“WHAT’S UP MY PEOPLE”?
By Bishop Marjorie Holt, Ph. D.©2022
I have been gone from you now for more than 53 plus years and you will soon be reminded of the day that I left you on April 4, 1968. However, my time away from you has brought on remarkable events that have changed the course of life for you, my people. In fact, it’s apropos that I speak with you during this time when 28 days of the month of February, the shortest month of the year, has been set aside as Black History Month. I’m SMH and I could certainly say more about this too, but I won’t at this time.
And still when I awaken from the nightmare that I often encounter, my historical perspective kicks in. I find myself wanting to go back to sleep because of what I’m reminded of and the pervasive flashbacks as to how your lives are still being devalued by my counterparts, my White brothers, who made a promise to me that they were ready to commit to CHANGE for you MY People; Not just a change that would allow you, to enjoy the basic guarantor called LIFE that they have always had the privilege of enjoying, rather, I have found myself surmising that they lived with WHITE PRIVILEGES incessantly, extemporaneously, and yet they became infuriated when those privileges were threatened to be extended to others, those of you my brothers and sisters of color, and you, who look like me.
I realize that life can be a lot to handle in the life that you MY PEOPLE now live on a daily basis. I told you a few years ago that I was AWAKEN FROM A NIGHTMARE that stifled my being and caused me to shed tears because of what I envisioned and was exposed to that was occurring in every facet of your lives. My, how things have changed. But let me ask you, WHAT’S UP MY PEOPLE? How did you change from experiencing a meaningful life to accepting, by any means necessary, what seems to be a meaningless life?
How is it that what we valued as a people when I was with you, have become fragmented, missing, and seemingly lost? The hopes, dreams, blood, sweat, tears, pain, and yes death that took some of us to our grave fighting for your right to vote, I hear is now being challenged, because you MY PEOPLE, have proven that you can win elections. No, we didn’t know then but now we know, that we have become a threat to our known contenders that when WE WORK TOGETHER, WE WIN! Let me tell you WINNING IS NOT NEW TO US, BECAUSE WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN WILLING TO FIGHT TO WIN. HOWEVER, WHEN WE WIN, ITS OFFENSIVE TO THEM. But we can’t stop winning; we were made to win!
From Charlottesville to Capitol Hill, change has to come. It has to override the injustices that have emanated from such vile trivialities that have become etched in the masterminds of pioneers laced with racism and hate.
And I have heard up here that my fellow Jews, which are only 6% of the United States, and my Asian brothers and sisters, have been attacked from all points and seemingly has been targeted without cause. And let me say this, I know that fear is being expressed from others who are walking on eggshells because my Brown people have now threatened to move from being in the minority to the majority. Wow, that sounds like a plan right there! Work it!
Now let me speak to my young people. You were left behind to be A catalyst for positive change. However, I’m sensing that you are experiencing a lot of PAIN, but your pain must not cause you to turn on each other, rather you must turn to each other. You are MY PEOPLE; You have come up through the ranks of pioneers, who by the way, always found a way in the midst of THEM parting the Red Sea, to do a back stroke until they could get up and walk on dry land again. You are MY PEOPLE, and I ask you WHAT’S UP?
Now I have not lost sight of how much progress that has been made since I left you and how there are those who want to take you even further back than when I was with you, but you must be mindful of the fact that this has always happened; that when we got close to what looked like EQUALITY, the rules changed. It’s no different from what I hear today that is still happening. Every meaningful RULE seems to be on the chopping block. But you must not let DISENFRANCHISEMENT TURN TO DISCOURAGEMENT!
The facts bear out that there’s been a few good things that have happened since I left you, I heard about:
The Election of the FIRST NEGRO PRESIDENT, YOU SAY AA, and that’s OK
The Acquittal of a few White Police Officers for the shooting of Negroes or AA
The Election of a few more Senators and Representatives
The Appointments of more Judges
The Election of Female Mayors in Metropolitan Cities
And even the Selection of a Negro/AA Vice President
That’s progress, but I’m still bothered by the AUXILIARY reports that I’m getting about the drugs laced with fentanyl that we are dying from, the guns in the hands of our young people that continue to kill each other, the continued attempts to overthrow legitimate elections, the alliance between a former President of the United States and our arch enemy for decades, as well as one who has loosed Racism that yields an all-time high on people of color, an Insurrection on the Capital that keeps being downplayed, the Black Lives Matter Movement that ought to matter no matter who else matters, the gunning down of our innocent boys and girls, men and women by the boys in blue, the threat of global warming, the Pandemic that has caused ill prepared and unexpected deaths of MY PEOPLE.
Go forth, MY PEOPLE, GO FORTH. And as I close this letter, I leave this with you: For decades and years, there has been a HIDDEN AGENDA that was supposed to be kept under lock and key. But there is one thing that we know, and yes, I still know even where I am today, that the WORST AGENDA IS A HIDDEN AGENDA. But the secret is out. I heard about the demise of George Floyd and how the 8 minutes and 46 seconds caused the SPARK around the world and you MY PEOPLE, cannot allow that SPARK to go out, because I’m told that there are still many more victims.
You must not become dedicated to anger, rather continue the MOVEMENT that changed the world when I was with you. While you may not know this. I do; the benchmark for some of my White Brothers and Sisters, has always been HATRED AND RACISM AGAINST YOU, MY PEOPLE. And the unfortunate take away was that some of them believed that OUR BLACKNESS WAS INTENDED TO BE A THREAT TO THEIR WHITENESS. I still know that we have never asked for a different kind of treatment; just wanted then and now, fair treatment. But listen:
I STILL HAVE A DREAM, EVEN IN THE MIDST OF WHAT LOOKS LIKE A NIGHTMARE. You must harness the fortitude that I left you with. Make a difference in the lives of each young person that you come in contact with. Encourage them to be the legacy that was etched in our history to be all that we could be by doing all that we could do. Ignore the wrong voices that seek to deter your progress and disregard your existence and label your sons and daughters as nobodies whose lives don’t matter. Change your thinking on purpose but be wise in who you share your vision with. Strategize with the few that will help you remember the blood, sweat, tears, and death that we suffered to get to freedom. Don’t get trapped into sacrificing integrity for photo shoots. Bring the vision to pass, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.
MY PEOPLE don’t stop. Do not be deterred. Do not be shaken and do not be mistaken as just angry people with an axe to grind. I still know that the Bible is right, The Prayers Of The Righteous Availeth Much. You must FIGHT ON, MARCH ON AND IN THE END, YOU WIN! You must move from WE SHALL OVERCOME TO WE WILL OVERCOME, FROM DEEP IN MY HEART TO FOREVER IN MY HEART I DO BELIEVE, THAT WE WILL OVERCOME NOT SOMEDAY, BUT TODAY!