The Shift Must Continue By Kayra Alvarado
We have been living in an absolutely unbelievable time in our history. This pandemic — crazy! And the way the Black Lives Matter movement has birthed a new level of consciousness across the world — AMAZING. But what hurts is seeing how much more we still have to push and forge forward because the status quo is still unacceptable. I want to acknowledge and celebrate the growth, but right when we feel like we’re winning and we see some progress, the same hatred, discrimination, and oppressive norms continue. It hurts…everything hurts…the microaggressions, feeling unseen, rejected, beaten, and murdered.
Systemic racism runs through the veins of the United States framework, the same way pillars hold a structure. It allows for a particular community to establish superiority over another through economic dominance and uses race as the driver. As we know, everything boils down to dollars and history informs us that the slave trade of Africans and the enslavement of Indigenous communities was the method by which colonizers solidified order, dominance, and wealth. Although, slavery was abolished in 1865 by the constitution, true freedom, justice, and access to equitable resources was not a part of the plan. The African American community has always been intentionally excluded from pipelines of education, housing, and food. These historical legacies have impacted the African American community for generations. And that is why today there are black communities that struggle with food desserts, schools with inadequate resources, and bad water (as seen in Flint, Michigan). Lynching and murders of African Americans was the strategy to keep slaves in check, fearful of their masters, and to keep revolts at bay. Our modern day version is reflected in the continuous propaganda that Blacks are more aggressive, violent, and engage in more misconduct. These evil messages are compounded and the outcomes are correlated to young Black students experiencing harsher discipline consequences, gross amounts of violence used by police in Black communities, and higher percentages of Black men in prison. All of these mechanisms are part of the systemic work to break Black people down. And that is why Black people say that we’re “free-ish.” When you really SEE and FEEL the pain of the black community through the lens of hundreds of years filled with this unjust story, all you can do is tear up.
Although, this story continues to be a painful one, the resilience, strength, and the beauty in the Black community is magical. Magical because although it has been attacked in EVERY possible way, it still stands to serve the globe with the best musicians, thinkers, motivators, athletes, designers, creatives, innovators, and healers. The Black community serves as a reflection of perseverance, self love, and faith.
Our history shows that in this race towards justice, the baton has been moving, but this time we’re going to take that baton like the runner in the last leg of a relay — to FULL justice, to healing, to progress. A day will come when the Black community can be completely FREE with pipelines that support, empower, and nurture their highest selves. Let’s make the pledge to learn, to support, to advocate, and to serve as leaders of social justice. The time is now to act and we can keep the momentum high by making our votes count at a local and national level.
I want to highlight and proudly share a local DMV brand, Commas & Sense, which creates conversation pieces that are designed to inspire. One of its main goals is to empower the Black community to engage in conversations about money and to release limiting beliefs connected to Black success, wealth, and achievement. Also, it aims to spread awareness on the importance of Black history and how it should be celebrated and taught in schools and beyond. I truly enjoyed wearing these tops that promote positive and healthy shifts in our mindset. Check out their site and put on a tee that helps us all have some more commas and sense.
Sending you lots of love and light!