The Beyoncé buzz is spreading! With her latest album release, some say it’s got a throwback vibe. Others are connecting with the hip-hop flava while many love the club energy. And that’s just a drop in the bucket of what’s posted on social about her ‘Renaissance’ project. But there’s something else with queen Bey’s music that seems to hit home.
There’s a kinda ‘grow on you’ appeal it has with fans that brings them together. Maybe that’s a factor in how she deals as an artist. It’s certainly one of the ways See America In Color (SAIC) approaches its work as a social-edge campaign/platform. It’s in how we breakdown civic/social issues from our deep dive in American history, the ‘Black to America’ story and #HometownStrong comebacks. This new brand in civic engagement, social change and community life streams a better picture of hot-button issues by how we ‘see America in color’ not just in black & white.
Consider two other news stories that got a different kind of buzz. The first is that NASA announced a three-part plan to return to the moon. We’ve been there before so maybe it will offer new hope in what’s possible. Then there’s the alarming story of lake Mead, a major water supply source for western states that’s running lower in capacity. The concern is something’s gotta change in how we address climate issues before our supply lines run dry. So yes, there’s a hope & change feel in all those stories.
Set aside Bey’s album or that the ‘hope & change’ slogan has been used before in a political campaign, and look closer at what we found from our deep dive when we asked the question, “what makes the United States of America, united?” The short answer is there’s a hope & change theme that runs throughout history. One thread has united many people around diversity. But there’s another thread that some latched-on to of ‘hate & chaos’ with those united around the notion of supremacy. So, one thread’s about stepping up our civic game, the other about rolling back the clock for reasons that are lame.
If Beyonce’s new project title means anything, we can have a civic renaissance of sorts by taking a page from America’s longstanding journey of hope & change that’s hard to deny. Some of this might mean America getting comfortable in its own skin. The challenge is whether folks are gonna spot what Dr King once called a “cancerous disease of disunity” that’s spreading from skin-to-skin in some quarters. Can SAIC be like a therapy treatment to stomp-out that spread or develop a kinda ‘unity scale’ that helps us gauge the chance of bridging divides in our nation? The answer might point to:
When the early settlers landed in the U.S. they were looking for new markets to expand their biz interests in selling more goods. Money was a driving force in their quest for hope & change. While there’s nothing wrong in those aims, the problem became having to choose between good economics and bad economics. The struggle with slavery and treating others as second-class was part of the problem. SAIC’s brand of civic economics is where we ‘lead in color.’ This creates new market value in roots & culture, like how growing a biz depends on serving/expanding your customer base.
The next round of settlers known as pilgrims were fleeing religious persecution and ventured on a mission filled with peril. Their hope & change theme was built on a sense of purpose with new spiritual expression and personal meaning. We’ve seen throughout history how trials and triumphs in revolution, abolition and desegregation have brought a similar push. That’s because money without purpose is like sight without vision. We fall short of our full potential being rich in wealth but poor in meaning. Our civic and historical icons might say a sense of mission/purpose helps us to ‘love in color.’
The ‘March on Washington’ is best known for Dr King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. But as he said, that wasn’t simply about his dream. It was about his dream being rooted in the American dream. The Civil Rights Movement had its own hope & change theme of moving past the Jim Crow era of separate-class to the modern era of best-in-class. SAIC’s new push helps us to ‘dream in color.’ So those who’ve taken a leap of faith whether to emigrate to the U.S., pull-up roots and move to another state, leave a job, start a biz or launch an impact project (e.g. SAIC), are all hoping to have their slice of the American Dream.
Most people want to use their skills to make a living and use their life to make a difference. That’s one hope & change theme with empowerment. Another misplaced example involves those who want to make racism fashionable as a band of misfits. Maybe comedian Whitney Cummings gives us something to chew on in saying “the freshest, edgiest thing to do is to be positive and hopeful and find the silver lining because that’s what no one is doing.” Might seem corny but it’s true when you think about the excitement and success of Title IX from watching the WNBA all-star game. Empowerment helps us to ‘jam in color.’
Dr King shared key hope & change points in his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech on economic evangelism, social activism and hope over skepticism. This might have new meaning with all the recession talk these days. Since our nation’s founding to the present time, the idea of diversity has come a long way from “keeping it white with a plot of plantation life” to what we have today. We’ve made it this far by not letting certain forces break our soul. Wanna pull-up and set sail on a journey of hope & change? Then “J.A.M. With Us” on sounding-off social and shaking-up culture around economics, purpose, dreams and empowerment.
See our Upcoming Events below to find out more about how you can “J.A.M. With Us” or learn more about the K-12 Social Challenge Contests.
Tracks: Beyoncé – Break My Soul – https://youtu.be/iz1rIp1-b-Y
Koffee – Pull Up – https://youtu.be/rvp9E12E4hQ
Scan the QR Codes below to “J.A.M. With Us” or learn more about the K-12 Social Challenge Contests or register for the DMV ‘BOSS’ Forum.