What Would YOU Do?!?

bob marley

Happy Hump Day, Y’all!

And a continued Celebrate Black History Month “shout out” . . . One of the things I enjoy doing, as some of you may have gathered by now, is share my thoughts and ideas on the issues that are at the forefront of our society today. The unrest in Ferguson with the death of Michael Brown; the tragedy in New York City with the murder of another unarmed “black” man by THOSE police officers caught on video … not ALL police officers; and the simple but disappointing fact that none of the “accused” officers have to face trial. What would you do if that were your father … your brother … your son … your husband that was killed?!? How many folks just shrug their shoulders and say, “I don’t have to worry about that! That happened to “those” people, not me!” Do you remember Dr. King’s civil rights “war cry”, if you will: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere!” Of course, most people are in denial when it comes to something like this because we think it can NEVER happen to “me”!!

This past Sunday, I went to the Sun Trust Jazz Brunch in downtown Ft. Lauderdale’s River Walk area. It was great and so many folks were out! There were huge tents with African Americans enjoying their brunch under a partly cloudy sky, large tables and chairs with Caucasian Americans and kids playing on the grass in front of the Esplanade there and groups of folks dancing to the sounds of music that emanated everywhere near the New River! It is nice to see people getting along … people who are different from one another making an effort to look for common elements in each other … even talking and singing together!! Now some folks might say that they don’t want to be singing and dancing with “others” . . . True … the choice is YOURS! Just remember that decision when one starts complaining again, “Oh, they don’t understand me (us)!” How do you think this challenge can best be handled??!! Segregation?!? Now, I don’t try to tell folks what to believe or think, just propose a few questions that might help in arriving at an “intelligent decision based on facts”!

Well, life is really simple sometimes. I have been called or labeled as a “revolutionary” by some, and an “Uncle Tom” or “sell out” by others (because I embrace peaceful co-existence) as I attended an all boys private Episcopalian boarding school and Princeton. I am not sure who these folks think they are but one thing I do know is that “they” didn’t raise me!! These people weren’t there when my parents loved me back to spiritual health after some of my life’s most challenging moments. Now, there are others whom I know that always want to remind me that, “You (I) should have more money! You should have a better job! You went to Princeton, and all, I feel sorry for you!!” What would you do if someone said THIS to you? What do you think I did … and will continue to do? “Be the best that I can be!!”

Here in Ft. Lauderdale on Friday February 6th, there is an event called “Destination Friday Goes to Jamaica” at the African American Research Library and Cultural Center on Sistrunk Blvd. It will host a “Nine Mile” event with refreshments, music by Bob Marley as his 70th Birthday is celebrated, and samples of authentic Jamaican cuisine to enjoy as one can meander through the gallery of Jamaican art. The cost for the event is $10.00. So, I am sure that if you really want to experience an “intellectual” Black History Month this year, you can! “Just Do It!” LIve, learn and love! “One Love!”

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

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