As the Black Lives Matter movement coalesces on social media and around the globe—ESSENCE invited activists, authors, thought leaders and cultural figures to reflect on the meaning of this moment, and what we must do next.
I challenge myself to look for the Divine Hand in all disruptive, painful matters—including these back-to-back tragedies that evidence the systemic disregard for Black life. I'm not putting m my faith in this system changing. I'm putting my faith in us!
Our anger and hurt are calling us to look inward, to ask ourselves the hard questions: Are we doing what's needed to demonstrate that Black life matters? Are we caring well for the gift of our own children? Are we holding accountable our own national, community, fraternal, sororal and faith leaders, requiring that they set aside egos and work in operational unity to develop and deliver a Marshall Plan for our recovery from centuries of brutality and legislated disregard? What is our plan for creating Black-owned businesses in our neighborhoods, top-tier education, and quality housing and health care?
These are the measures of a people who love and care for their own. And this is the big business of Black America.
This contribution, along with others exploring the new civil rights movement, appears in ESSENCE's special #BlackLivesMatter issue. This historic collector's edition is available on stands January 9.
FOR MORE FROM OUR BLACK LIVES MATTER ISSUE:
The Editor's Letter: The Path Forward
Where Do We Go From Here?: Essay by Angela Davis
Where Do We Go From Here?: Essay by Melissa Harris-Perry
Where Do We Go From Here?: Essay by Patrisse Cullors
Where Do We Go From Here?: Essay by Isabel Wilkerson
Where Do We Go From Here?: Essay by Chirlane McCray