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No One Is An Island
3/28/2013 1:22:07 PM

By Hakim Abdul Ali  

  The month of February has passed for this calendar year. In case you’ve forgotten, it’s also the designated month for many “colored” folk in the U.S.A. to celebrate Black History Month.

   For some Afro-minded souls that may a sufficient period to recognize their heritage, but for me it’s still an ongoing continuing process of celebration. I’m still “into” celebrating the study of Black “our-story.”

   Sometimes, I feel that I’m on an island by myself whenever I discuss the importance of Black “our-story” with many African-Americans, many of whom, unfortunately, do not display a sagacity, or a desire, to “truly” make the study of “our” noble ancestry a think of permanency.

   That point troubles me to a degree because I see so many young Blacks, in particular, who seem to have no basic knowledge of elementary Black History and pride. In a sense, it’s an academic tragedy happening in their midst, and they don’t even know, or realize, that that anyone, who has no knowledge of self, is, more than likely doomed, to fail on many intrinsic levels of self-respect.

Just thinking about that reflection brings me to my mind a statement that I once heard during the Sixties when “blackness” was more than a absent metaphor. If I can remember it correctly, it goes something like this:

   “No man is an island. If we go backwards, it’s no man’s fault—it’s everyone’s. If we go forward, it’s no man’s achievement—it’s everyone’s. Our progress is the result of ‘our’ unity.”

   Those were some heavy notions that were said back then, but it is very much applicable today, especially considering the overall state of Black America. Just think about!

   As you think about that realism for a stone, cold moment in time and, if you’re of color, please migrate through the realities of ethnic survival in the bald eagle’s stoically written tapestry of freedom, justice and equality for all. Think!

   I’m doing that this very moment as I put words to paper for this article. Know that I believe in the beauty of the American dream of freedom for all, but sometimes I don’t think that it is an actual certainty for many of its socially disenfranchised and politically disconnected segments, wherever they live in this vast landscape.

   Maybe, that’s why the piece from ’60s resonates so vividly in my head and heart as I write, because when the poor and homeless of America are neglected in the world’s greatest democracy, then they must feel that they are on some disconnected island in the middle of nowhere.

   I’m only a thinker and a columnist who writes from the realities of life, and being a long standing brother of color, I feel the pain of my people’s “our-storical” struggles and others’ sufferings from everywhere with ardent attentiveness, because if democracy is what it is in written form, it must be in visual realms also. Think about it! ethnic

   Yes, “No man, or woman, is an Island,” if he, or she, feels isolated from the summit table of mutual respect and equality among all the ethnic groupings that make America such an amazing cultural combine. If that happens then we in this country have truly gone backwards in many ways.

   I hope that you understand that because racism is not something that most people want to hear about today. They would just rather pretend that it flew out the window of actuality with the signing of various Congressional bills and acts.

   In some instances these bills and acts have brought drastic and necessary changes to correct the bigotry that existed in the American horrors of yesterday. The reality is that in so many cases the bills and acts haven’t touched the hearts of many of the people who rule and run the America that the average “colored” souls of America know controls their political lives. Sadly, I wonder what island are the super rich and politically slick living on and in what states do they pay income taxes.

   Moving on, I wonder, also, what many Black people are thinking about as they seemingly drift from month-to-month of every year, forever caught up in the abyss of never feeling that freedom, justice and equality includes them. Think!

   I’m thinking that now just as I did in the month of February. With  that ever-present conscious awareness, I’m forced, by own conscious zeal, to remember the ancient African adage that “in order to move forward, I must, in turn, look back.”

   That’s why I’ve been on this self-absorbed Black “our-storical” discipline to try to learn as much as I can about Africa and its descendants, wherever they reside in every month. I sense that many Black people, living throughout the Ebony Diaspora, must think that they are on a hopeless island of isolated despair locked in a modern day form of invisible servitude.

The African-American communities, here in this country, have been through that, and they’ve said enough should be enough for any and all contemporary tired and weary “colored” travelers of conscious awareness. I know that I am.

I don’t know about you, but I believe that if you’re on the intellectual beam of thinking, you know that we, again, as a people of color, have got to get “our” collective acts together and take care of some solemn business in our communities.

“No One is an Island” in Black America unto himself, or herself, without realizing that we must help each other, in order, to survive further into the 21st Century. That takes academic discipline, familial commitment and dutiful perseverance to God Alone to extract “our” share of the vaunted American pie.

“Our” progress will and can only (then) be measured by the result of “our” unity. I’ve said that previously, but it still applies because, if we are to succeed in any redeemable progressive posture, we shouldn’t view ourselves as separate “colored” islands of ineffectiveness unto ourselves.

 “If we, as a people” go forward—then it’s no particular person’s achievement—it’s everyone’s.” I’ve, also, said that before, so “the proof is in the pudding.” By saying that, I’m inferring that we are all parts and pieces of the puzzle entitled “Black Folks—What Ya’ll Gonna Do?”

And until we get it through our heads, as long as we live in America, we’ve got to work together in order to put the already disassembled pieces our unity puzzle together. It takes lowering one’s pride of foolish isolation, self-hatred and coming together to work and support one another in achieving the aim of unity.”

Seriously, think about It. Remember that “No One is an Island,” and for today and always, that’s “As I See It.”

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