In my last piece I talked about the good days with our community. When we all supported each other. Looked out for one another. Protected each other. We have come along way from that, and the question remains: How do we get back to that? How do we establish unification in our community?
I had this discussion with some friends and think that unity is possible. Some of them think it must be done like the days of the Black Panther movement. When we would truly have the men protect the community, and the women kept the home and raised the children. Other thoughts we shouldn’t be inclusive. I had another friend who didn’t quite agree. She thinks that this time period was and I quote, ‘super masculine and barbaric.’ This reminded her of a time when women didn’t get to openly express an opinion or thought. This was due to putting a woman in a position of total submission; having her thoughts and feelings listened to, adhered to, and valued. This friend of mine believes the work of unity should be a collective work: not just left up to the men to decide what is right or wrong in regards to the community.
My thoughts are this: I agree with both! For a community, any community, to be established, it will require input and protection. I do believe that as far as protection is concerned, the Black Panther movement was awesome. They not only protected their local Black community from police brutality; they protected us from crime, gangs and drugs within our own community. I also believe that in order to have success as a community, ALL thoughts and opinions should be heard! We should be collective in coming up with a process on the next steps needed in order to be successful. Or to have longevity to ensure that what we are doing will outlast us! We have to be the ones to set precedence of what our future generations will follow.
I don’t agree that we can’t be inclusive. How can you have community without it? The very definition of community is: a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals or a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
Truthfully, we are all in this together. We all need each other.
I don’t know if we will ever have a “real” sense of community ever again. While I do think it is possible, I also feel that it is going to be hard to obtain. We have to be willing to put our differences aside; be able to hear a difference of opinion and handle it rationally. Be able to correct each other in love; come together in times of peace and war; defend each other and love in spite of. Can we protect our legacy in spite of, come together economically, educate one another and support and invest in each other?
I do think that this is something that can be done, but the question remains: Are we willing to do what it takes in order for us to come together COLLECTIVELY? I sure hope so because we all need each other.
[images from goodlifeproject.com and urbanintellectuals.com]