspora
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Content copyright © 2014 by Ruthe McDonald. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Ruthe McDonald. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Ruthe McDonald for details.

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