New year, new possibilities
6th January 2014 · 0 Comments
By Edmund W. Lewis
It’s a brand new year bursting with new possibilities. You can feel it in the air, but you can also feel the presence of many of the things that have held people of color back in this city since its origins in 1718. We’re still dealing with white supremacy, political chicanery, economic exploitation, taxation without representation, separate and unequal schools, domestic terrorism, violence and racial injustice. Here’s a list of some of the things we need to move in the right direction as Black people in this city, state, nation and the global village:
• More African-centered television programming, less reality TV.
• More African-centered films, documentaries, books and music.
• A greater commitment to supporting African-centered bookstores and other Black businesses.
• More institutions committed to promoting balance, harmony, reciprocity, respect, cooperation and stability in Black families and communities.
• An end to the occupation of historic Black neighborhoods in New Orleans by carpetbaggers who are determined to undermine and impede Black cultural continuity.
• A greater commitment to fighting for justice, democracy and equal protection under the law by local, state and federal elected officials.
• Greater political participation by the masses.
• More college graduates who understand that gainful employment is not the only reason for pursuing higher education.
• More alumni support for local high schools.
• Greater activism and public service among Black college students.
• A greater commitment on the part of young people to learning the history of African people.
• A greater commitment to caring for, providing for, protecting and valuing the elders of the community.
• More people who do the right thing when nobody’s looking.
• Greater access to fresh produce, healthy food and clean water for communities of color.
• A greater push to free Mumia Abu-Jamal and other political prisoners.
• Longer hours of operation for New Orleans’ public libraries.
• More humane treatment of the city’s poor and homeless.
• Closure of charter schools that treat students more like prison inmates than young scholars.
• Greater parental and community involvement and support in local schools.
• A greater commitment to the arts, healthy eating and exercise in local schools.
• Better use of educational facilities at local schools, even on weekends, to address academic deficiencies and promote academic excellence among our children.
• More Black athletes, recording artists and celebrities who read books about the Black Experience to gain a better understanding of who they are.
• Greater communication and cooperation between various generations and socioeconomic classes of Black people.
• A solid, sustained movement to promote fairness in hiring, promotions and compensation in the city’s hospitality industry.
• A commitment from the city’s Black businessmen and women to build Black businesses, create economic opportunities for people of color and create a sizable Black middle class.
• A return to electing Black candidates who display integrity, vision, courage, compassion, selflessness and a commitment to uplifting communities of color.
• A greater sharing of decision-making power among residents and elected officials in small, medium-sized and large U.S. cities.
• A greater sense of commitment to helping those less fortunate among middle- and upperclass Americans.
• A return to complete federal funding and support for U.S. public and private schools.
• A greater commitment among Black people to establish and support independent Black educational institutions.
• Higher standards of academic excellence and greater expectations for U.S. youth from all backgrounds.
• More cooperation, communication and collaboration between Black people in the U.S. and Black people in the Motherland and other parts of the world.
• A greater appreciation for and understanding of ancient Kemet’s (Egypt) role as the pinnacle of human development and one of the ancestral homes of Black Africans.
• A greater commitment among Black people in the U.S. to study and read more about Black people in Africa and throughout the Diaspora.
• An end to all forms of neocolonialism in Africa.
• An end to the economic exploitation, exclusion of Black people in New Orleans.
• A thorough investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, from top to bottom, of the criminal justice system in New Orleans.
This article originally published in the January 6, 2014 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.