It was the announcement that shocked the sports world! The NFL Commissioner owned-up to the fact that the league wasn’t listening to its black players. Then came word not long after, that week one season opener games will feature the ‘Black National Anthem.’ It looks like the NFL wants to return “back to life better!” Maybe folks in the community too wanna have a Hometown Strong comeback on the block, boulevard, borough or boardroom? Well, gotta get through the hometown rebound pre-season.
In business circles this 180-degree flip by the NFL would be described as a paradigm shift. In social commentary you might hear terms like “watershed moment” or “tipping point.” Whatever folks might be comfortable calling it, many say we’re at an inflection point. We’re poised to write a new chapter in history, civics, sports and culture that sets the stage for America’s rebirth in social enterprise.
The story could jump off with words from the rapper Drake saying “started from the bottom, now we here. Started from the bottom now the whole team here.” If that wasn’t enough, a social scientist might take us back to the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson. These ideals reveal that we’re endowed by the Creator with certain basic rights, simple values and human assets. Using these factors as catalysts for change can move us towards becoming a more perfect Union and living our best life.
As we combine American history, the ‘Black to America’ story and #HometownStrong comebacks the way we combine the lyrics of Drake with the timeless words of Jefferson, it might give us a model to live our See America In Color (SAIC) Story, being mindful of how we emerged as a nation. It would also give us a roadmap to go from an old-school view of history and community to a new-school take on roots & culture. In making that shift, we’ll begin to close the ‘civics gap’ and better manage the culture clash in America.
Take for example how freedoms, rights and privileges have been handled over the years. Separate from the Colonial period, it took from Independence in 1776 to Juneteenth in 1865 for blacks to get their ‘free card,’ in other words the freedom gap. It took from the 15th Amendment in 1870 to the Voting Rights Act in 1965 for blacks to have their vote respected, in other words the ‘rights gap.’ Of-course Covid-19 has shown us the health gap and there’s the wealth gap from 1619 to present.
These are some examples of what it means to See In Color the story of America. It’s about having a better picture of civic/social issues for a higher level of citizenship. It’s like the traffic intersection where the sign says ‘delayed green.’ This means the traffic on the opposite end gets the green before you do. When we ‘See In Color’ we’ll realize that for African Americans, it’s in part a story of ‘delayed green’ where folks on the opposite racial end get the green first.
The Broadway musical Hamilton reminds us first there was revolution, then revelation. Well SAICs Project “Strong 2 Strong” shows us first there was Independence, then Emergence. Back then, the country was emerging from battles with the British because of grievances with the throne. Today and in the months ahead, we’ll be emerging from Covid-19, economic shutdown and racial unrest with grievances as well. But since we’re endowed by the Creator with some simple values, no matter our race we can emerge by how we Love In Color.
The TV ad with those two boys (one black, one white) running towards each other is a good example for how we fulfill this as part of SAICs Declaration of Emergence. It’s also in how we work with those human assets, beyond the talents, abilities and gifts we show up with. When we handle dreams, calling, purpose and lifelong passions, it leads us to our destiny the way GPS leads us to our destination (no matter the color car). Dr King must have known no matter your race we can Lead In Color and reach a higher level of citizenship.
So back to the traffic light intersection and your signal change. The light went from red to green. That’s not only a change of color but also a Change In Color. The internal wiring and electronic smarts make that change possible. SAICs Project “Strong 2 Strong” believes if families, communities and the nation are ready to get moving with change or change what’s not moving there has to be a ‘Change In Color’ on the inside of regular citizens, political & civic leaders as well as systems. Changing a team name or a State’s flag is good but a ‘Change In Color’ allows us to squash biases, reform systems and live our best life which is a ‘go’ for the nation.
The full return of organized sports is still uncertain. Some pro players are opting out and some colleges are cancelling their fall sports season. But this is not the time to opt-out as citizens if we want to return “back to life better.” The SAIC campaign/platform positions us to strive towards a bigger love in embracing those wake-up moments and moving beyond obstacles, challenges and hassles by blazing a trail for a better America.
You can join the conversation and support our efforts to “See America In Color: With 2020 Vision” at the Facebook ‘Hometown Chat’ Page here www.facebook.com/seeamericaincolor.
Tracks: Brandy, Wyclef, Mary J Blige & Friends – Wake-up Everybody – https://youtu.be/3ZPusIeehQo
Chalice Ft Wayne Armond – It’s Alright – https://youtu.be/BNCwdcKmaUw