The St. Petersburg Branch NAACP is reeling off of a very successful 2017 Freedom Fund Celebration, but many are asking what’s next? Meaning what is next in our community’s pursuit of changing the narrative about how we see ourselves as a community of people of color, or will we simply pat ourselves on the back and continue with business as usual.
What is next in establishing expectations of excellence that regardless of the size of our events or our event’s purpose, will we take great care in ensuring our messaging and marketing is meaningful and purposeful or will we be content in throwing something together and expecting the community to support it with their limited resources?
What is next in our pursuit of ensuring that whenever possible as individuals, organizations and churches, will we be intentional on supporting the businesses within our communities, or will we continue the excuse that we can’t do business with our own?
That notion continues to perpetuate that we are not professional business people in spite of the NAACP’s successful encounters with over 20 African-American owned businesses.
What is next in our pursuit of acknowledging and exalting longtime and committed service, or will we be content in just acknowledging our close circle of friends?
What is next for the more than 20 African-American business owners that rose to the occasion when given the opportunity and access to perform, or do we simply pat them on the back and revert back to the notion that our white brother’s and sister’s ice is colder?
One whom I look to for wisdom in many life situations is Malcolm X, who said, “There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.”
Over the last 20 months, the St. Petersburg Branch NAACP has taken its defeat of being suspended and used it as an opportunity to do better. It is within that spirit that we hope those that attended the 2017 Freedom Fund Celebration use as a model of our obligations to do better!
Maria L. Scruggs, President, St. Petersburg Branch NAACP