Something has changed within me.
I don’t know why.
Perhaps it’s because I’m 51.
Maybe it’s because of the Pandemic.
It could be the cellular trauma from the arrogant gaze of the police officer, as he executed George Floyd in front of the world.
I don’t know.
Maybe it’s choosing to divorce instead of acting out my PTSD on the person I loved.
Perhaps it’s menopause.
It could be hormonal imbalance across the board.
Perhaps it’s because I went back home.
Maybe it’s seeing some of my bloodline still dealing with the poverty and powerlessness I fled from.
It could be driving through East Baltimore and running over the same potholes, 30 years later, and boarded-up abandoned buildings across the street from lush condominiums.
It may be the state of the world.
Laws being passed to:
—murder our right to choose within our own wombs
—remove affirmative action and keeping “Legacy” admissions for colleges like Harvard.
Or maybe it’s just the despair
that hangs in the air,
like polluted oxygen
we have to inhale to stay alive.
I don’t know.
Maybe it’s the news.
—Police kill anybody they want with impunity.
—The systematic and intentional erasure of the Trans Community.
—The stealing and sex trafficking of young boys and girls, right in your city.
I truly don’t know.
But something in me has changed.
Something in me has died.
The illusion of equality.
The belief in the American Dream.
Or perchance… something has awakened…
The horrible truth is this: I am powerless to effect change.
(Hear me out.)
I know together, we can transform the world.
That’s my point.
We can never seem to “come together” to do what we all can see needs to be done.
Case and point: Black people have a spending power in the trillions and yet we don’t OWN our own schools, hospitals, grocery stores, banks, or cemeteries.
I’m not talking about private ownership. I’m talking communal. Public institutions governed by our own elected officials.
These five institutions are required to sustain a community, independently. Said another way,: we don’t own the infrastructure to be self-reliant.
I don’t mean charter schools or private schools.
I don’t mean clinics or urgent care facilities.
I don’t mean franchising.
I don’t mean leasing or financing.
As far as I am concerned, those are “work arounds;” individual solutions for a systemic problem.
I mean OWNERSHIP.
Without owning our own institutions, we will never be free.
The person who pays establishes the rules.
The person who owns, has the power.
The person who teaches the oppressed how to monetize, becomes the hand of God.
I am God’s hands and feet.
So, I’m going back.
I’m going back to business.
I need to teach us how to monetize differently than we have inherited.
I know all of us will not be open to doing things differently. But I only need 17% of us to tip the scales from being a slave to being an owner.
I’m looking at how to get my monetizing curriculums in churches, half-way houses, community centers, women’s shelters—EVERYWHERE we populate—to teach us, those of us who are willing to learn, how to live financially free.
And yes, it starts with healing.
And yes, it will take the rest of my life.
And yes, it means I have to start all over.
I’m good with all of that.
I have a set of competencies that can help in ways I wasn’t considering before.
I’m thinking bigger.
Dreaming in terms of “we” instead of “me.”
Creating strategic partnerships with like-hearted allies who amplify my voice on their platforms.
I’m repositioning myself in the world.
As a speaker.
As a Thought Leader.
As a teacher.
I can’t change the problems, the hate, or the ugly that rains down on our spirits like lead.
What I CAN do is build bridges instead of walls. I can use my training to educate the masses.
I can impact the people I touch and let God handle the things beyond my control.
Perhaps, that’s enough.
And if it’s not…
…I will die tryin’.