I thought it befitting to speak to our people of color. We have made so many accomplishments and have come so far, yet our struggle continues. We must always remember that we are a people of survivors: we survived slavery, Jim Crow, segregation and numerous other obstacles. I am always reminded that some things occur now are some of the same things that happened years ago. It shows that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Let us not become our own worst enemy. We must remember that if we are to succeed, we must become united. We can't claim that we have overcome if our brother or sister is still living in poverty, uneducated and forgotten. We must overcome as a people. To do this we must pull together and stop the violence against each other. We are just killing ourselves. We need to be more focused on us as a people, rather than being selfish. If we can help somebody, let's reach out and help them. If one of us succeeds, let us be proud of him, congratulate and support him. Let's not be so negative and full of jealousy. Let us love one another as God has loved us all. Let us be slow to take offense and slow to anger. Try giving someone the benefit of the doubt sometimes. You should not be too proud to say you're sorry, even if its not your fault. We have but one life to live, let us make each day count for something positive.
As we strive for success in our personal lives, may we be considerate of others, yet remaining true to our cause and relentless in our plight. We must never give up on our dreams, sometimes dreams may be all we have. We may not all see our dreams come true, but we must always keep the faith and continue to strive for them. Let's stop putting each other down and begin to build each other up. If one of us succeeds, it doesn't mean that that person can become relaxed. We must continue to reach out and help someone else up. We need to be successful in great numbers. Remembering to always encourage our children to get a good education -- not to just graduate, but to graduate having retained some knowledge and be able to function as an adult. We should be open to suggestion, criticism and the wisdom of others.
We will always have to work twice as hard to get where others are and twice as hard to stay there. We can't be slack or lazy and think that the world owes us something; the 40 acres and a mule will not be coming. We have to work for every acre and mule or whatever we want. So to all of us, let us wake up, pray up, and be upward bound, not just bound for glory, but bound for a better life -- a healthier, happier, and more spiritual life. For without God, what good is any of it? He has not brought us this far to leave us, let us not leave Him.
Again, let us love one another and work together to make our lives a positive testimony of what a true and proud people we are. Let us continue to make history in a positive way that our children and our children's children can be proud of. That doesn't mean we should all strive to be doctors, lawyers or famous athletes, but just live a life that is meaningful, honest, having shown kindness to others and let others see the good in you.
Last, but not least, let us pray, especially for our black men. They are truly becoming an endangered species. When we aren't killing each other, we are still being killed off by the man. A lot of preparation has to start at home. Mothers need to teach their sons to be respectful of women, to love and cherish them. Let them know that a real man supports his family, doesn't just make babies and talk about how many he has. He feeds them, clothes them, spends quality time with them and prepares for their future. It saddens me to know that so many of our men are behind prison bars. We must work hard to change the direction in which they are going.
Teach our young men that it's not cool to smoke and sell pot and other drugs, that crime really does not pay, but a good education and hard work is always the best way to get the things we need and want. Our young men need mentors, someone who can relate to them, give them direction and help keep them on the right track.
Black men have so many pressures on them, sometimes we as black women don't realize the depth of which life in general plays on a black man. We need to be strong enough to put our arms around them, tell them we love them and that we are there for them, let them know that we need them. That is not a sign of weakness.
So let us be steadfast in our fight for equality and justice, lifting each other up, and being supportive to others, remember that life is a gift, and life is short, so let us not let our living be in vain.
Let us all get along, and learn to respect and care for each other.