Black Like Me by Shelia E. Lipsey

Remember the famous slogan, “I’m Black and I’m Proud? I grew up chanting these infamous words as a teenager and through my young adulthood. For me, it meant pride in my race, my color, my nationality. It stood for strength and courage to persevere through some of life’s most difficult times as a black person. It meant having an attitude that would overcome the spirit of segregation, bigotry and racism. Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud.

Today, I want to sing at the top of the rafters and proclaim these words again to our youth, to those who don’t know anything about the struggle that were endured so that we can enjoy the opportunities we have today as a people. I want to somehow convince our young men and women that we are unique, divine, and special. We are victors and not victims. What will it take for us to stop black on black crime? What can we who know the struggle, who’ve lived the history of our people, do to help make a difference that will leave an indelible mark on our young people?

When will we learn more about our history and the importance of supporting and encouraging one another? There comes a time when enough is enough. This is the beginning of a new decade. Let us reach out to embrace one another rather than murder and maim each other. It’s time to change from gangs to help each other gain.

We need more James Baldwins in the world today. James Baldwin (Aug. 2, 1924 - Dec. 1, 1987) was a very important American author who wrote about the struggle of being black in America. James was the oldest of nine children and was born into poverty in Harlem, New York.

We need to encourage our youth to use their minds to invent again, like Sarah Goode. Goode invented the folding cabinet bed, a space-saver that folded up against the wall into a cabinet. When folded up, it could be used as a desk, complete with compartments for stationery and writing supplies. Goode owned a furniture store in Chicago, Illinois, and invented the bed for people living in small apartments. Goode's patent was the first one obtained by an African-American woman inventor (approved on July 14, 1885).

We need more youth aspiring to be like Maggie Walker. Maggie Lena Walker (July 15, 1867 - December 15, 1934) was the first woman in the USA to become a local bank president. Throughout her life, Walker worked for civil rights and other humanitarian causes.

It’s time for our young people to put down weapons of destruction and began to build mental weapons of knowledge to improve life for themselves and others. We need more great novelists like New Hampshire indentured servant-turned-novelist Harriet Wilson who wrote Our Nig: or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black more than a century ago. Wilson’s work is the first known publication by an African American.

The time is now. It’s a new decade. It’s time to make a positive difference. It’s time to bring dreams from the realm of thoughts to the realm of reality. It’s time to become proud of who we are as a people again. With the first Black president in office, and black people holding higher positions and obtaining greatness, there should be a greater sense of urgency to turn things around for the good. It’s time to believe and achieve. It’s time to rise and shine and proudly proclaim that we are Black and Proud. Let me hear you say it. Say it loud: I’m Black and I’m Proud!

Available Now!
My Son's ex-Wife: The Aftermath

Brought to you by EDC Creations and Black Pearls Magazine. Visit the magazine here: