Oh, how good and pleasant it is when the people of God come together to observe and remember our mighty day of liberation and to celebrate the African American freedom journey in this land! On January 1st, 2020, hundreds from the NY and NJ region packed into the grand ballroom of the historic Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, NJ to participate in the Great American Emancipation Day Awards Banquet, honoring our community’s visionary institutions and individual leaders—Torchbearers of Progress. It was also a grand celebration in recognition of The Positive Community’s
What a blessed way to begin the New Year, together in a spirit of unity, community service and cultural pride—in anticipation of; commitment to; and faith in our collective ability to ensure the success of future generations! Business partner and co-publisher, Jean Nash Wells, myself, and The Positive Community family are most grateful to all who came
out to celebrate and fellowship on this historic occasion. It was, in spirit and in truth, a positive community experience! We owe a debt of gratitude to our forward-thinking corporate partners, the stakeholders of community progress—our event sponsors—who early recognized the value of this service as a unique consumer marketing opportunity—a positive community-building idea and ideal!
Thank God for clergy leaders of every faith, that awoke on the first day of a new decade with freedom on their mind. We appreciate the hospitality of the City of Newark and Mayor Ras J. Baraka for being the host city of this
annual event. The Mayor sent a message of goodwill while visiting in Ghana, West Africa; New Jersey Lt. Governor Hon. Shelia Oliver and Dr. Jerry Young, President of (the 8 million member) National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., also sent video greetings. To quote honoree, Newark Municipal Council President, Hon. Mildred Crump in a recent text message: “…Thank you (Adrian) and Jean for one of the greatest events in my life!!!” (visit thepositivecommunity.com for more.)
The Great Emancipation
My friend, the late Dr. Clement A. Price, DistinguishedProfessor of History, Rutgers University would refer to the period in American history beginning on January 1, 1863, when the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, thru the passing of the 15th Amendment in 1870 (150 years ago), as the Season of the Great Emancipation. Yes, January 1st, is an important date on the American calendar, especially for the African American people. The 13th and 14th Amendments abolished forever, slavery in the USA. The 15th Amendment, granting African-American men the right to vote was adopted into the U.S. Constitution in 1870 (one hundred fifty years ago).
Dr. Price suggested that the Emancipation Proclamation was a political strategy, a wartime maneuver. The Great Emancipation from the Negro perspective however, was a significant spiritual/cultural event. Just as God’s Hand was on Pharaoh in the Exodus of the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt, so too was the powerful Hand of Almighty God upon a United States president in the African American Exodus—Let My People Go!
Let us be absolutely clear, with 2020 vision, about the essentials if we, the people, are to move forward in this 21st century. They are: #1., The progress of our children; #2., The integrity of our African American culture, values and traditions—our collective soul.
It is therefore, our scared responsibility before God and to all mankind to see to the continuity of positive values and ideals from this generation to the next. As well, it is our patriotic duty, to seek meaningful, creative ways to preserve, protect and promote our very best—America’s best!
The Cultural Narrative
Fifty years from now, our generation, the “Baby Boomers” will be counted among the ancestors. What will be our legacy; what values or talents will we pass along to future generations? What is our story; what will be theirs?The African American Cultural Narrative presents a solution. Both the Great American Emancipation Day Awards Banquet and the ideals expressed in the Cultural Narrative poster reveal the truth of who we really are: Liberated sons and daughters of the Most High God; Mighty decedents of the Great Emancipation—1863!
Teach the children; inspire within their souls a hunger for truth and a thirst for righteousness. Wake up everybody. . . it’s a brand new day!