In this designated month (February) of reflection on Black History
(which includes American History and World History), the Superbowl, Valentines Day, and the upcoming Presidential Primary Election, I’ve done a bit of my own musing.
I’ve been wrestling and self-debating between two strong entities: Love and Activism.
Love (to me) is something unconditional. A strong adoration and affection that can not be ignored or changed. An unconditional passion for a person, child, or thing.
Activism (According to Reference.com):
the doctrine or practice of vigorous action or involvement as a means of achieving political or other goals, sometimes by demonstrations, protests, etc.
In the past, February was one of my busiest times of the year. I was constantly active. Participating and Organizing Rallies against Social Injustices. Marching for Political Change and as commemorative protest. I recited poetry at Black History celebrations and sang strong warrior songs. I held African-American story time for local libraries and then passed out fliers and pamphlets about Bills, Propositions, and Promising Candidates to children, “Give this to your Mommy and Daddy, okay honey?” I hung “Social Change” signs on the doors of Super Bowl parties and even came up with a slogan “After your done kicking the ball, let’s kick the hell out of WAR!” (lol). It sounds funny to me now, even condescending and preposterous. But (WE), me and my college buddies, and other “Green Meanies”: Bandana wearing, camouflage pants, Say Something T-shirts, and boots (Cowboy or Military)”Green Natural Gangstas”; we thought we were doing something. We were A.A.A. (Aggressive About Activism) which in layman terms meant we were aggressive and scary. However, when it came to love or anything that had to do with Valentine’s Day, we were quite passive. “No time for Media Propaganda and Retail Hype”.
I remember this guy I dated who would say, “It’s just another way “they” wanna get your money. If only “they” would put that much effort and dollars into the world’s problems then we wouldn’t be out here protesting all the time.” I remember frowning at him, and giving him a side-eye look and thinking “Yeah right. You’ll be out here marching against Potato Chip companies if they start slicing the chips too thin. AND who the hell is “They”?” Ain’t they “We”?
Well, 20 something years later. The month of February has changed for me. Instead of everyday being and event, I only take part in a select few. I teach African-American History, Politics, World History, Sports, and whatever is pressing at the time, year round. Not just a day or a few. I’m apprehensive about anything that is specified as for “Black, Women, War, Change, Gay, Animal”. Mainly, because I feel that everything that I do should include those things. These “Causes” mean something to me. Hunger is important to me, Senseless Deaths are important to me, Women Rights are important to me, ending discrimination IS important to me. Notice I say ME! Because what I realize NOW is that its me that makes the change. I live my life according to how I see the world. I am HISTORY! I am CHANGE! I am ACTIVISM! Everything that I want to change in the world..I do in my life. I’ve learned that in order for the world to be what I want it to be..there has to be an example. The Great Leaders that we learn about were Great Leaders because they were who they were. They did what they wanted to do. Harry Belafonte, did what he loved and if he broke barriers in the process..(so be it). Mother Teresa did what she loved! If she taught someone else because of it, it was only by example.
We are bombarded everyday by negative, aggressive, demeaning, defaming, and outrageous campaigning. Self campaigning. Ads written by and produced by ONE single person that states “WE” should, “WE” ought to..”Let’s HEAL the world”. Okay. Let me see “YOU” do it. An image (no words) of YOU helping. A LOVE-filled image. A LOVE act. A LOVE deed. I want to see it. Show me how and I’ll do it. Then (WE) WILL be doing it. Each one has to do individual work in order to be (Fully) seen as a collective. Otherwise, the action is just what it is..Meaningless. But..if LOVE is infused then..you have MOVEMENT.
LOVE ACTIVISM: Acting out of LOVE. With and through LOVE. Vigorously loving in an act of achieving political, social or personal goals. Using Love as the essence of action. Love as a Movement. Love Revolution. The Love Process.
Valentines Day?! Shouldn’t just be a day, everyday should be a day of showcasing Love. We are who we are when we are passionate about what makes us (us). That uniqueness is what makes us Great. Greatness can only come from LOVE.
“What can I do to make the world better?” Simply. Be better. Don’t try to stop the ills of world..heal it. “How do I heal the world?” Simply. LOVE.
Here’s a bit of Healing:
Historian and Love Activist, Trent Kelly has collected 146 rare vintage photographs of black male couples from the past 140 years. To view the complete collection of the photos go to Flickr: Hidden in the Open
A Photographic Essay of Afro-American Male Couples
from the Distant Past
“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.” ~ Mother Teresa