Letters From The Editor, OPINION

Letter From The Editor: Prestige Should Never Trump Progress

By: Jazmin Goodwin, Editor-In-Chief (@TheLyricalJAZ)

Often more than not, we never want to discuss “the not so good” business that plagues our black bodies, institutions and communities. We are bound and stricken by the perceptions we so desperately want others outside of our identities to see as truth.

A falsely-illusioned truth that casts its serendipitous haze on our ability to mobilize towards sustainable progress. With every new year and celebration of Black History Month, I am always bogged with questions. Questions of whether we have truly evolved or are we simply sifting in a plateau that has flattened so deep we mistake it as reaching our peak.

In reality, I say we are not.

With the transition of the new year, headlines glared with so many “firsts” for the black community. “First black women to receive this.” “First black male to be nominated for that.” There’s been so many fairly new “firsts” in the short span of one month, I wonder if anyone is keeping count.

Keeping count that in 2018 we may break a record by being “first” but it never seems to stay that way. As we get caught in the hype of prestige and the glory of “first,” being “number one” and “making history,” the progress that should follow suit is completely neglected.

Hence why – movements don’t last, Omarosa’s strut the White House toting the idea it’s for the better of Black, and for the very same reason why you still haven’t invested your money in a black-owned bank or completely transitioned spending your money with only black-owned businesses.

We amplify the prestige, but drown out our own progress with falsities – back to that very same plateau we’ve mistaken as reaching our peak.

It is clear from taking a closer look beyond the surface level of glamorous “firsts” and the esteem it brings that prestige should never trump progress in our tireless mission to continue to “make history black.”

February 1, 2018

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