Opinion: Hope for a better future


Published: 06-22-2023 6:00 AM

Fisto Ndayishimiye is lead organizer for Change for Concord.

While I am seated here in my office across from the State House, I thought about the question of whether the local government has the agenda to celebrate and recognize the importance of Juneteenth.

I have begun to reflect and allow my conviction to guide my journey of learning and understanding the true history. The real question is, where does our community stand?

I had hoped that our city would recognize this extremely important day for American African people who were brought to the United States forcefully. Maybe I hoped too much. But it concerns me that there is no proposed agenda from the city government in recognizing Juneteenth, and yet we continue claiming that our community is a welcome space for all people. How could we allow this to happen?

If I had time to write about criticism towards Black people and our disconnection within our community, I would not be able to follow through with my daily schedule. But I believe it’s worth my time and it’s in my right to check on our government and hold them accountable for not prioritizing what matters to the citizens of this community. But I want to take a step back and recognize those that are invested in the work about ending the criticism, discrimination, and racism within our community.

The question as to whether we need to take direct action and engage in making changes is a reminder that we need to elect leaders that care about our history and all people. Maybe I should give the reason for why I am writing about Juneteenth, but I think we can all engage in education and understand the true history of the country.

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I am deeply concerned that we have become too ignorant that we have forgotten the history behind Juneteenth, and yet we still claim freedom. Where is freedom when racism is still alive and well?

This community still knows pain, this community still knows conflict, this community still knows discrimination, this community still knows racism. If one wants to make changes, one must speak up, engage in a conversation, ask questions, learn about our history, and celebrate and recognize everyone regardless of who they are. This day is an important day in our history, and we must recognize it.

Black people have been given promises for so long by false leaders. But now it’s time to recognize true leaders. A true leader must not only make promises to the people but also produce permanent solutions. We must remember what’s ours, we must remember to stand for our rights, and we must remember our men and women who had big impacts in this country. What would they do if they were here today? What would they remind us of?

I have hope, and there is a better future for the young generation only if we work together. I believe there is power within our young generation, and we will make it through for the sake of future generations.