Most people don’t know this about me, but when I was 19 years old, I had an epiphany. I decided that everything that I did in my future life would be beneficial to Black people. I decided that my future career choice would benefit both my people and myself. As I have written in the past, I believe daily; Black people are absolutely magical. Me, I wanted to ensure that our magic continued to grow so much that the curses cast upon us no longer had power. I went to school to become an attorney because I wanted to change the system from the inside. However, like slavery, I quickly grew to understand that the judicial system financially benefits from Black bodies in cages. I quickly grew to understand that the system isn’t broken at all. The system has always worked meticulously. In fact, the only time that the system breaks is when it works for us. Needless to say, I no longer wanted to be an attorney. As a young teacher with locks that hung past my shoulders and fear that stood taller than me, I entered my first classroom. “Mr. Garland, here is your class roster.” Mr. Garland? Is my Father here? Are you talking to me? You are? Okay. Wow… I began my career. It has been my greatest joy to contribute to the lives of children as an educator. I have seen some of my students ascend to heights they never imagined, and regretfully, I have seen some of my students lowered into the ground. Peaks and valleys.. No matter where I stood, I always stood in my singular truth; I was doing something for our community. I was making a difference. Today, I don’t feel that way. I have everything that I could ever need, yet I don’t have enough of what I actually need. Everyone is so nice and polite, yet none of them are real. There is no crime, graffiti, processed food, or liquor stores. Inversely, there is no passion, art, slapping family cookouts, and vibe sessions. You see, the magical thing about Black people is that we managed to create a small piece of Heaven in the sometimes overwhelming hell that we were forced to reside in. Today, I no longer believe in one of us getting in the door in order to make it better for the rest of us. The truth of the matter is that once we enter that door, we’re changed. Adaptation. We’re changed in order to survive in the name of thriving behind that door. Once we enter that door, we’re changed. Circus lions can’t survive in the jungle, and lions living in the wild are rarely tamed. I believe that the time has come for self-sufficiency. We need Black doctors to help heal Black people. We need Black lawyers to become Black judges and render balanced justice for our people. We need Black bankers to give Black loans to Black people in order to build up our communities. We need Black athletes to attend Black schools and capitalize on the majesty and magic of our Black-ness. We need Black students to learn about personal finance and economics in school just as many times as they are told and taught about the civil war. Honestly, I won’t capitalize that shit because their victory meant my demise. I’d be stupid to glorify that. We need Black architects to build beautiful edifices for Black people. We need Black designers to manifest the style that we create with whatever we are given. We need Black chefs to open more Black restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, bars, breweries, and pop-ups. Simply put, we need each other. They destroyed us in Tulsa, Oklahoma because they witnessed first hand what happened when we relied on ourselves. Because we are survivors, we always made less than ideal situations seemingly ideal. We are all that we need. Again, we are all that we need. Today, like Judas, I feel like I have betrayed my own for a little silver. Trust me, everything that glitters isn’t gold, and everything that looks good doesn’t feel good. Black people, bring all of your magic back to our village. Do me a favor. Please close your eyes and imagine society without us or our impression. Exactly…. Black people, please bring all of your magic back to our village. We’ve been so busy sharing our magic for discounted prices that we have failed to teach our children that they, too, can fly. Please, come home. We need you… Patrick
This week, please do something for someone other than yourself for no reason at all other than to make their lives better. As always, if you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us. Always Choose Love Because Love Changes Everything.