Based on our numbers and buying power, African Americans are bigger than some countries in the world. As such, we cannot afford to see ourselves strictly as individuals. We must also see ourselves collectively, as our own republic with its own economy, leadership and agenda.
In an African American republic, everyone must participate. That means we have to vote. And when we vote, we must do so with our collective best in mind.
That will be true as we cast ballots next week in midterm elections across the country, where we stand at the pinnacle of a new movement. The spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, of the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, of Dorothy Height and Tamika Mallory, and of Barack and Michelle Obama can all be felt in this movement if you are tuning into the moment of change in our collective thought.
We could feel the movement of centerpieces in our society last year as voters in California recognized Kamala Harris as a Black female intellectual who was qualified to represent, lead and budget efficiently on their behalf when they elevated her from state attorney general to the U.S. Senate. We can feel it again today in Georgia as the electorate has been presented with another bold, brilliant and beyond-qualified Black woman to lead the state forward — and make American history in the process.
The entertainment community is coming together to forge new bonds and reach for new heights in this social movement. Prolific and socially conscious artists, such as Common, Janelle Monáe and T.I., political and cultural commentators like Van Jones, Angela Rye and Shaun King, and sports stars-turned-philanthropists LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Serena Williams are all pushing their power forward in order to propel our power collectively to create a new reality for the entire African American community.
The rationale that many give for not voting must be eradicated given the voter suppression mechanisms that exist. We must stop using our social media platforms to spread nonsense and start having a more constructive conversation that will inspire others to move forward, to vote, to run for office and to be politically and economically active as a collective body.
We must not see “I have a dream” as a speech by and for someone of the past but for right now because I have a dream. I have a dream for all of us to live and to live out our dreams. I have a dream that we are collectively a part of the dream. I have a dream that we will remain in a constant state of awareness because we have committed to being present, awake and astute as it relates to our progress — economically, politically and collectively.
To be in an African American republic also means:
We believe that Black Wall Street lives inside all of us. We are entrepreneurs, and we build companies.
We vote to elect those who can move our agenda forward.
We empower ourselves economically and politically and advance an economic and political agenda that benefits us around the world.
We have a humanitarian vision for ourselves, and the children of the African diaspora are producing leaders who will bring dignity and humanity back to the agenda of the entire world.
We have an economic agenda that will empower us to create a trillion-dollar economy that sustains and grows itself. In this economy, we are all economic shareholders, we all participate fully, and we all progress.
We collectively reduce our urge to tie our value and self-worth to materialism and trinkets because we understand that we are giving our power to someone else when we do that.
We no longer feed the prison industrial complex or mass incarceration as an alternative for this society to warehouse our young based on the oppression placed upon them.
We take back our power by being intelligent about what we choose to do as part of our collective agenda and by continuing to evolve in the areas of economics, health, law and corporate.
We embrace a free-market capitalistic system that sees Colin Kaepernick‘s impact not only from a societal standpoint but also through a financial lens that reveals the lack of diversity and corporate CEOs in businesses that are done with private and public Black-owned companies — and takes action to correct it.
We push toward embracing my dream of an African American republic, it is incumbent upon all of us to understand that our economic and spiritual progress is tied to our need to connect with each other in order to succeed and reach our highest possible capacity.
That means we must vote — vote for ourselves and vote out all of those who don’t want us to participate economically and politically in this society.