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THE BLACK LIFE REPORT: SUMMER 2022

Dream Deferred by: Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore–
And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

What is the status of the Black Life in 2022?

It is a question I seem to ask myself time and again as I witness the bitter sweet evolution of the Black life in American society. On one hand there are more African-American millionaires and more Black wealth to spread around than in any other time in our history. Black music is creating more millionaires than ever, not to mention with the advancement of entrepreneurship opportunities, the tech landscape, investments like crypto and artist who create NFT’s, the sky ain’t even the limit. Even in education, there are more African-American Dr’s, Lawyers, and Masters graduating than ever. These people will be the trendsetters and gatekeepers for the culture in the years ahead. But I can’t help to think that as we take steps forward to “get money” we take steps back from being “our brother’s or our sister’s keeper”. Here are just a few reasons why I say this:

So what happens to the dream of Black life? Will it fester like a sore then run…run in the shadows of a society that refuses to make sustainable changes that address the original American pandemic: racism.¬† Will it dry up the love, compassion and hope of the community that once was a vital lifeline to the souls, dreams and ambitions of Black folk.¬† Will it stink from the pain, stink from the rain, stink from the hate and violence that we continue to unleash on ourselves from Black on Black violence and drugs that continue to plague our streets, who still keep the codes of “stop bitchin” and “stop snitchen”(even though you killed my cousin) but “keep hustling”, “keep hoeing” and “keep tricking” even though it leads to a dead end? Will it crust up from the materialism that keeps us hating on each other and killing each other over Jordan’s?

Will it just sag….sag sag sag… because it is a heavy load…A load that can be carried together if we try. A load that we can make lighter by giving time, money, attention, effort, mentorship, apprenticeships, internships, gifts, and opportunities. A load that if we look closely we can see that our cultural neighboors like White people, Mexicans, Asians, and the like— we can see how they have each other’s backs and stick together to create change for their cultures. A load we can spread around and adjust it to become a more sustainable weight for our future generations to carry……

OR DOES IT EXPLODE?

To be continued…..

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