• Afro Social Centric

2020 the Blackity Black Blackest year yet and why it's not cancelled!

Image courtesy of Stephen Shames

Hello, welcome and congrats - you’ve officially made it half-way through 2020! And what a feat this has been! It was only a mere 6 months ago that you had all those plans, goals, and dreams of your #2020Vision- the best year yet. My weren’t those such simple, bright times among current conversations of canceling the whole year altogether.

In all reality, the first lag of 2020 has been a real trip- and not that relaxing one you’ve been planning. So real that we don’t even need to go through it again, a review is redundant as we’re still ‘in’ it. From one event to the next, this spring especially has been hea-vy! This is when we insert a lovely quote about how you can only go up after you’ve hit rock bottom. Or is it something about change not happening in one's comfort zone. Well, whatever it is, and whichever you subscribe to, no truer words have been spoken. This has truly been a pivotal year in self and societal awareness. We have learned how to survive after being deprived of our social calendars, work routines, barber/salon appointments, and IG worthy getaways. In this shift, we’ve gained our creativity, maintained connections, and became more intentional/mindful of our daily lives.

So much enlightenment was gained in 2020 amidst all the surreal fear, cherished toilet paper and Zoom link-ups.

We learned how to process and live with uncertainty and became (or really really tried) comfortable with the uncomfortable. Little did we know that the pandemic was lite work for what was to follow.

We here at ASC are mindful of your very beautiful, gentle, loving, strong heart and the trauma that is the constant description of black life under attack. And so, we will not replay the tragedies which have resulted in this new #BLM wave which, rightfully, focuses on white privilege and anti-Black racism, from its most overt forms to its most passive micro-aggressions. In the same breath, we gently acknowledge the countless well-known and quietly-known Black lives that have been unjustly and too quickly taken from our communities.

This is where we want to take a moment to recognize how powerful, unique and resilient you have all been even in your exhaustion and mourning. In the moment of complete and utter fatigue, pain and defeat, our people continue to move forward, among the ongoing oppression and the realization of the same.

We get up with a renewed strength, perspective, and fight within us- we remain resilient peoples. In reflection, twenty-twenty has brought about new air. It is heavy, powerful, draining, hopeful, exhausting, eye-opening, and it is now. We have been and we continue to experience what feels like a new time. A new wave. A renewed self-confidence. A different focus forward. This momentum will not be traveled alone. It has come like none before it and has collected us all in the process of a way forward.

Looking around, there has been much focus on what others can do in dismantling White Privilege. There is also much focus on attending protests, signing petitions, and sharing resources. Like you, we’ve wondered what this new move forward looks like for us and our beloved community.

What happens when the motivation is as challenged as those ambitious workout goals that lost steam somewhere between social distancing and banana bread?

Do we park the idea for the new year? Or can we as a community even afford such a luxury? You’re probably wondering, wait- is this post some call to action from the Black community? Have we not endured enough? Well, yes and yes! Your efforts are needed, your courage is important. To add to the collective voice, a loud voice is exactly what we needed at this time and the next. It is our opportunity to refocus on all fronts. To educate ourselves like never before on our history (the one written by us). To uplift each other by recognizing the diversity among ourselves is our unifying strength.

We are all Afro-Latin Americans, Afro-Asians, Caribbeans, Black Americans, Black Canadians, we are all Afrikans.

We are a unique and diverse people with much expertise, professionalism, creativity, culture, spice, and passion among us. And your recognition of us and efforts are needed most for action forward; an action towards economic empowerment. A collective commitment to increase the circulation of our dollar among our people. It is through economic empowerment that we will build stronger independent communities where we are acknowledged, feel valued, and are protected.

As a unified community, even this first step you will not take alone. Let us help you connect with that first or new Black-owned business. Did you know ASC has a free directory of Black-owned businesses? Can’t find something in our directory- there are more! Here is a list of some platforms that host black-owned business directories that you can access or share anytime. Follow them, use them, support them- there can be more than one of us out here to service all of you and your wonderful and unique tastes and needs. Our mission is to promote, support, and connect our community- there can only be winners in that equation. The rest is up to you, yes you, the one who likes challenges - remember #FliptheSwitch, #DontRushChallenge, #PillowChallenge - we like this energy. We’ve seen countless entertaining challenges gain momentum, trend high, and provide momentary feel-good times.

How much more exhilarating to participate in an ultimate challenge that’s empowering, adds much value and is life altering!

Here are 3 challenges that can jump-start that new found commitment:

The30DayBuyBlackChallenge is the Official Juneteenth 30-Day Challenge already underway, running from June 19th - July 19th.

#BlackOutDay2020 is going down on July 7, 2020 and encourages all Black people to not spend any money for a full day, with many choosing to divert their dollar instead to Black-owned businesses.

#30DayBEC is a 30 Day Black Economic Empowerment Challenge you can take anytime!

Feeling overwhelmed? You are not alone! So, start when you are ready, start to familiarize yourself, and go at your pace. We're looking for that lifestyle change that's sustainable- not trendy!

We hope this was a reminder that 2020 is, in fact, not cancelled- it’s revolutionized!

Now doesn’t black unity and economic empowerment sound SO much better than a Day Party?? (ok, sorry sorry, still touchy on this one we see- us too). But rest assured, next time we link up you know the connection will be elevated, the hair natural, the outfit black-designed, the DJ melanated, the vibes unmatched! Until then- we wish you much self-knowledge, gentle self-care, and deep self-love, “…because if you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else” - RuPaul

-Your ASC Connect

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