This I Believe

Shariesse - District Heights, Maryland
Entered on December 10, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30


During the 60’s through the late 80’s there were African American activists who fought for and end to discrimination and equal rights for all. They survived through slavery, lynching, physical and mental abuse, even burnings with hope that one day this will all be over. Out of this misery and pain phenomenal African American leaders were born.

These leaders lifted and empowered the African American community. They provided hope to the people in the midst of chaos. They rallied and protested against unjust acts and laws. These brave leaders brought about change. They ended discrimination and created an “equal” America. Many of these leaders paid the ultimate price for these changes, their very own lives. They sacrificed it all in the event that other African American’s could have it much better than they did.

Some where between the 90’s and now it seems African Americans have lost sight of the vision. They have forgotten the sacrifices of their fore fathers and mothers. They have taken affirmative action, voting, and free speech for granted. They have ultimately adapted a sense of “complacency.” They have chosen to “settle” with the way things are.

African Americans need to wake up and realize there is still work that needs to be done. There are still African American men being profiled, unlawfully arrested, even killed based on their race and social status. There is still a rise in African American women contracting HIV/AIDS and being the target for gang rapes. African Americans need not forget where they came from but most importantly focus on where they are going. I believe African Americans need to rise from their long slumber and bring about a positive change to their families, communities, and the American government. The civil rights movement is not done. There is still much work to do.