As Black History Month revs up, we return to the work of revolutionary activist poet James Litkett, who explored in 2014 (and is still exploring via his new TV series Now We Rise) the dangers of being African American in the United States. His words arguably hold even more weight today than when they were first written.
By James LitkettWe the people, of the people, for the people and by the people of this United States, in order to reform a now perfect Union, and now to finally re-establish true justice, insure true domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the right to liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and re-establish this Constitution for this United States of America, so as to maintain our identity above all!In this year of 2014, in the land of the free and the home of the brave, why am I still a slave?!Why is this Black man still an endangered species?! Why is this cost of Black life so cheap; with no protection or fear of consequences? And seems to in each case, come with it’s own set of justifications!We as a people have been continuously and consistently broken, threatened, put down, scared, intimidated, manipulated, battered and murdered! I demand we dissolve this downward spiral/revolving door! When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which connect them with another and to assume among the powers of this earth, the separate and equal station to which the law of nature and of nature’s God entitles them, a descent respect to the opinion of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.We hold these truths to be self-evident, That all men are created equal, That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. That among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. — That, whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it. And to institute new Government by laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.One of the many things we did wrong was we waited much too long! What is necessary is never unwise! Therefore if we dishonor our past, we don’t deserve a future!Conquer we must when our cause is so just!–James Litkett is a revolutionary activist poet and host of the series Now We Rise: Quest to Self-Determination on Manhattan Neighborhood Network. View the first two episodes now on YouTube. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.Article photo: “Black Lives Matter” by Nicholas Upton