Our ancestors are the reason we’re free
Two years ago, Florida A&M was not my first choice for college. Like some blacks, I didn’t think FAMU was on the same level as, for instance, University of Central Florida or University of South Florida or even Florida State. I didn’t know the bountiful opportunities this school offered.
I was warned against the HBCUs I was interested in because degrees from those colleges and universities supposedly didn’t hold much weight, or the schools just weren’t accredited.
I’m glad I applied to FAMU anyway; It was one of the best decisions I ever made.
What I appreciate most is African-American history being a requirement at this university. I wasn’t always fully aware of the many contributions African-Americans made in this country. My knowledge of our people gives me a better appreciation for where blacks are today and why we must continue to strive for excellence.
President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Condoleezza Rice, Fredrick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, Charlotta A. Bass— just to name a few— are blacks that rose out of the ashes. They crossed borders, beat the odds and became inspirational forces.
Although we’ve overcome the power of our oppressors, we still have not reached the proverbial mountaintop. We have become our own oppressor; we have a lot to work on.
Too many of us have taken for granted the freedom we have today; the freedom that is unconstitutional to withhold from anyone; the freedom that so many of our ancestors fought, marched, and died for.
The freedom we have today is because of the blood, sweat, and tears of blacks. For us to not take the opportunities to better ourselves is a slap in the face. Every time we choose to accept the low expectations this society has of us, we take steps back as a race.
We’re a very powerful, intelligent race of people. Black people, look beyond the entertainment world for a source of inspiration and look at the many blacks who have made a difference in this world economically, historically and politically. They matter too. Support each other. Put more interest in education; impart wisdom on our youth, and stop tearing each other down. We must eliminate the “crab-in-the bucket” mentality and stop defaming our own race. Let’s unify, grow and empower one another so we can see the full manifestation of our power.