Charlotte Marshall Templeman
There is Power in Unity
The presidential election is over. The people have spoken and our president Barack Obama has been re-elected to another term. Upon hearing this news there were cheers, cries, hugs and most importantly pride. Americans, especially African Americans came out in record numbers to exercise their right to vote. We stood in long lines in the cold, dealt with malfunctioning machines and an occasional problem at the polls. However, this did not deter us and we pushed forward until it became our turn to step into the voting booth. We selected our choice and walked out with a great sense of pride as we were given our “I Voted” sticker to display on our coats for everyone to see. We not only once again made history but we were a part of history. Now the excitement is over, the debates are history and the president is well at work. So now what do we do? We have to take that same enthusiasm we had in re-electing our president back to our communities.
Although we have the commander in chief we all prayed for there is work that still needs to be done on our local levels. We have to make sure our schools and teachers are qualified and dedicated to ensuring our children receive the best education possible. All schools, whether they are in the suburbs or inner city, private or public, we as citizens and parents have to make sure our children receive the same quality education as their counterparts. It is important to hold teachers, staff and administration accountable if our children are not receiving the education they are supposed to. In conjunction we have to be actively involved in making sure our children will be able to read, write and perform the basic essentials in order for them to graduate and move on to college or the work force. Besides making sure our schools are up to standard we have to take care of our neighborhoods by making sure they are safe. It is just as important for us to band together to get rid of the toxic things that make our neighborhoods unsafe for all that reside there. Getting to know your local ward leaders, state representatives, community leaders and church leaders can be helpful if needed as well as knowing the role of your mayor. We elect these people on the local level to take care of us and we have to challenge them and make them accountable in doing their jobs.
The work is far from done. We cannot sit back and allow our communities, schools and children to not prosper and then blame other people. Whatever changes we wish to see we have to make. The president has a country to run and he will do the best he can in ensuring our needs are met on a whole. However, we have to continue to work at home in making changes for our children, families, and communities. The same enthusiasm and fire that brought a record number of African Americans out to vote has to remain lit. We have proven that there is power in unity and whatever we set our minds to we can accomplish. I challenge everyone to take a stand in their neighborhoods in bringing positive change. If that means volunteering, helping a neighbor in need, starting a program to help keep our children off the street, assisting those with obtaining health insurance, feeding, clothing and locating shelter for those in need or whatever your heart desires, we can make a difference. President Obama is doing what he needs to do for the American people, now what are you prepared to do?