Cultural Literacy and Positive Change— A New Language of Freedom!

On behalf of all of us at The Positive Community (TPC), “thank you!” Yes, much appreciation to and gratitude for those who thought it not robbery to fellowship in celebration of achievement and positive change. It was TPC’s 4th annual Great American Emancipation Day Awards Banquet. Theme: The Dawn of Freedom, 160 Years of the Emancipation Proclamation 1863–2063. Congratulations to all the wonderful honorees and dear sponsors! (See page 41).

The response to the issue featuring Dr. Calvin O. Butts III has been wholly unlike anything we’ve ever witnessed in our 22 years in publishing! Tributes from local and national leaders continue to pour in. Our heartfelt gratitude to the Butts family, and the mighty Abyssinian Church family, for entrusting our media company to put into perspective the legacy of this beloved Harlem Pastor. Scores of forward-thinking individuals, churches, schools, businesses and institutions came together to support this edition. Reflections continue on page 24.

Public Education

Moving forward, with all of the energy we can muster, the future of Black History in public schools and colleges in some southern states must urgently be addressed! And it begins with group analysis and critique: Who are we; and where do we go from here? At the end of the day, we would all agree: African American History is American History. The story of this great nation can hardly be told without including the immense contributions of the African American people. Public education in this country is funded by taxpayer dollars. Is it democratic to erase Black History from curriculums or to ban certain books by Black authors from libraries?

Resiliency and Triumph

The African American people must now take full and complete responsibility for teaching our children about their American heritage—our group personality and collective experience. Our history is not a matter to be volleyed about between Liberals and Conservatives or among political parties. Our people’s history along with their enormous achievements is forever the people’s claim on the American Dream!

The Great African American Cultural Narrative is a story of resiliency and triumph; creativity, courage, faith and hope! And this is what our children must be taught— in our homes, our houses of worship and community institutions—everywhere. This is the commitment needed to advance the race!

The progress of our children and the integrity and dignity of our African American culture, values, and traditions—our collective soul— mean everything! As a people, we must commit to raising a culturally literate generation. Teach the Cultural Narrative; forecast a wholesome and prosperous destiny; teach appreciation and gratitude!

Our American Story

The Cultural Narrative was first written in May 2012 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Study it for yourselves. What was first published over 10 years ago is as true today as it will be even 50 years from now!

The enduring Cultural Narrative is about who we really are: Beloved, liberated sons and daughters of The Most High God; mighty descendants of the Great American Emancipation—1863. And that is our story—a narrative to be shared among all races, ethnicities and communities across this land!

Learning the narrative is progress. This document is designed to inspire within the souls of our young people a real hunger for truth, and an unquenchable thirst for righteousness!

Two questions for open debate: 1) Should the Cultural Narrative be taught to children; 2) who then would be responsible for teaching it?

What if we were to set a tangible goal for ourselves? What if we were to see to it that every single child in our communities, by their thirteenth birthday, would be able to read, write, speak, comprehend, and commit to memory, the African American Cultural Narrative: A new language of freedom?

Divine Right; Patriotic Duty

We owe a sincere debt of gratitude to our ancestors, and to our Heavenly Father—“Thou who has brought us thus far along the way.” Never forget: it is our absolute, divine right and our patriotic duty to preserve and protect and promote our very best—America’s best! Indeed, the only way we can ever be denied of our own collective gifts, talents and blessings is if we deny them for ourselves!

Encourage the children to learn and to recite aloud the Cultural Narrative— at the dinner table, in the classroom, in church, at social events and family gatherings. Cultural literacy will fortify and ensure the progress of future generations as we embrace and advance the positive, community-building ideals of self-acceptance, self reliance and self-respect—Positive Change!

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