Friday, February 1, 2013

Black History Month Series

The Big Girl Chronicles:  Black History Month Series

In 2008, this country for the first time in history elected a man of African-American descent as president.  2012 followed with his re-election.  This landmark term has shined a light on the African American community.  As I take notice of people in the community wearing Obama tshirts and paraphernalia, I ask myself, “What else are we going to do?”  We as a community, as a people.  What more are we going to do to support not only the leader we showed up in record numbers to elect, but ourselves?  We’ve proven that we have the numbers to make things happen for us.  But have we realized how much further we can go? 

This Black History Month, I have chosen quotes from noteworthy and accomplished leaders in the African-American community, those at the forefront who have blazed a path to where we are today and those who continue to make headway for generations to follow.  I challenge you to take this month to ask yourself, “What more can I do to support my African-American community and represent ‘us’ well?”  Do something more than wearing a tshirt or putting a bumper sticker on your car.  Take the time to learn more about the plight of the African American community and where you stand therein.  Educate yourself about the decisions that are being made on your behalf and where your help is most needed to effect positive change.  Where you can strengthen your support and involvement is totally up to you.  If you have a talent that you’ve been hustling on the side, learn about your options and advantages to becoming a black owned business and increase our presence (and statistics) among business owners.   Get more involved in education and talks about healthcare options.  If nothing else, join a local chapter or civic organization and help make a difference in your community. 

Along with the challenge to increase awareness of issues that directly affect the African American community, there is another area where we can begin to take more responsibility for ourselves.  The area to which I’m referring is in spending.  This month, also pay attention to trends in spending among our community.  We could benefit from making time to prioritize and take control of our dollars.  Doing smarter things with money, like progressing towards homeownership and a college fund, could also prove that we not only have the determination to show up and elect leadership but also the discipline to collectively control our dollars, budget and plan responsibly.  Make your contribution matter so much so that when you wear another tshirt showing your support for President Obama, the face smiling on that tshirt also shows his support for you.    

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