Black in America


The Savannah Tribune announces the latest in a series of articles written by guest columnist Taqwaa Falaq Saleem. Taqwaa is a 2008 honor graduate with the B.A. in English Language and Literature from Savannah State University where she was also awarded the coveted President’s Second Mile Award at the commencement ceremonies. She is currently a graduate student and teaching assistant at Georgia Southern University. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. The six weeks before Easter is a time when many Christians observe the Lent season and concentrate on fasting, praying, renewal, and awakening. One of my personal prayers each day is that I remove myself from all situations and from contact with all people that may be toxic or that may hinder my learning and growth. If I am trying to be the best that I can be in order to achieve personal goals and be of utmost service to mankind, I must be as enlightened as possible about my best self. Being Black in America is to recognize that some forms of self-centeredness are necessary in order to grow and prosper. If the self is not in order, how can one relate with, teach and learn from, or serve another? As the renowned public intellectual, Dr. Cornel West, reminds us, “the problem is we need much more moral content” because “the crisis in Black America is therefold…economic, political, and spiritual.”

Our nation’s President spoke with us in his State of the Union address on gradual economic and political plans to bring the country out of shadows of despair but we must not forget the spirit.

Now is the time to renew our spirits and pause for a period of introspection.

Take advantage of the now to ask the hard questions.

What makes you happy? How can you be of better service to yourself and to others?

What are the dispensable things in your life? Are you partner in any toxic relationships?

We must free ourselves of the chains in our environment that keep us stationary. We must work to be clear in thought so that every decision is an informed and careful decision, whether it relates to us as individuals or the ethnicity as a whole.

Take Dr. West’s advice and “interrogate your hidden assumptions” in order to answer those hard questions and enrich your life.

Being Black in America means owning the knowledge that only when you are your best self can you learn the best, love the best, serve the best, and be the best. Take the driver seat in your life!

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