Taurean Brown | Contributor 

Taurean Brown is a community activist and freelance writer based in Durham, N.C. Follow him on Twitter @TheBlackVoice or visit blacksankofa.wordpress for more of his writing. 

TheBlackVoice-2What a powerful moment in time we find ourselves in this nation with the re-election of the first African American president. In this time we find poverty rising, extremism coming from all ends, minds being brainwashed on a massive scale, etc.

For many people, these factors seem like a new situation, however ibelieve we find ourselves in a very familiar position, particularly for black people.

Through this election season the theme of “change” resonated between both parties on the election trail. In the black community, you saw individuals pushing to get others registered to vote and actually going out to the polls.  On TV and social networking you saw celebrities and others get involved, talking about making your voice heard and exercising your right to vote.  The people made their voices heard and they selected the Barack Obama for another four years as the leader of the nation.

Now that the election is over, what change is really going to happen and what part will the people play in this change?

The black community faces several problems that have plagued us for many decades, such as: youth violence, unequal education, high unemployment, poor healthcare, police brutality, and neighborhood destruction. The list goes on and on.

Sadly, I believe that too many people are under the impression that their responsibility to change is now accomplished being that we re-elected President Obama.  On the Internet you see the familiar pictures of President Obama with MLK or Malcolm X in the background saying that the “dream” has been accomplished or something close to that point.

Go into the homes of many African Americans and you will see pictures of President Obama right beside pictures of Black Jesus, almost characterizing him as a savior.  As a proud black man in America, I am very proud to see our President look like me, however I would be foolish to believe that the “dream” is accomplished or even close to being finished.

The dream will never be accomplished as we remain on the sidelines and do not get actively involved in the change of our own people and community.

Yes we must remain involved politics and vote regularly for all elections both local and national, but the change we really seek will not take place in the halls of Congress. The change we want to see as a people will take place in our minds, our homes, our schools, our streets, our barbershops, our hangouts, and our communities. For far too long black people have accepted watered-down freedom that has been passed down by the United States government, hoping and praying that one day real change will come. Well its time to stop hoping and actually get out and make that change happen. The time for change is always now. Each generation has had its defining moment. My father’s generation went to the streets fighting against brutal violence, stanch racism, and unjust segregation to end in America. What will our generation be known for?

We have the awesome opportunity to bring forth real change for our people and the nation as a whole, so how do we make this change? We make this change by first decolonizing our minds and filling our minds with truth and knowledge. We must infuse our people with self-pride and love. Teach our children that there is nothing wrong with being exactly how God made you. We must unify our people and dispel all the things that divide us as a people. One of the main tactics used to take over our people was “divide and conquer”, so in order to combat this tactic we must unify and conquer. As a unified proud educated people we will then be able to stand up against the social barbed wire that has kept our people in this stagnant state. We must let the nation know that we will no longer tolerate injustice, unequal education, unequal representation in government, the War on Drugs, and many other things that destroy the fiber of black life in America.

As black people in America we must take our freedom by any means necessary.