This is the year of a presidential election. Honestly, neither candidate has the answer to cure all of the problems amongst we the people.
As individuals, it is our responsibility to learn how to exercise our human rights. This lack of knowledge about our due process leads to generations of folks who end up dead, impoverished and locked up. On a sad note, there are factors that have formed many of the ill behaviors we witness in today’s society. It’s going to be challenging to bring communities of people who fall into this category on a level playing field with the masses of people who have been more privileged to human rights.
For example, let’s take a moment to zoom in on how some of America’s congressional representation has taken place in past years. I would like to travel back in time to when black people were considered three-fifths of a person. Of course, three-fifths is better than zero. It would have been more beneficial to slave owners for slaves to be counted as a whole human person, but the Northern residents would not give in to that notion.
However, the only reason this took place before the Civil War was to give Southerners, who owned many slaves, more Congressional representation in the United States’ House of Representatives. Residents in the South also received more electoral votes, which are votes used to select our nation’s president and vice-president. Electoral votes are cast by state representatives. Most representatives vote in line with the popular vote, but there’s no rule that obligates them to do so.
It is important for all people — but especially black people — to study this type of history to learn that it was strictly business that caused us to be treated as less than humans. Most of all, these practices still exist today. Business creates a legacy of wealth. We must understand these types of concepts to unite for change.
Marshall Talley is a young entrepreneur and native of Macon who owns Cheers, an event planning company. This business is a union of Fabartender, his bartending services, and Kimberly Juhan, his mate’s similar venture called Bartinis. Besides pouring up drinks, Talley is a community activist who aims to empower others. He has started a documentary and discussion series every Tuesday at 8 p.m. at the Fun House (Grant’s Eagle Nest) at 3115 Masseyville Road.
Each week an educational documentary will be chosen to view and a discussion in search of solutions to our nation’s concerns will follow the screening. Community leaders will be invited to help facilitate the dialogue. The public is invited to attend. For more information, call 478-318-0876.
Yolanda “Y-O” Latimore is founder of Poetic Peace Arts and director of Like Water Publicity, a media and booking agency, and a member of the Macon Arts Alliance board. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.