On November 6, 2012, the Black community had an impenetrable, emotional high when all the major news networks made the announcement that Barack Obama has been re-elected as the President of the United States. Elders who had protested and sacrificed tirelessly wept tears of hope and fulfillment as they realized a black man would continue to lead their nation. Young voters lined up by the thousands to affirm their allegiance to the first black family of the White House. With nearly one hundred percent of the black presidential vote going solely to Barack Obama, it’s easy to assume that most black Americans who voted believed that Barack Obama is the right man to lead the U.S. from a perplexed nation to one of prosperity.

Sisters ProtestingAs we bask in the ambiance of gratification, we must realize that the fight for justice in America is far from complete.  A black man in the White House does not equate to the end of racism. The black community is suffering from a multitude of problems and our growth is being stunted by our lack of urgency in facing them. In 2012, it will take much more than a vote to reverse what hundreds of years of oppression have inflicted upon the black family.

Young black children are dealing with profound self-esteem problems that are ravaging their malleable, undeveloped minds. Black girls are indulging in “reality” shows that offer a limited, misconstrued view of how friends and family members are to engage in conflict resolution. The television is an invited trouble maker in countless households and many of us are still oblivious to this fact. Black boys are infatuated with pseudo-thug images offered to them by irresponsible entertainers. Following the wrong leadership can lead a black child directly to two places—a prison cell or a grave yard. Has the re-election of Barack Obama helped eradicate these problems?

Despite America spending nearly $2.2 trillion on Healthcare, more than any other nation in the world, according to healthreform.gov, black Americans still suffer from higher rates of disease and reduced access to adequate care.  As great as an American health reform may sound, they remain theories and allegories to the millions of African Americans who suffer from kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, and a myriad of other preventable health complications. We have to wake up and begin to rejuvenate ourselves. Our wellbeing is our obligation. We can vote for change as much as we want, but if we don’t change the way we live, we will not be able to live to our fullest potential.

Stop The KillingAccording to a 2007 special report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly 8,000 (close to 9,000 in some years) black Americans are murdered annually. Even more shocking, 93% of those murders are perpetuated by other blacks. With shocking statistics like these, it’s not hard to discover that black America has lost its way. We don’t have that same unconditional love that created the Black Panthers or any of the other communal, self-reliant organizations of the past. Instead of acknowledging our undivided spiritual connection to one another, we fall victim to the devilish nature of genocide. It is up to us to resurrect our promise of indefinite love and commitment to one another.

More than one fourth of African Americans are living in poverty. According to the Children’s Defense Fund, practically one million black children are submerged in poverty. Regardless of your political affiliation, religious belief, or educational background, if you are an African American, you should feel obligated to help reverse these negative figures.

Black America is not destined to live in substandard conditions. We must begin to help establish and support black businesses, institutions, and groups that help deal with these problems. Politicians are not working fast enough for us to simply rely on them for everything. At some point, we must become our own organizers and problem solvers. That is what powerful people do; that is what we must do.