“Where there is no vision, there is no hope.” — George Washington Carver.
I use this quote to reflect on the African American vision of the future and to reflect on our past.
The vision that society so willingly puts down for the nightmare of today’s mental slavery. The vision to sit whereever we want on the bus, but most of us subconsciously zoom to the back. The vision that our women will not be known just for lips, hips, and fingertips, but we have made that a priority. The vision to break free from the bondage of not having the opportunity to get an education, yet we choose to make excuses why we don’t go to college. Their visions have come to pass, but they begin to fade in every generation.
What is our vision?
I am amazed by women like Harriet Tubman who had a vision — a vision of being a free women regardless of her color. Although she never got to stand where we are standing today, she still put her faith into action. I am amazed by women like Ida B. Wells and Sojourner Truth. Those women fought and gained the right to vote.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream — his vision. While presenting this speech in front of thousands of Americans, white and black, he spoke as if knew his dream would come to fruition the very next day. Little did he know, it would take years and even his death..
When I think about the visions of our ancestors and how long they took to manifest, I think of a seed nurtured into a tree.
Trees do not grow overnight. It took the rain to water the seed, and for trees that produce fruit, the the tree needs time to mature. The tree represents our ancestor’s seed. Their vision for our future — freedom. It took centuries for it to come to pass. It took the rain — those hard times or obstacles to break the seed through the soil.
And, when each generation realized that those rainy days created showers to water the vision, each obstacle brought us closer to the vision than before.
The vision grew so big. It grew bigger than the denial of the oppressor. The fruit of the tree is Shirley Chisholm, Frederick Gregory, Rita Dove, Oprah Winfrey, and Barack Obama, our first African American President of the United States. And even us. We are a product of their vision.
The very same seed of vision and extraordinary ability is embedded in each of us. It is in our nature to rise above.
But we have a choice.
The choice to reproduce a vision of greatness in the soil of our present to bring forth change.
(Although slavery, physically, is no longer a social issue in America, we as a people are bound mentally and spiritually.)
Or we have the choice to break free from the living stem of greatness, fall to the stone cold ground, wither and rot, and die.
Which will you choose?
I would like to add something to George Washington Carver quote. Where there is no vision of change and perseverance, there is no hope. Again, I ask,
What is your vision?