In Kevin Powell’s inspiring and motivational speech, he talked about the importance of knowing our history. He said “not knowing your history is like a tree without roots.” Our history helps us gain a better understanding of who we are and where we’re going. Powell noted three imperatives to history: faith (having a belief in something greater than yourself), vision (realizing anything is possible and that you can’t make history without a plan), and love (history must be rooted in love; you hate yourself when you don’t know who you are and when you don’t know your history).
Knowing our history is one of the building blocks to both personal and collective success. Powell said, “Individual success means nothing if the community isn’t doing well.” With a failing educational system, inherent generations of poverty, dire levels of incarceration and unemployment, there’s still much that we need to do to move our community forward. Like Powell, I agree that we need to have spaces to engage in dialogue so that we can address the issues in our community and work to resolve them. Programs like AT&T 28 Days are just one of the ways to fulfill this mission.
Powell closed out his speech by providing a list of six elements that are essential to making history. These elements are as follows:
- A Spiritual Foundation
- Political Awareness
- Fiscal (or Financial) Responsibility
- Manifesting Our Cultural Swag
- (Optimal) Physical Health
- Mental Wellness
I firmly believe that our community will be better when we all work to better ourselves both individually and collectively. We must be selfless. We must remember our ancestors and our families, for we’re standing on their shoulders. If it weren’t for their sacrifices and achievements, we wouldn’t be where we are today. For the the sake of those coming after us, we must pay it forward. We have to give our people hope. And as Powell said,”[We can] give hope to people by example.” So let’s be the example!
Black Bloggers Connect 2nd Annual Black History Month Blogging Contest – http://www.blackbloggersconnect.com/articles/173/2-100