There are certain truths that we all possess from our experiences in life. I believe those are the truths that must be share no matter how uncomfortable that truth may leave you feeling because these are the facts that life stand upon, the thing that connects all people through time and space. Individuals from all around the world can be enlighten by the truth of a nation’s commonwealth and it rings true that when you are shown the small guy, the working class, the everyday people, you will be shown who these nations are. Nations upon nations idealize the American phenomenon of capitalism, the American dream, that for the most part, can be seen through time as being restricted to some and a privilege to others. I believe in these times, these nations that span the globe, see something that has always there and they are questioning the loyalty of the greatest nation in the world, to its people. This nations rise to power was and still may be something of mythical legend because of the people's history that has been erased and practically made invisible, silent with oppression and violence, the people who carried this great nation on their backs and whose decadence are still fighting to be seen, to be heard, to be free. The glamorous ideas of America, “God shade thy grace on thy and crown thy good, with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.”
I have learned that social movements take time and patients. It is not something that happens overnight and it does not go at all how you planned them. Social movements require a “just go with it” kind of mentality. There are ups and there are downs, that on occasion leads to failure, but the key to overcoming this fact of life is to get back up, dust yourself off, swallow your pride and try again. Movements are about being perseverant, never giving up, never losing site of the process and the progress you hope to create or even just bring attention to its existence that is not okay. I believe movements are about trying to right wrongs that are not just being fought for you or me, not just this nation, but for all nations and all people, all over the world.
I can recall my first grade teacher, her name was Ms. Roberts and every morning we would sings songs, one of which was titled “God Bless the USA.” I remember this almost vividly because one, I adored my teacher and two being that I loved to sing. I remember feeling such pride for my country. A pride that I will never forget, one that is always recalled when I hear this song. I remember the words like it was yesterday. You see, Ms. Roberts took her time and wrote the words for this song out on an easel pad that she would turn while the music played and we sung. What fun for me was this time of the class day! I can’t tell you how much I thought of the white history of this country, my history, as I knew it at the time. I loved America! I still love America. I loved white people! I still love white people.
Ms. Roberts took our whole class on a field trip that year to a recording studio, and we recorded that song and every student received a copy. Unfortunately, the tape has been misplaced or lost because I have no idea where it can be, but if I still had it in my possession, I would listen to it right now. so I could remember that part of myself that was changed by the reality of the social world and its order. When I was singing this song, I was not thinking of my ancestors, black/African American people, and the fact that they die for this country too. I did not think of them because I was completely unaware of their existence.
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This is so true. When I learned the facts of who I was exactly, made it difficult to remain who I was before the truth. My hope is to be happy again, one day, but there is this nagging urge now that keeps telling me that there is work to be done. It keeps telling me to take stock and gather your resources, take stock and work hard, no matter what it takes, no matter what happens. I want to do so many things. I see so many people suffering and it bothers me. I think of the people who came before me and what they had to endure for me to be here, where I am today at this particular junction in my life and it makes me cry. It makes me want to desperately find what it take to be happy again. I must act. I don’t know how or when, but I must create some form of change or ripple of change before I am called home. I want the people in my life to experience something that only comes once in a lifetime. I don’t know how I am going to achieve this or when, but I have a vision.
I want to touch on a subject for a minute before closing about being happy. I use to be a very happy child and I think it is because my mother shielded me form certain aspects of reality. I want to thank her for this because it made me who I am today. I am a person who sees other people in real time. I take them at face value for who they are and who they may pretend to be because let’s face it, a lot of people are pretending. This, the good and the bad, is the beauty of being human. I think we undervalue the fact of just being human and always learning, growing, adapting and transforming. I have transformed over the course of life and especially the course of my educational career and it is beautiful, but it is also a little scary because this is new and you are new. So with that truth, I hope to inspire others to understand that life is not over until you have to give your body back to mother earth. Some believe you come back and do it all over again. With that aside, right now, it’s all about doing what I am capable of doing because where there is still life there is still hope. God bless America!
Alicia Burks is a Spiritual Teacher, Healer and Mindset Coach who expresses her talent and gifts through energy, alchemy and like a magician, wheels the beauty of the physical world to serve humanity.