All posts by Jonathan Holley

A Benevolent and Equitable Future

African-American History Month, 2021

African-American History Month in the year 2021. Now is the time we’ve set aside to remember, and also to honor the stories of those who crossed the Middle Passage, to the Americas and their descendants. It is critically important to state that without free African labor, the wealth of the West simply would not exist. The standard of life we have today, is the result of their hard work. They built the roads, bridges, and the railroads for “nothing,” as James Baldwin said. This is the first African American History month in the Covid-19 Pandemic. One in which African-Americans have suffered disproportionally when compared with other groups, while simultaneously having less than equitable access and distribution of the life-saving vaccinations. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people, have succumbed to the disease.

This past summer we witnessed, organized and marched in large peaceful protests around the country. There was and still is, a national call for Justice. This was in response to a series of violent acts committed against African-Americans. We have watched the video recordings, and read the news media coverage, of preventable, racially motivated murders. Among them: Breonna Taylor, Ahmad Aubrey, and George Floyd; just to name a few. We remember the excruciatingly painful and traumatic, eight minutes 46 seconds (8:46) video, capturing the knee on the neck of Mr. Floyd. The video captures and manifests the often overlooked brutality forced upon us in our daily life, the callous indifference with which African-American, and other Peoples of Color are treated.

We most recently watched in awe an Insurrection at the US Capitol. Carried live on TV, and as we saw that crowd waving flags, and committing various other acts of sedition, take over the US Capitol, and steal from its grounds. With few arrested and charged from that group. We know justice is not blind. Evidenced by the leniency shown to them by friendly prosecutors, and courts. In my opinion a fair reading of our current situation implies that our story, as a People is unfolding, but not uncertain. We have a firm foundation in our faith. And, against all odds, we are compelled to hope. That hope is that one day soon, we will see injustices finally come to an end. The times now call upon us to write a new chapter. In this moment each one of us has a part to play, a say, a vote. With all urgency we must do everything humanly possible to facilitate justice equity, to build capacity, or even economies, if such actions will secure the creation of systems which treat all people, all African-Americans as full human beings. In this new environment healing, reconciliation, and rejuvenation might finally take place.

The most effective way in my view to celebrate African-American History Month is to occupy our time, by doing all we can to ensure a bright, benevolent and equitable future.