…an excerpt from Wake Up! 42 Ways to Improve Black America Now by Gary A. McAbee
To everyone who thinks African Americans have made it, might make it, or may never make it, here’s an analogy for you…
Let’s say that you and I are about to have a race. Our race will be continuous. A winner will not be declared until one of us gives up. We will run the same course: a straight line. Good luck, you’re going to need it.
There is a catch. I am going to start running before you. In fact, I’ll run for 87 hours. 87 refers to years from 1776-1863, you can figure out the dates. At the start of the 88th hour, you can start. When you start, I’ll be so far ahead of you that it will take you awhile to catch up: A LONG TIME! When will you be able to catch me? Will it take only 151 hours? (1863-2014) If this is the case, you must be pretty quick!
There’s more. Along the way, I have told my friends to put some hurdles in your path. Let’s say, there is ONE hurdle to represent the following: the Jim Crow period, the era of segregation, the Civil Rights Era, and the post-Civil Rights (discrimination and racial profiling) era. So, I’ll only add FOUR hurdles, but I will make the height of each hurdle different just because I have the power to do so. Do they slow you down?
Finally, ask yourself some questions:
Are you going to quit?
Will you ever ask why the race started the way it did?
Are you ever going to resent the starter of the race who allowed it to happen?
Will you ever ask for a restart?
Will you get mad, every time you come to another hurdle?
Will you wonder if there are more hurdles you didn’t get to yet?
Will you get discouraged, and slow down?
ARE YOU GOING TO USE WHAT HAPPENED IN THE PAST AS A SPRINGBOARD AND MOTIVATION TO CONTINUOUSLY RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN SO THAT ONE DAY, YOU WILL CATCH ME?
Human nature says…..
The point is: I am running fast. Are you running too? Can you keep pace? Black America, we need to run. We need to keep running. We need to never, ever, under any circumstances, stop running. So I hope to see you on the track. Together, we can catch up and win the race someday.
Gary A. McAbee