What the Promised Land meant to Him
The Promised Land is a figurative expression that dreams of a future devoid of police brutality, segregation, systemic racism and economic inequality for black folks. For example, the Montgomery bus incident where African Americans decided not to ride the city buses due to racial segregation. Front seats for whites, back seats for blacks. Like that wasn’t enough, black folks still had to yield their sitting space to the white riders if there were no spaces in the front.
Yea, it was that bad!
African Americans with college degrees are twice as likely to be unemployed. This is what it means to be black in America. Black folks became victims of police brutality as a result of systemic racism. All of these put together led to the rigorous and nonviolent movements by MLK in the 19th century. King talked about a future where none of this will have to happen to blacks folks. A period where everyone will sit at the same table and have a brotherly conversation without racial discrimination or segregation. That was the promised land to him.
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The question is, was this achieved? Certainly yes!
After the civil rights movement, educated black folks were eligible to take elite class jobs. They had the right to have a say in politics and contribute to American society discussions. Barack Obama was one of the people who believed and was intrigued by the movements—becoming the first black president of the United States. This completely changed the narrative of the entire black community. Although Martin Luther King did not see this coming, it was undoubtedly the Promised Land for many African Americans.
“Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.” -Oprah Winfrey.
Fast forward to the struggles of black folks in America today
It is entirely absurd to think that having a black leader will eradicate racism, segregation and police brutality in American society. We’ve had several black men and women appointed to the position of power, and nothing has changed. It’s high time we renew our faith with the hope that a promised land awaits us, just like the Israelites aimed to get to Cannan, despite the series of struggles they encountered. Likewise, we also want to get off the present struggles of being black. The two most significant challenges African Americans have never seemed to get over are police brutality and systemic racism.
Police Brutality became worse on black Americans
What do you think led to the ‘Black Lives Matters’ protest? It was basically due to the blatant and racial prejudice towards black folks. The killing of George Floyd in 2020 by a Minneapolis police officer awakened thousands of blacks to the movement. It is heart-wrenching that we are not safe as a black man or woman living in America today. There has always been a criminal stereotype that African Americans are guilty as suspected. Well, this isn’t true because you are not guilty until proven otherwise.
There is no style of empathy that can match the daily strain of knowing that you can get shot for innocently being black. Don’t put your hands in your pockets, don’t play any music while being checked, no sudden movements, no gestures, no driving your car, no walking at night, no playing with toy guns. Extremely draining and frustrating!
Fatal shootings among black Americans was much higher than any other ethnicity; as of June 2020, 30 fatal shootings per million of the black population. Sad, right? But it’s the world we live in! Not anytime soon will this stop; this same problem existed during MLK’s days which inspired the run for justice.
The Promised Land is near
MLK stood as the Moses of his time to inspire and motivate black folks to look beyond the present. However, this also applies to us now; because the truth is a time will come where you can walk and smile freely on the streets of American without the fear of any form of harassment by the police. As black American males and females, we should see a future where born and unborn kids can play with water guns in front of the house and not get shot by the police. That is the Promised Land we seek.
Systemic Racism on the Rise
Why do you think the black community was reluctant to take the Covid ’19 vaccination? The Tuskegee experiment was a lesson to never forget for black folks. Using black folks as lab rats under the pretence of free health care to study the effect of a particular disease was the height of it. To trust this process again, celebrities like Tyler Perry, Stephanie Elam, Michelle Obama, Samuel L. Jackson and Barack Obama had to take the spotlight by taking the vaccines. All of this is because blacks don’t tend to get equal treatment.
We are getting close to a future where we will understand that no human race is dominant and no religious faith is inferior. Also, with absolute regret that racism is a form of hate, and when we keep doing it, we will continue to breed a generation of young people in disharmony and rob them of their innocence. A future where every black American will get equal treatment for their humanity and dignity. That future where we are no longer disenfranchised due to the color of our skin. That’s the promised land we look forward to achieving.
Remember that these problems will still keep reoccurring because issues don’t end on earth! Regardless of the troubles, we face on earth. The most significant promised land is heaven. We trust God to use us as the MLK of this generation so that together we will walk into the promised land.
We’d like to hear from you in the comment section. Do you also see black folks getting to that promised land?