What’s Driving Your Commitment to the Black Struggle?
You cannot completely explain commitment from a place of reason and rationale, because there will be times when commitment does not make sense. So, what’s driving your commitment to the Black Struggle?
I have learned that it is impossible to explain commitment, in totality, to someone who has not yet completely opened their third eye. You see, there will be times that reason says quit. There will be times that reason will tell you that the risks far outweigh the reward. If you lack the capacity to see into the spiritual realm, you can’t really honor true commitment, because sometimes what you see in front of you will turn you around.
I have been asked by at least five different people why am I fighting so hard for something that seems to be draining the life out of me, and the short response is:
“My great-grandfather (adopted & true father) told me to never quit, never turn around and never give up. He told me if I start it, finish it. I have three sons that have seen me do some rather extraordinary things, and they are watching me now. So, even though I am fighting for the black collective, I am fighting for them as well. I have four daughters, and two granddaughters who are expecting the family patriarch to set the standard of what women should expect in a man.
Look, I have been down before, and I have been counted out by many. It was a little over a decade ago that most of the people who used to sing my praise, wrote me off as dead, but I am still standing.
When I was 18-years-old, more than one person told me that my renegade mindset of non-conformity would ensure that I was unemployable, so over the subsequent 30 years, I started 44 companies, with each and every one turning a profit.
I was told that despite my exceptional writing ability, I could never get my books published and in front of my audience, because people are not interested in non-fictional books. Since then, I have published 16 books, with two more on the way before the end of this year.
So, when people look at me in the fight of my life, as I try to encourage young black men to be better than I ever was, or to inspire young black women to see the worth in themselves beyond their pulchritude and sexuality, and they suggest that I am stretching myself too thin, I simply look back over my life, and I realize that I am built for this.”
The truth is men love to be affirmed, and when people support your work it is a form of affirmation, but I learned a long time ago that there would be times in which the only person who could see and understand my vision would be me.
I love my people, and I love them unapologetically. I have found that thing for which I am willing to die, and I am good with whatever comes my way. I am committed to dying on “E.” I will not leave anything on the battlefield for the sake of comfort. I came to fight.
Last week, we mourned the death of one of the most inspirational figures in our history, Muhammad Ali, and today they are laying him to rest. While many have paid homage in their own way, I am a firm believer that the best way to honor someone you consider a hero, is by stepping out and living life they way they lived it. I cannot be Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey or MLK, but I am a beast at being Rick Wallace.
My greatest work is not accomplished behind a keyboard or video camera; it is accomplished as I sit in front of a young Black 13-year-old girl and tell her that she is beautiful beyond measure, and then realize by her response that she has never heard it before. Or, sitting in front of a young black 15-year-old male and telling him that there is nothing impossible for him, only to see him bewildered because my words are foreign to his life’s narrative.
I tell you what, those of you who say to me, you should quit right now because of the strain and stress associated with the vision. Allow me to ask you this question: If you have a daughter who has special needs and your child is being mistreated in school, and you are getting no where in addressing the issue, every expert or professional that you go to says they can help, but they want to charge you an exorbitant amount of money. Now, I am the only person that says I will help you whether you can afford it or not. Are you willing to tell me don’t worry about it, you have too much on your plate Mr. Wallace? Our people are getting their butts kicked in every area of life, and they don’t have time for us to get our stuff together.
I am at war, and I am not giving ground. Those of you who want to step on the battlefield with me, let’s ride. I love you all, but I have never pushed through a breakthrough by backing up because of discomfort, and I think I have done pretty good.
Finally, I am not functioned under the illusion that any one, family, friends or followers owes me anything, but I will say that your help would be appreciated. One way or another, I am moving forward.
For those of you who want to support the work that I’m doing, you are appreciated, and those who do not, I am still fighting. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace, Ph.D.