Message to America: You can’t hold Black folks down!

by Vernon Williams

This may sound clichéd, but it is factual, absolute truth. No matter what the enemy tries, no matter what is said to denigrate or dismiss, no matter if suffering is inflicted or injustices suffered, no matter if provisions of life are denied, no matter what weaponry used – the fact remains… you just can’t hold Black people down. It is impossible.

There is something about people of the African Diaspora that the United States has never understood. It is fundamental to the existence and perseverance of a people, simply an inextricable part of their DNA.

It is hard to explain, because it defies logic and has been so persistent through so many variations of subjugation and marginalization. And yet this intangible but real element has withstood the test of time.

It is prevalent among those whose intellect is measurably lower and equally significant among the best educated. There is a combination of wisdom and pragmatism that is undeniably pervasive and indigenous to a group placed in so many disadvantaged positions so consistently.

It’s a natural trait nurtured over generations, one likely perplexing even to the melanin populations that possess such uncanny capabilities. It is power that emerges from deep within that pushes time-worn, wearied runners to the finish line, much more than adrenaline. It is an inexplicable, irrepressible force of the spirit.

It brought brothers and sisters through more than four centuries of brutal enslavement, only to evolve into ministry, entrepreneurship, skilled craftsmanship, practitioners of the arts, professionals, educators, government leaders, inventors and men/women of science.

That such brilliance was immediately evident in the aftermath of the most unconscionable inhumanity imaginable is enough of an anomaly. The sustainability of that resolve remained apparent throughout Reconstruction humiliation, the rise of the KKK, bombings of Black institutions, Jim Crow, social injustices and deeply imbedded systemic racism today.

Some people expect African Americans to feel discouraged right about now. The Supreme Court and white nationalism in Congress and state legislatures have made it clear that everything within their power will be done to suppress Black presence. They want to eradicate our participation in American history, then deny our children an opportunity for access to higher education. But as in the past, their best efforts to negate Black America will fall short.

Taking license with the words of author Mark Twain, rumors of the demise of Black America are grossly exaggerated. We’ve been through too much to acquiesce. We will take seemingly insurmountable challenges one by one and come up with strategies and implementations that will transform mountains into molehills, being victorious in the end. With the help of God, that’s the way it’s always been… and the way it still is.

Don’t be discouraged. God still controls the Master Plan, and we remain more than conquerors.

Vernon A. Williams
Vernon A. Williams

CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference-makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to:

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