Let me start off by saying I’m not a traveling snake oil salesman. Every week, I truly have something to say that I believe is meaningful, beneficial and timely. It is time for us to rebuild the Black community.
One of my favorite quotes is from one of my historical heroes, a man by the name of Frederick Douglass who said, “I prayed for 20 years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.”
In order for anything to happen in this world, it won’t be God doing it for us; it will be God using you or somebody else to do it. When it comes to the myriad of the things that the Black community finds itself dealing with, the issues sometimes seem overwhelming and unbearable, but we have to learn how to step up to the plate to bring about the change we seek; otherwise it won’t happen.
As a people, we are living in some challenging times, especially as it relates to the economy and social change, but if we don’t make a decision as a people to rebuild the Black community, we’re going to see it erode before our very eyes, and it will be little we can do to reverse the outcome.
One of the biggest factors between the success and failure in rebuilding the Black community is a lack of vision, and allowing those who don’t have your best interest at heart to deter you.
In the Bible, Nehemiah is a prime example of what I’m talking about.
Nehemiah had a passion for his people and a desire to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed by a previous king who had knocked down the walls and burned down the city’s gates. This burning desire to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem was buried so deep inside of Nehemiah, that one day while he was in the palace of the king he worked for, the king noticed the sad countenance of his face. When the king asked Nehemiah why he was sad, Nehemiah told him it was because Jerusalem was in such bad shape and the walls needed to be rebuilt and restored. When the king asked Nehemiah what he wanted him to do to help, Nehemiah responded that he wanted to go to Jerusalem so he could rebuild the walls. The king not only agreed to let Nehemiah go, he also provided him with some resources to help with the rebuilding project.
As soon as Nehemiah went back home to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, he went to see the condition of the wall and saw it needed a lot of work. Nehemiah shared his vision with many of his fellow Israelites and solicited them to help him rebuild the broken down walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah was successful in getting a remnant of his fellow Israelites to believe in his vision and join in with him to start rebuilding.
As in anything you try to do when it comes to rebuilding, you are going to have enemies and naysayers.
When the enemies of the Israelites saw that they had come together to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, they came up to Nehemiah and his colleagues and threatened to kill them and stop their rebuilding work. Nehemiah had a vision to rebuild that wall and wasn’t going to be deterred, so once he heard those threats, he gave instructions to his fellow Israelites not to be afraid of their enemies and to defend themselves by any means necessary. He got with his remnant of people and devised a plan to have everyone work with a tool in one hand and a weapon in the other. These fearless Israelites were extremely brave, and they kept building and the kept their weapons ready day and night, so that in just 52 days the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt and restored so that the people could once again feel safe in their own community.
Sometimes, all you need is one or two somebodies who see the vision and aren’t afraid to go at it with you, whenever you are trying to rebuild and are sure to face enemies along the way.
In order for us to rebuild the wall in the Black communities all across America, we are going to need the right remnant of people to get the job done; the right tools to work with; and the right weapons to fight with.
I love acronyms, so I came up with an acronym for the word – R.E.B.U.I.L.D.
As a people, we need to do the following in order to R.E.B.U.I.L.D. the Black community:
Research and seek out information that we all need to know so that we can move towards progress, especially when we have access to so many available resources
Educate ourselves by going to school, learning trades, attending community colleges, taking online classes and seeking out mentors
Buy Land and Property, and then learn how to keep that land and property safe and protected
Understand the Power of Unity, because we can do more as a team than we can as individuals
Include the Youth in everything we do, because young people know how to do new and innovative things to help us move forward, especially in the areas of modern technology
Lead when other people won’t, because if you won’t step up to lead, who will?
Development is the key to success
As a people, we need to memorize and learn how to embrace the “D” word. If there is one word we need to understand and cherish, it is the “D” word. That “D” word is called “development” and we need it.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word “development” is defined as “the act or process of growing or causing something to grow or become larger or more advanced” and is also defined as “the act or process of creating something over a period of time.”
If we expect our communities to grow, become larger and more advanced as we create something significant and impactful over a period of time, we must desire “development” more than anything else.
I need everyone reading this to know one thing. You need to know that your ingenuity, creativity, talent and skills can only take you so far; however it will be your courage and perseverance, coupled with your unrelenting faith that will sustain you.
Many of you reading this want to go further than you or your loved ones have ever gone, and many of you are hungry to experience something bigger and better in your lives than you ever have. I’m here to tell you that you can, but you must desire “development” so that you can have what you seek.
If it was easy for us to accomplish the things we want to rebuild our communities, it would have been done by now, so we have to get to work with the remnant of people who have the desire to rebuild.
So if you’re truly down with helping rebuild the Black community, I need you to say it with me now:
It’s time to rebuild!
Jeffrey L. Boney serves as Associate Editor and is an award-winning journalist for the Houston Forward Times newspaper. Jeffrey is a frequent contributor on the Nancy Grace Show and has a daily radio talk show called Real Talk with Jeffrey L. Boney. He is a Next Generation Project Fellow, dynamic, international speaker, experienced entrepreneur, business development strategist and Founder/CEO of the Texas Business Alliance. If you would like to request Jeffrey as a speaker, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org