by Deric Muhammad
Have you ever met a person who appears to have given up? If you visit the homeless living underneath bridges in major cities across America you are sure to find a brain surgeon. How about the former freedom-fighter who sits amid the debris in the neighborhood park holding court about the “worthlessness” of Black youth? The road to freedom has and always will be a long and winding road littered with casualties along it’s byways that just “gave up.”
I’m not passing judgment on anyone. I am grateful for any and everyone who has lifted a finger to help Black people in the last 455 years. And let’s be realistic, Black people lead the nation in joblessness, incarceration, infant mortality, HIV/AIDS cases, poverty, fratricide (Black on Black murder) and so many other categories that signal the weak pulse of a people. To say that I have no understanding of why a person would think to give up on Black people would be a politically correct lie.
A few weeks ago a 3-year old Charissa Powell was shot and killed during what police called an attempted carjacking in north Houston. Two men attempted to rob Charissa’s father at gunpoint for the rims on his car. When her father tried to remove Charissa from the car one of the men opened fired with an AK47 killing her and wounding her brother. This is the kind of insanity that makes Black people think about “giving up.”
The late great Donny Hathaway used to sing a beautiful tune that said “Giving Up is so hard to do…when you really love someone.” While Hathaway appears to have been singing to a woman, I would contend that the same sentiments can be applied when speaking of a people who suffer like my people. The truth is that in order to maintain your stride toward freedom, justice and equality for Black people you have to love Black people with a love so unconditional that you love them more than they hate themselves.
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