Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

The other day, while making one of my quick scans through Facebook, my attention was drawn to commonly seen message in the right column on the main page.  The right column typically serves as a reminder of birthdays, pokes, people you may know and finally, friends (a loosely used term on FB but that’s another blog for another day) or acquaintances to reconnect with – as if to suggest, you haven’t visited their page in a while.  On this particular occasion, the profile picture of a late friend appeared under the message, “reconnect with Jan” (real name intentionally withheld).

My thoughts shifted to myself and the legacy (or lack thereof), that I may leave behind once my existence is no longer physical.  How will I be remembered?  Because Facebook, Twitter, Myspace or even my Yahoo account will not know that I’ll no longer be logging on; what will come to mind when friend, family, strangers see my name or a profile picture of an individual who has passed this earthly existence? 

The litany and laundry list of responses to those questions are sure to vary person-to-person.  To some I’ve been a confidant – to others a broadcaster.  To some, a minister – to others an enemy.  To some, a source of employment, security and financial viability – to others a mere liability.  To some a facilitator of dreams – to others, a worse nightmare.

The totality of who I am and the life I’ve lived cannot be contained in a mere blog.  The reality of the life I’ve chosen, or the life that has chosen me bears the question as uttered by the famous gospel recording group, The Clark Sisters, “Is my living in vain?”

When the sun sets on my earthly existence I am simply hopeful that I’m remembered as someone who tried to help somebody, everyday. The funny thing about legacies is that we’ll never be around to witness them.

I close this blog with a quote from Evangelist Billy Graham: “Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.”

D’s 2¢

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The recent discovery at the Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois was yet another unfortunate circumstance during what has been a crazy three week span.  First, we lost Michael Jackson; then Steven McNair; and now we discover that four cemetery workers have been accused of digging up bodies to resell plots.

As if this atrocity wasn’t enough, we learn that the Burr Oak Cemetery is the resting place of the late Emmitt Till.  Apparently Till’s grave was not disturbed, but Cook County investigators found his original, iconic glass-topped casket rusting in a shack on the cemetery grounds. The casket was supposed to be kept for a memorial.

Who was Emmitt Till?Emmit Till

Emmett Louis “Bobo” Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was an African American boy from Chicago, Illinois, who was lynched at the age of 14 in Money, Mississippi, a small town in the state’s Delta region, after allegedly whistling at a white woman. The murder of Emmett Till was noted as one of the leading events that motivated the American Civil Rights Movement. The main suspects were acquitted, but later admitted to committing the crime.

Till’s mother insisted on a public funeral service, with an open casket to show the world the brutality of the killing: Till had been beaten up and his eye had been gouged out, before he was shot through the head and thrown into the Tallahatchie River with a 70-pound cotton gin fan tied to his body with barbed wire. His body was in the river for three days before it was discovered and retrieved by two fishermen.

With the brief history lesson behind us, the recent discovery at Burr Cemetery has literally summoned skeletons of our nation’s dark past.  Fifty-plus years doesnt’ seem like a very long time considering I’m 41 myself.   It was during my parent’s lifetime that such a travesty was allowed to be committed against a person of color.

Like Emmitt, many young black boys were snuffed out before they even got a chance to live.  This seems to be a characteristic or condition that is consistent even 54 years later.  Although lynching has somewhat subsided, many our boys live a life of “psychological” limitations.

black youthThis is noticeably evident to me as I challenge my boys and other adult men to read, write, and then read what you’ve written.  There is an old cliché that suggests, “if you want to hide something from blacks, put it in a book.”  I need to share with you that what has been hidden in those books is our illustrious history.

As I conclude this blog I challenge each reader to find a creative way of keeping our history alive.  Instead of spending countless hours on Facebook playing Mafia Wars and sending Ghetto Snacks, take a minute to send us some little known black history fact.  Social networks are powerful tools if used masterfully.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.  Hosea 4:6

D’s 2cents

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