Progress as a nation will evolve through personal and institutional reinforcement of our most cherished values.
Since the beginning of time, blacks have excelled at every endeavor known to man, all over the world. Those who are educated in history are well aware of this fact, and any astute observer of modern history can find exceptional achievements in every field by black Americans. America has a historically unique narrative of triumph for its black citizens. Our nation is so young that this narrative has yet to blossom in the mind and hearts of the collective American identity.
The Smithsonian Institution is solving that problem through the National Museum of African American History, opening on the National Mall in September. America holds a special place of excellence in the world, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History is a cultural masterpiece. As the latest demonstration of American excellence this aggregation of black American history and culture will inspire and empower, giving our strongest traditions a new energy. Truth in history will enlighten society, stimulating further progress for historically disenfranchised segments of our population.
Black Americans represent close to 14% of the population of the United States. The American racial kaleidoscope is dynamic and complex, yet it is not the cornerstone of our identity or exceptionalism. America is exceptional because our legal and civic freedoms exist within the world’s largest economy and most dynamic culture. America’s power has been unrivaled for 70 years in the global economy, and our laws protect those who are willing to work extremely hard and compete for rewards in society. This combination is what makes us exceptional. Previous generations of Americans strenuously labored and sacrificed to develop as pure a meritocracy as possible. The foundation of our meritocracy must always be education. Access to the exceptional American experience is guaranteed through supporting educational initiatives for all of our young people. An exceptional young man, Wendell Wray, Jr. a 12 year old student at City Center Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. recently showcased to his schoolmates and teachers the meaning of education: “I think being educated with the right tools, the right information, the right laws, and the right attitude will produce success. The meaning of education has to combine the ability to obtain knowledge, think logically, scientifically and critically and to let God lead your heart. True education is obtaining true knowledge and combining it with character, excellence and service.”
The new power in America must come from shaping the next course of global history through patriotic and purposeful endeavors. Our young people must understand that they hold a place of privilege in America, regardless of their race. Each member of our society must invest in positive personal interaction with our kids, every day. This inculcation of values and expectations of excellence must not only take place through institutions such as The Smithsonian, but everyday personal and institutional interaction. Your personal everyday interactions with young people must reinforce the highest American ideals.
Happy Birthday Harry Belafonte!!!
Power Source is an insider’s view of power networks and activities that contribute to the continued dominance of our nation’s ideals, institutions and individuals. Ms. Doucette has privately orchestrated projects for the world’s most influential individuals, celebrated personalities, and corporations. Based in Washington D.C., Ms. Doucette is a proud native of New Orleans, Louisiana. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org