Do you hear it? The alarm is ringing; it is the sound of a clarion call that has gone out for an all-hands-on-deck approach to bringing about a much needed change for our community.
I feel whole heartedly that the vision of Leon El-Alamin and the M.A.D.E. (Money, Attitude, Direction, Education) Institute is the ideal panacea for us to recoup the missing/dismissed parts of our cultural heritage. As important as it is to create an atmosphere of consideration, sensitivity, and understanding among our non-black citizenry, it is even more imperative that we create a climate of historical learning for our people to become acquainted with who they are and where they come from. And there are several reasons: one of the most important is to develop a healthy sense of self-worth.
I believe it is through learning of one’s self that we as individuals will arrive at a place of internal validation from being armed with the knowledge of our rich ancestral history.
It is also a knowing that burns within that says our desire to see change, along with an excellent plan to manifest a viable proactive entity that will assist with improving our individual attitudes toward each other and the community at large, that we do so by utilizing our collective intellect and our experiences as a knitting needle to weave ourselves into the fabric of high productivity. I’m sure you will agree that solutions and tangible results are the primary goal.
Though these times have left many of us in a dubious quandary; it is leadership that coincides with compassion and a human touch that will succor us to engage in critical reasoning, which of course is a mental process accompanied by logical reasoning if we are to plant the seed of change into the soil that is the hearts and minds of the people; then we will undoubtedly reap the harvest of a new paradigm; one that consists of social independence, dignity, freedom, and justice.
We cannot study ourselves or the times with the minds of slaves, colonized people, or colonizers. This is what I believe is sorely needed.
In order to free ourselves from the fear that has been instilled in us, there must be a restructuring of the architecture built to keep us confined to the lowest level of the social ladder. That is the place that has kept us mentally and emotionally off-kilter, thus hindering our forward progress as a group.
I know beyond knowing that expanding our knowledge on how to navigate in and throughout the sociopolitical and socioeconomic arenas is the catalyst to developing a cultural renaissance by identifying with a land base for the purpose of teaching us about our nature that also gave us so much history to be proud of.
By radicalizing our intelligence we will become politically savvy, socially conscious, and economically independent. As a resident of Flint, I feel obligated to offer myself to the cause and commit to doing anything within the scope of my abilities to assist those who are agents of change with achieving a common goal. Once certain imperatives are recognized and acknowledged, then will we be able to re-introduce order into our ranks as we come together as a monolithic juggernaut to reclaim our rights to live in accordance to the level of self-sufficiency that we aspire to — individually, and as a corporate entity.
Lastly, we must be willing to stand for what is right for the city as a whole. And that means holding these elected officials’ feet to the fire. If there is no accountability, then we as a people abort our voices in exchange for hopeless hope, empty promises and feel good rhetoric that pacifies us into silent consent. If the city were a ship, then we the people are the captains of that ship. And only the captain stands at the helm.
Craig D. Samuels