Millennials. Also known as Generation Y. Depending on who you ask, millennials range from the birth years of 1982 to 2004. This age range would make me (and many of you reading), a millennial. Now I’m sure we are all aware of the many posts, blogs, memes, and discussions about our age demographic. If you aren’t aware, please talk a casual stroll down the Google search aisles and enjoy. I’ll warn you ahead of time. It isn’t pretty.
Nevertheless, today is a new day. The previous generation will soon be heading into retirement and it will be our turn to step up and take their places. This is especially true in the area of civil rights. We have come a long way, yet we still have quite a few mountains to climb. The questions is, are we ready? Are we ready to take on the charge that’s been laid before us?
In all honesty, I never thought that I would be at this point in my life. After the passionate speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, the strong voice of Malcolm X, the heroism of Harriet Tubman, the soulful independence of women like Shirley Chislom and Dorothy Height, and the vigilant work of many others, many of us got a little comfortable. (Dare I say even lazy.) I did not think that civil rights would be as big of an issue as it is today. After all, it’s 2016, not 1963, right? Unfortunately, it is hard to tell the difference these days. It reminds me of a verse from Ecclesiastes 1:9 “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again. There is nothing new under the sun.” True words.
We have an important job millennials. We did not apply for the position, but we have been drafted to do the work. It has been entrusted to us by our ancestors and those who have come before us to continue the work. How unfortunate it would be to do nothing, as we stand in the very place that our ancestors died. How sad it would be to do nothing, as we receive an education that those before us fought to have. As we work in places that our great-great grandmothers could not have stepped foot in. Each time I ask myself, “Do I have to get involved?” I am immediately met with conviction, “How could I not?”
I often see posts and statuses stating that black people NEED a leader. We need a Malcolm. We need a Martin. We need someone to get the people together to start a movement. While I agree with the thought, I disagree with the shifting of responsibility. What if there is no Malcolm? What if there is no Martin? What do we do then? Do we sit on the sidelines? Do we allow life just to happen and take no action? What do you say millennials? Are you ready to take on the charge?
The most interesting thing about these statements is that many do not realize that we don’t NEED or require another Martin. We don’t NEED or require another Malcolm. Why? Because we already have them. The work and the words of those before are now firmly planted in our hearts, our minds, and ultimately our spirits. We have proven time and time again that even through severe adversity, our strength is unwavering. You see, WE are the Malcolms. WE are the Martins. There is a little bit of THEM in all of US. And it is our job to make sure their work, their time, their effort, and their faith was not in vain.
So again I ask…..Are you ready?
Written by Michaela Phelps, Staff Writer #MyGirlSquad