April 1, 2007

Black Family Pledge

We are finished with the first part of 2007. Time marches on. I wonder if we are making a difference here in the Electronic Village or in other cyberplaces throughout the diaspora? I realize that bloggers are not obligated to have a socially conscious desire to 'make a difference'. Many of us come to our blogs to escape from some aspects of our real lives. However, I have a nagging belief that we can do more. I know that I can do better.

I would love to see the spirit of Umoja fill each of us. I thought it was wonderful to see Theo, YBP Guide and others fight for justice in the case of the young sister from Paris, Texas who was imprisoned on a 7-year humbug.

I think it is great that African American Opinion blog is bringing us together via his cross-posting idea.

What can we do? Whatever it is ... it begins with you and me. It begins today. I am reminded of the powerful words from Dr. Maya Angelou. I invite you to join me in taking the Black Family Pledge!

by Dr. Maya Angelou

Because we have forgotten our ancestors,
our children no longer give us honor.

Because we have lost the path our ancestors cleared, kneeling in perilous undergrowth,
our children cannot find their way.

Because we have banished the God of our ancestors,
our children cannot pray.

Because the long wails of our ancestors have faded beyond our hearing,
Our children cannot hear us crying.

Because we have abandoned our wisdom of mothering and fathering,
our befuddled children give birth to children they neither want nor understand.

Because we have forgotten how to love, the adversary is within our gates,
and holds us up to the mirror of the world, shouting, "Regard the loveless".

Therefore, we pledge to bind ourselves again to one another,
To embrace our lowliest,
To keep company with our loneliest,
To educate our illterate,
To feed our starving,
To clothe our ragged,
To do all good things,
knowing that we are more than keepers of our brothers and sisters.

We are our brothers and sisters.

In honor of those who toiled and implored God with golden tongues,
and in gratitude to the same God who brought us out of hopeless desolation,
We make this pledge.

This is no April's Fools joke. Isn't it time that each of us step up? Villagers ... do you have a comment to share on this Black Family Pledge?


sokari said...

No April Fools here either but I have been "steppin up" all my grown life! I didnt know about the Shaquanda case so thanks for brining that out - Good luck with your blogging career - ps I dont blog to escape my real life - i blog about my real life:)

Tisha! said...

As I stated in my post of today bloggers/citizens are a force to be reckoned with!

Latimer Williasm said...

Bloggers will have a present and future effect on what messages we bring to our children. we must always strive to take these principles everywhere we go and wear them on our sleeves. I have only been blogging for about 2 weeks and the effect that I have had I quite honestly didn't realize. We must use our words as weapons but always as comfort in the storm of life.

Adrienne Zurub said...

I disagree with the preface of Angelou's Pledge, better stated I am offended. This pledge assumes that we, Black people are once again a monolith of misery and thought. It assumes that we collectively, are not responsible to ourselves, our families and our communities. The Pledge does not take as fact the number of accomplished, striving and successful Black persons. Yes! There can be more social responsibility. Yes, we can contribute more to causes. But, the 'Pledge' is a backhanded statement, mired in historical misery.


I am the oldest of nine children of teen parents. I work, own my own businesses, help others and continue to be a mentor both in my community, in my family and in my personal interactions.

In recognizing MY responsibility to my OWN development, my OWN evolution, and articulating who and what I AM while on this planet, I AM 'a catalyst for the good in others.'

Furthermore, if I choose to blog to escape my real life, that is my or anyone else who chooses to do so, frickin' perogative! C'mon!

NOW, as blacks or people of color we have to justify WHY we use the Internet or connect with the WORLD in cyberspace????!!!! And WHAT our thoughts and comments SHOULD BE??!!

WHY, WHY in hell would we place such a burden, willingly upon ourselves? Why do we have to justify each step forward to an unknown or known (but not agreed upon) vanguard of the past!

I am BLACK, that fact is secondary, or a thirdness to my mission and obligation of living AS A PERSON, A HUMAN BEING.
I am not my color, regardless of what society or the culture states. I know that sounds like heresy to some. I am NOT negating my color (I am visibly Black)!

I actively and consciously choose (and believe me it is hard)not to define myself solely on that descriptive!
What I do within this world, I do because I am a person of integrity and compassion, not because of my skin color! I, by the person I AM contribute to others and the greater global society. Nuff said. (I'm pissed!).

Adrienne Zurub

James said...

Right on, power to the people! Black bloggers flexed their muscle. I remind very proud of those that paved the way.As far as an escape, this is all very real for me! Keep hope alive.I accept this pledge. In fact I am doing something very good for my family this morning, I am going to the grocery!

Gunfighter said...

All of these things are things commanded by Christ. I try to live them daily.

I'm down!

Lester said...

Villager I understand the spirit with which you put this into the world. But I don't believe that black people are inferior, that we have lost anything, that our problem is the result of our own inaction. I believe that black people have everything culturally that we need, that we are far from inferior. Even when we fully recognize this the battle is not yet won--because the forces we fight are highly organized.

But the sooner we get to this point the better. Thanks for hipping me to your site!!

Theo J. said...

Villager, thanks a lot for your support and posting this pledge. I agree some of the things in it, but I think we have to realize that this is Dr. Angelou's perspective of what needs to be done. As black people, we've come a long way and have made some major accomplishments. There's more to be done and the pledge starts where it's important. In the home with the black family. While I don't feel like a lot of the issues apply to me and my family (I work hard at this every day), they apply to someone. And as bloggers, it's our job to put it out there.

It was not until I started posting about Shaquanda Cotton that I realized the power of the Internet. It still amazes me. Blogging for me started out as a way to express concerns that I saw in society to a larger audience. I wanted to have a voice because I felt like I had something to say. It's blogs like this and seeing everyone's comments that push me to do more. Keep doing what you do to the best of your ability and change will come.