President Obama delivered a State of the Union address that will surely resonate in my mind; and hopefully others for a very long time. It was a speech of vision, providing a reason for hope, and it was also an issuance of a call to action. That's about all a President can do; on top of signing what is put on his desk. First you have to have two sides that come together and therein lies a big problem.
But I want to just focus on the theme "An America Built to Last"
To be that America requires many to come back to reality. Reality about real job creation, the true unemployment picture, the effects of disenfranchising people based on race, income, politic, and age. "An America Built to Last" can't sustain itself when so much of its Black populace top all the negative socioeconomic indicators. Taking into considering the ongoing 'gridlock' in Washington; and that yet to come, there is strong evidence that the best strategy for fixing problems in cities across the nation requires homegrown solutions and committed leadership. One man can't "Build An America That Lasts" on his own, but added to pockets of committed visionaries willing to play a role in the architect/engineering of sound strategies and solution can.
How befitting it is that a Black Man, the first Black Man to become President of the United States of America is in a room of the nations leaders laying out a vision requiring action and work. Telling Americans on TV that they must believe in something bigger than themselves and must play their part in constructing this "America Built to Last".
I think parents have good intentions to "Groom Their Kids to Last". But with the distractions to the minds of Black youth today, growing up in a single-parent household or one with both parents, it can be very challenging to instill the parts and principles into the construction of an adult that will be able to weather to best shots the world can hurl at them. For America to be Built to Last, young Black boys are gonna have to be "Groomed to Last".
If the Black community figures out a model on how we can work together and "Groom Young Brothers to Last", I think more than half of our problems will disappear. A frank discussion on this issue is long overdue and getting started may not be as hard as one would think. We CAN create businesses that have the potential of growing to scale, we CAN grow businesses that produce livable wages/income, we CAN reduce unemployment when we startup companies that can grow to scale because we do business with them, we CAN look to establish training programs in companies we create that do grow to scale; in which we play a leading role in preparing Black youth and young adults for the world of work. These are things that we CAN do, and should be approached as a responsibility we follow through on for the sake of a uncertain future.
The freedoms we enjoy were not given without a fight. It's well known the blood, sweat and tears that have been laid down since the the first slaveship hit the Americas, but that was then; and this is now.
President Barack Obama is somebodies son, grandson, father, husband and friend. He embodies one who was "Groomed to Last" and his rise to his position is evidence that "Grooming Black Boys to Last" is not impossible. Did he know he was going to be president one day when he was 4yrs old? Probably not, but his ability to rise to his position can never be separated from the history of those who laid the groundwork for one Groomed to Last, to hit his mark when the time came.
We all have an opportunity to volunteer our time to engage as architect and engineers in the construction of this America we want to rise back to one that follows through on delivering opportunity to all.
"There's a dream in this land with its back against the wall, to save it for one it must be saved for all" - Langston Hughes
"a wise leader plans success" - Sun Tsu