By Roy D. Malonson
Jesse Owens, who won four Olympic gold medals and went down in US History as one of the most famous athletes alludes to a very true and meaningful theory. In this thought, he conveys that, “The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself–the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us–that’s where it’s at.”
How true and deep I have found this sentiment to be. Rather or not, we see, feel, believe, accept or know it there is a silent battle that is going on right in the middle of our own communities amongst our own kind. As members of the Black community, we must learn to respect all of the different entities, personalities, influences and forces that we have to serve as a fortress to solidify our communities. If we do not give back, respect and support members from our own community, then how can we possibly expect our counterparts to do so?
Just as there was Frederick Douglass who over a century ago believed that you had to agitate in order to get things done, there are positive influences that serve today, each in his or her own capacity. These different characters exist to help make our communities, children and race a better people and a better place.
Thus the importance of supporting one another in various efforts makes this task all the more vital as it relates to creating one solid voice from within the Black community.
On September 15, my wife and I had the opportunity to attend and participate in the Celebration for 25 years of Service honoring Minister Robert S. Muhammad. The theme for the evening was, “Celebrating Unity in the Community!”
Although I was honored to be amidst such an assembly, honoring such a noble cause I will state that; it really troubled my heart that I did not see more leaders of the community present. Minister Muhammad for years has leant his relentless support to politicians, activists, ministers and other affiliates of the community to help and assist in their causes.
Therefore, I believe that the favor could have been returned by more of us at least showing some form of gratitude and appreciation.
Oh, he’s a Muslim! Was that part of the problem?
Granted, I understand that various ministers, pastors and such have varying beliefs but I just believe that there should have been more support from the religious community at the celebration.
For the simple fact that, each organization that exists within the community should be in existence to help aide and guide the community in positive directions. This is why it is vital for the leaders of the community to seek to pull together to help support one another; because there is power in unity.
Now, make no mistake I am not minimizing the support of the individuals who were in attendance at the celebration.
There were notable and honorary guests present amongst the gathering which included: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, Congressman Al Green, Mayor Frank Jackson of Prairie View, Texas, Dr. Joe Ratliff of Brentwood Baptist Church, Shape Community Center Founder Deloyd Parker, Justice of the Peace Elaine Jackson and Justice of the Peace Zinetta Burney to name a few.
However, part of the reason why this scene really saddens my heart is because it reminds me a lot of my wife and I efforts. For years, my wife and I have helped and supported various members of our community. It’s amusing how when people need help and assistance they will ring your phone off the hook and you can never get rid of them. Nevertheless, once they get what they need they are seldom seen. I just don’t get it!
I would just like to once again acknowledge and pay homage to Minister Robert Muhammad for the outstanding strides that he has made to assist with young Black men and women from our community.
Concluding, I would further like to state that, “For a lot of people, if they do not see the problem…. or it does not affect them directly… then it does not exist.”
By Roy D. Malonson