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The Catalyst Project

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Turning a Page

Dr. Nilda Arduin, 2008

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Like others I have been struggling much of my adult years to find a "common demeanor" as a point of reference for our progress as Black people living in the free world today. It often seemed that, notwithstanding Bob Marley's efforts through his Redemption Song, as well as those of others, we were doomed to continue to live with either a chip on our shoulder or as second class citizens in the civilized world.

Obama's success as the first person of color to be nominated as Presidential candidate by one of the major political parties of the USA brought a new wave of hope for change for Blacks internationally. Obama transcended color, race and many other imposed barriers, whether envisioned or real. While he is being defined and categorized by the world as a Black man, his message of hope is without distinction of who we are. This gives reason to capitalize on his message of "Yes we can", emphasizing and pointing to a brother who may be defined by others, but by no means boxed in by the labels impressed upon him by the world.

Obama is the most vivid messenger of hope of our times, which we should hold on to and perpetuate as our "common demeanor" ! We need to hold on to the momentum, learn from it, and ensure that it is passed on from generation to generation. It is a turned page in the history of Blacks, whether one feels personally validated or not.

Though Black people in the New World are often chastised or chided for commemorating or wanting to commemorate the Abolition of slavery, regretfully sometimes even by our own, Jews have found strength and unity in the celebration of Pass-over for the past three thousand years, commemorating their passage and liberation from slavery.

On August 28th 2008 Barak Obama will formally accept the nomination of his candidacy as the nominee for what is widely regarded as the highest office in the free world, bringing into reality the vision of Martin Luther King Jr. pronounced in his acclaimed speech known as "I have a Dream". A Dream shared with the world exactly forty five years ago to the date of Obama's formal nomination as US Presidential candidate for the Democratic Party. As the Dream is about to become a historical fact, it provides us with the long searched for common demeanor of "Yes We Can" , re-affirming that all people are equal and equally equipped to answer to our potentials.

I therefore call upon all people of color to -without an apology- massively and publicly celebrate this august event as a symbolic day, and proclaim August 28th as a day for celebration and re-affirmation that "Yes We Can", and continue to do so every year from hence on; passing on the message of hope and determination to our children and the generations to come.

Visit my blog www.nildaarduin.wordpress.com to communicate and share your thoughts with me and others on this idea, while it is my hope that local, national and international organizations will embrace and endorse this movement in an effort to establish this moment of awakening and liberation as a worldwide annual event. A moment of awakening, as well as a day of reflection for people of all color and race to re-affirm, acknowledge and accept that the color of one's skin is merely cosmetics and not a determining factor of who a person is. Dr. Nilda Arduin June 10th, 2008