A Message To My Elders
These words are coming to you from an honest place with the best intentions. My truth is simple and straight to the point- I need your help. As a forty year-old Black Man who has worked endlessly to create financially lucrative avenues for our people I am now at the place of humbly asking for your help.
We are at a fork in the road and my generation does not have what we need to move ourselves up the ladder. Your generation was able to capitalize on a number of affirmative action programs rolled out by the American government, but those streams of opportunities have dried up for my generation. With all of our integrated years behind us there is a new and harder road ahead of us.
I speak as an entrepreneur, father, husband, son, brother, uncle, friend, artist and a number of other titles I have honestly earned over the years. Those of you who know me on a personal level also know my character and work ethic. I would not come to you if I did not need your help. Over the years I have climbed one mountain after another with the refusal to give up. I have pushed on every door to get my message and business out and now I am reaching out to you.
If I went through every detail of my professional and personal efforts, victories and failures then this would be a very long written piece. Please know that I am coming to you as your son, nephew or maybe even your grandson. The institutions that enforce America’s oppressive values for Black Men are thriving, alive and well. The difference between your yesterdays and my today is that your enemies got smarter and multiplied as they prepared for me.
The Black church was a place for us to gather ourselves and recharge ourselves as you all fought your fights against the bitterness of white supremacy and white hate. I remember my grandfather, grandmother, aunts and uncles from that era. They were not perfect, but they were real in their imperfections. There was a common goal and common agenda for all of us. The lines were drawn and either you were on Malcolm’s side or Martin’s side, but the point was clear that we had to get free. Sadly America divided them and killed both of them like dogs in street. Now decades later I am stranded somewhere in the middle of white supremacy and Black delusion.
The truth is this: Now I can’t trust the Black church system, the banking system, the educational system, the healthcare system, the policing system, the judicial system and every other system designed to deny me my basic rights as a man in this country.
I don’t have anywhere else to turn. Please do not get religious on me and tell me to turn to prayer, a book or a building. My generation of ethical and honest entrepreneurs need your help. The plain truth is that we have been praying for hundreds of years, reading books for hundreds of years and going into buildings for hundreds of years and now I need the help of my elders.
I need your experience, relationships and connections to resources to aid us in moving ourselves up these American ladders. I am a reflection of all of your hard work and sacrifices. I am disciplined and focused, but still I need your help.