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  • Tina Bryson

Because of Them, We Can

I am on my soapbox today to remind you not to grow weary. Since today is the first day of Black History Month, I think of all that our ancestors endured that allowed us to be where we are today. It may seem like nothing has changed, but things are better.


I am currently reading "Homegoing" by Yaa Gyasi which paints such a vivid picture of the thread that is the thru line that connects one generation to the next. When I walk through the cemetery in Little Philly, I see headstones from Covingtons, gone long before I was ever thought of, with dates etched in stone from the late 1800s. I think of my great grandmother in that same line, my grandmother that followed, and now my my children.


Did they imagine what our lives could be? Could they even scarcely hope that our lives would be better? And our lives are better. Yes, racism is still alive and well. It still stains the pillars of our democracy and strains to shackle us under its weight. But in the words of Maya Angelou, "And still I rise."


They suffered so many indignities just by living and though we face challenges, Lord knows we do, they made it and so must we. We have no time to grow weary, to give up, to become discouraged. We do the work, not just for ourselves, but those that come after. Just as those who came before paved the way for our generation. We keep striving toward the fulfillment of the American ideals.


We will continue to fight for our right to vote and then overcome whatever obstacles that are put in our way to excercise that right. We will fight for inclusion and a seat at the table for employment, education, home ownership. We will continue to fight against health disparities and income inequality.


Be passionate. Be active. Be heard. There is still much work to do. Pick a cause to champion. And let's leave this world better than we found it. The example has been set by the countless generations that preceded us from the Motherland, through the Middle Passage, through slavery, Jim Crow, and present day. It ain't over! We continue the fight because we can't give up now. We can imagine a different America and work to see it fulfilled.


We know change can come because they showed us the path. They made the impossible possible.


Don't grow weary. There is work to be done. Change is coming!

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