Today is a balmy, hot day and I sat under a tree reading Du Bois’ Immortal Child, which raises the question if Black people, while having the burden of oppression upon them should bring Black children–hated by the world–into this world? And he says, but yes! They are our future, the progress of the Black race and freedom is to be tasted by our children’s children. And, it is our responsibility to educate them and provide a quality life “with reasonable sacrifice”.
It is that reasonable sacrifice I was stuck thinking about. I, being a single mother, struggle daily. But the struggle for liberation and the struggle out of oppression is different; it is a struggle with purpose. Working to pay tuition for university and studying late at night after a plain rice dinner and little time with my child is sacrifice, for a greater cause and future. It is not the same as struggling in a dead end job and living in the slums with no hope in sight.
That struggle is of great significance. Even if other people are able to buy houses, cars and earn a degree with ease, it is still crucial that Black men and women do so too, at any cost. And if these things are truly next to impossible, we must make sure that isn’t so for the next generation. The struggle in the climb out of oppression is not a permanent one. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and in the light you are clothed in respectability, stature and excellency.
We must, all who are struggling through school or entrepreneurial endeavors, tap into our innate creativity and genius and forge ahead, at all costs. We must not shirk sacrifice for the instant gratification of luxe items, of nice things to have and trendy places to be. We must be more frugal and scrupulous than the Jew, more family-oriented than the Mexican, and mode determined in hard work than the Russian so we too may enjoy a higher place in this world. And not as an anomaly, but as a concentrated and conscious worldwide effort of people of African origin; for Black liberation rests upon those who are self- determined and motivated, to uplift the rest.
As I look somewhat uneasily towards another unpredictable school year, I think of all my African comrades who are getting up in the early dawn and trudging forward despite the odds against us. In our not-so-trendy clothes, not so trendy meals and perhaps not so glamorous life. The glory and honor will come to us, as we have earned it. Let’s not be bitter or complain, just get through and manifest genius and success in our personal lives.