Adrian Council, Publisher’s Desk
The Positive Community’s (TPC) African American Cultural Narrative poster series will enter into its 10th year in 2022. Since it was first published in 2012, thousands are now in possession the poster. Over the years TPC has introduced this “new language of freedom” to scores of churches, clergy leadership groups and cultural organizations in New York and New Jersey.
And our team continues on as bearers of glad tidings about our American story, with even better news about a future of awesome potential and possibilities! A healthy and prosperous future awaits generations to come if only we commit to know and teach our own story—now!
What more can be said about the Cultural Narrative document; it speaks for itself. Hardly a single sentence has been altered since it was first written almost 10 years ago. Graphic design changed only once. What was first written back then is as true today as it will be even 50 years from now. The Cultural Narrative is the truth about who we really are. This is our story; our narrative— it belongs to us!
The Great Emancipation
The Cultural Narrative came in existence in anticipation of the Emancipation Proclamation’s 150th anniversary on January 1, 2013. Indeed, January 1st, is one of the most important dates on the American calendar especially for the African American people.
On that day in1863, freedom came to over 3.5 million of our ancestors in bondage in the Confederate South; 200,000 Negro troops were mobilized to fight alongside the Union Army. With the implementation of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil War transitioned from being a war to save the Union to a war to end slavery; a war that cost over 600,000 American lives. And yes, we do owe a debt of gratitude to decedents of those in the Union Army who sacrificed their lives on the battlefields on behalf of American freedom!
On December 31st, New Year’s Eve, thousands of churches across America will host Watch Night service. A tradition that dates back 160 years, it began when slaves gathered in prayerful anticipation of New Year’s Day when President Abraham Lincoln’s executive order, the Emancipation Proclamation, would take effect.
Teach the Children
In this year, Juneteenth, already a state holiday in New Jersey has now become a national holiday. It is absolutely crucial that we come to an increased understanding of and appreciation for origins and destinies; cause and effect. Juneteenth is to Emancipation Day, what Easter is to Christmas. You cannot have one without the other. After all, just what is Watch Night without Emancipation Day?
The great Cultural Narrative provides simple answers to the complex question: Who are we; and where do we go from here? The cultural narrative is the story of a people; our claim on the American Dream in just 281 words! The Cultural Narrative is a story for all communities, races and cultures to embrace.
Let’s teach this to the children and our dear grandchildren. Teach it in the home, the church and in the classroom. Ideally, let us do all we possibly can to see to it that by the age of 13, every child would know how to read, speak and comprehend this narrative. This invaluable story must be committed to memory; it must never be forgotten.
Save the children; secure the future; advance the Race! The progress of our children and the integrity of our African American culture, values and traditions—our collective soul—mean everything. In these matters, always remember this: we the people are sovereign! The only way we can ever be denied of our own blessings and freedom is if we deny them for ourselves!
The dawn of a new age for positive change is now upon us! For our people, Emancipation Day is about community progress, intelligent patriotism and self-determination—Red, White and Blue; Juneteenth holiday is about family, community, cultural pride and true liberty—Red, Black and Green. Save the Date! On January 1, 2022, The Positive Community’s Third Annual Great American Emancipation Day Awards will take place live at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, NJ and /or on virtual platforms.
The event will recognize individuals and organizations, who through a demonstration of loving, unselfish service reflect the ideals of community life and American freedom. Our honorees represent the best and the brightest in diverse, servant leadership roles who are ever committed to peace, world progress and the good will of all—positive change!