It’s that time once again everyone!
Time for all of us to make our annual New Year’s Resolutions for the new year, which is traditionally a habitual practice most of us participate in.
Now, I know that most of us rarely stick to any of the New Year’s Resolutions we set. Many of us start with good intentions, but distractions and/or a lack of commitment cause us to deviate from those well-intended New Year’s Resolutions as life goes on throughout the year.
Now, we have entered 2023, and according to the definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, when we make New Year’s Resolutions, we “make promises to do something differently in the new year, usually consisting of an act of self-improvement or doing something positive for other people.”
With that being said, I believe it is extremely important for us to be a lot more intentional when it comes to our New Year’s Resolutions. More importantly, it will be more impactful if we created our own individual Black New Year’s Resolutions as we continue into this new year of 2023.
Black people have such a rich history and a resiliency that supersedes slavery. Our storied culture has been envied for centuries, and our African ancestors achieved greatness and functioned at a higher level than has been written about in standard school textbooks.
If we take a moment and take a hard look at the areas that impact the daily lives of Black people, whether it be politics, public education, healthcare, the wealth gap, income disparity, law enforcement challenges in our community, the lack of justice in the justice system, housing disparities, and many other areas, we cannot place our future sustainability as a collective group of people in the hands of others outside the Black community. When others control these areas, we are subject to being put on the defensive, and become vulnerable to being harmed, attacked, abused, disenfranchised, or even killed.
We put too much trust in others to advocate for us and deal with our issues and problems, most of the time without our active participation or involvement. We look for others to speak up for us and save us from issues and predicaments that were formed to negatively impact us in the first place. We look to others to stop our things from being taken away. We look for others to help us fix the mistakes and poor choices many of us have made that contributed to our plight. We put too much trust and power in the hands of other people outside of the Black race, and we wait for them to inform us on whether they fixed the problem or not, or whether they have a viable solution to address the manufactured issues that plague us.
We must do better in this new year of 2023. We should be encouraged, and we should force ourselves to think differently in this new year of 2023.
It is my hope that this new year of 2023, will force Black people to work out our internal differences with one another and deal with our internal problems head on.
I hope that we can develop a collective Black agenda that most of us can agree on. I hope that we can proactively advocate for legislation and public policy from our local, county, state, and federal elected officials, that progressively move us forward. I hope that we will begin to use our Black dollars as both a tool to develop our people and as a weapon against our external and internal enemies, that will allow us to boldly deal with the unfair treatment of Black people. I hope we will begin to fully understand the collective strength of a unified Black people. I also hope that we will return to a foundation of unwavering faith in God and that the Black church leadership returns to a steadfast commitment to the Black struggle, which did not end after the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.
We must do something to improve our overall condition, while addressing the longstanding and deep-rooted issues we continue to face before it is too late. Now is the time.
Let’s get better and stronger. No more excuses. We must take responsibility for our own village, and what a great time for us to start taking back that responsibility, than by making a strong Black New Year’s Resolution for ourselves in the new year of 2023.
I believe if we focus on prioritizing our own Black New Year’s Resolution, we will get to our collective goals sooner.
If you need some help with some ideas as you are establishing your Black New Year’s Resolution for this year, let me encourage you to do the following in 2023:
- Plan an individual or group trip to visit the new Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. The website to plan your visit and reserve your passes is: https://nmaahc.si.edu/.
- Find the closest Black history museums or sites, in or near your respective cities, and take a trip to visit—whether by car, train, or plane. Let me help you. You can visit the following website to give you some exciting choices: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/africanamericanheritage/visit.htm.
- Sign up to speak at the local school district board meeting about issues important to you and your community regarding the education of Black youth.
- Start a book club and start discussing and learning all aspects of Black history, especially African history prior to the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
- Learn how to swim and break the negative stigma about Black people and swimming.
- Get licensed and trained to carry a legal firearm. Safety for everyone is critical and ensuring that every Black person is able to legally defend themselves is extremely paramount, especially with the radical gun laws that have been passed in Texas and other states across the country.
- Volunteer at least one day a month to mentor youth at local schools and/or organizations in your respective communities.
- Eliminate negative energy from your life—people, situations, and thoughts.
- Financially support a local organization that has an emphasis on Black empowerment in your respective communities. Try not to just go the easy route and support Black organizations with local affiliates. There are many local Black grassroots organizations doing great work in our communities and could desperately use our resources to continue.
- Research and further your education about Black history by reading books and surfing the Internet. Here is a website which lists some of the top Black book blogs and websites in the country to help you with your journey: https://blog.feedspot.com/african_american_book_blogs/.
- Go to the doctor and get a physical, and health and wellness check at least once this year.
- Be extremely intentional and spend money with Black businesses at least once a week. There are countless websites on the Internet and several “buy Black” marketplaces in various communities across the country.
- Visit a counselor to get a mental health checkup. Many insurance carriers provide this as part of your insurance coverage. Mental health is just as important as physical health.
- Check on our elderly Black citizens in our respective communities. We must protect our most vulnerable senior citizens at all costs and be intentional about it.
These are just a few things you can incorporate into your own personal Black New Year’s Resolution, but whether you choose to use any or all of these, I challenge all of us to make our own. It is my hope that next year around this time, we will be able to celebrate our successes and establish another set of goals that will make an impact on our lives, on the lives of our youth, and on every African American in this country for years to come.