The Jesse Owen’s biopic movie, “Race” is absolutely fabulous. It is a poignant reminder in this Black History Month of what we have faced to get where we are as a nation and as individuals. Watching Owen’s strides to get to the Olympics as a father out of wedlock to trying to be a normal student in the face of others expectation, making good on his promise of marriage to his baby’s mother, facing the underlying lies of those at his university and in the Olympics who were to have his back all while functioning in a dysfunctional family unit, it is clear that the more things change the more they remain the same as the young daily assert in their Black Lives Matter efforts.
In North Carolina’s Caswell County, Wilson Cary proclaimed in the 1860s the issues for Black Republicans was the wrongness of attracting immigrants over blacks for labor to the state and the need to support the14th Amendment which defined citizen rights. Donald Trump has incorporated that message into his campaign which is why despite the pundits he is winning his races and can win the presidency.
Politicians who say that the ethnic issues of the day can be addressed with jobs, individual responsibility, and adoption of family values alone are not in the world as it is but in a false reality they’d like to see. The jobs of today are not what is being espoused for the future when right here in North Carolina at Wake Forest University ears, bone replacements and other body parts are now being made with 3D-printers and new technology in which few minority students are engaged. The people on the earth may be expanding beyond the capacity of the ocean and food chain to feed us. With water everywhere but only 3% fit to drink, where are our mavens in this field?
Movies would have us believe the zombies will overrun us or the arts and entertainment of voice and dance will allow you to find yourself while we possibly go to hell in a hurry shaking ones booty and gyrating our private parts in search of nothingness. The frontiers of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and English need our bests and brightest minds which means folks must get off the dime and their behind to put in the work such requires.
Ecclesiastes 9:11 reminds us that “. . .the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” Jesse Owens set four world Olympic records in track and field bringing home the gold in each only to face the relentless discrimination inflicted by segregation. The skin heads and denial of the holocaust are critical reminders that the race isn’t finished.
Each person and each generation must set their own course on the field of play while passing the baton for the next leg in the relay of life.