Expression of Blackness is very pivotal to the African American community. Our voice and autonomy is what has helped us throughout every historical epic from the Middle Passage to #BlackLivesMatter.
A recent Huffington Post article by Mark S. Luckie titled “Black Lives Matter. Now What?” said it all. “So we’re woke… what happens next? Now is the time to take that energy and transform it into change… We must demand representation in the spaces in which we as Black people exist. We must be bold in championing for inclusion in the media we consume… Be unrelenting. Representation matters.”
Luckie went on to emphasize how through social media, the #BlackLivesMatter movement became woke. Every single Black millennial can know who they are and connect with others like them through this network. As a result of this, our voices can keep growing and have an impact that exceeds even our ancestors’ wildest dreams.
The world is watching.
The world is listening.
Now it is our turn to speak out.
From art, to music and film, Blackness has elevated to a whole new level of recognition. Actors, musicians and writers are pushing boundaries even further than before to show that, even in 2016, old wars still rage on. But regardless of that, Black people need to, in the words of Facebook COO and author Sheryl Sandberg, “lean in” and take “a seat at the table.” Sandberg wrote in her seminal 2013 book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” that despite feminism and women changing the game of the workplace to get to the top, glass ceilings still remain high in certain places. That tune could not have rung louder when Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election.
Borrowing from Sandberg and Clinton, Black people must close ranks in the face of failure and adversity. Negativity motivates Black people. When we are told we can’t do something, it is in our blood to prove that claim wrong. Failure is still not an option.
To every Black boy and every Black girl with a dream, keep dreaming. To every curious Black boy and every curious Black girl, keep asking questions. Keep doing everything they tell you not to.