Some days it feels like the news of the day cries out “enough already, or WTH!” Every so often there’s an off-the-rails story that not only grabs our attention, it almost commands it. You listen or watch for ‘live’ updates, for an explanation that might make sense. You follow the story as it moves from local news to the national stage. That happened for many across the country in August 2017 in Charlottesville VA.
Events like these go back to the 50s and 60s and maybe even earlier. We might as well go back to the start of the ‘Black to America’ journey in 1619. It’s then we realize that August 2019 represents the 400th anniversary of a journey that is forever tied to American history. So how should we reminisce, reflect and recharge for the years ahead? What might we do about the ‘isms and schisms’ in America?
It was in the 1960s when color TVs hit the scene and showed up in homes. A time when social issues were front and center in the news. What we started to see on TV, in color, gave us a clearer picture than we saw years before in black and white. Now, it’s 50+ years later and we’re still trying to get a better picture of the social issues of the day.
Maybe it’s time for us to ‘See America in Color?’ Here we are at the start of a new dawning, a new yearning, a new meaning. A time for us to celebrate new #CitizenShining moments. A time for us “to reach higher for a better nation.” That’s what a growing list of young and older ‘America in Color’ supporters believe and hope to achieve. We have the chance to celebrate a civic spirit in culture and community like a winning spirit in sports and biz.
We’ve seen change since the 60s in many areas of life. We’ve watched automakers upgrade cars with backup cameras, collision avoidance and blindspot alerts. We’ve seen mobile technology go from flip phones to smart phones, from OG to Mo’ G. We’ve listened as radio stations added HD sound to their AM/FM bands. We’ve even seen TVs go from ‘No-K to 4K.’ So the question is “what are we doing to upgrade our civics?”
Hey folks, let’s get our hometown juices flowing! Bob Marley sang about the ‘isms and schisms’ back in his day, so what if we did something about them in America?’ Whether with the ‘See America in Color’ essay contest for high school and college students or other next-level efforts in civic leadership, social change and community development. It’s time we upgrade our ideals to see civic and social issues with a better picture quality for a higher level of citizenship. With the right spirit, the heavens just might bust open.
The ‘See America in Color’ campaign is a lot like when we charge, update or upgrade our cell phones. When it’s plugged-in, the backlight brightens up and a lightning-bolt symbol appears in the status window. This means the phone is getting charged. After a while a message might appear showing that one or more apps have been updated. However, sometimes we get to a point in the life of the phone where it’s not holding the charge like before. This usually means that we will have to upgrade to a new device.
Well, the ‘See America in Color’ campaign is to our civic life like the charger is to our phone life. It’s about ‘bringing a charge’ to citizens as their civic power brightens things up with a lightning-bolt symbol across the map. It’s about updating our civic roles with a new mindset or approach to doing things. We might even get to a point in civic life where the ‘hometown charge’ is low and we need to upgrade our public profile or community status. The ‘See America In Color’ campaign draws on the civic ideals of John F. Kennedy and social justice efforts of Martin Luther King Jr.
The campaign goal has three parts: educational, social and developmental. It includes an organizing platform for the Strong Citizens Association of America (SCAA). It will also explore the formation of a citizens-based group called the Public Entity Reform Council (PERC) to review some of the social/operational ‘blindspots’ in our governing system. These efforts combine to inform, invoke and inspire a renewed ‘code of service’ standard by citizens and elected officials. This will be a guide to a favorable #CitizenRating, not driven by unfair demands, but for community at its best.
Want to know more about the essay contest or other breakout events with the campaign? Just send your ideas, thoughts and comments to @SeeUSAinColor on Twitter or our blog page at www.SeeAmericaInColor.com. Donations and other financial awards will go a long way so that this campaign moves from the early years of 2K and beyond, to having the best picture quality for a higher level of citizenship as a ‘Community 3.0’ nation.
Tracks: Beyoncé – Spirit – https://youtu.be/civgUOommC8
DJ Khaled ft Nipsy Hussle & John Legend – Higher – https://youtu.be/_pYPRgtySdI