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Thinking Through Our Crises

African American news on crisesAs we near the close of another month, the crises in our nation continues to affect each of us. Now more than ever it's time to focus on the present as well as the next decade of decisions that will measure and determine the outcome of a new and upcoming generation. When I was 10 years old, my father continued to make strides that would affect our family's economic security and basic stability for the ensuing decades. The decisions that he and my mother made then still benefits us to date; however, a new generation is upon us.

My oldest niece will begin her last year of secondary school this fall, and my daughter continues to matriculate through primary school. This generation continues its growth and development as they prepare themselves and compete in a new era for jobs and social engagement. I have mentioned before that my generation finds itself inheriting the struggles of my parents; this is all the more apparent with the recent news about Texas legislation passing measures to rewrite its educational curriculum. Historical facts may undergo revisions which likely would challenge the veracity and historical validity of events like the 'middle passage' where African human cargo made its way across the Atlantic ocean, bound for slavery on American soil. There is a responsibility to speak truth to power.

A torch is being passed to the generation that is oft times called "Generation X" of which I am part. We live in serious times which demand serious thinking, strategizing, prayer and trust in God. Never before has America witnessed such heightened turmoil, threat, and de-stabilization.

Today, there are more non-traditional-alternative family structures that challenge us and soon will outnumber the traditional family structure. Normative ideas are being replaced with relativism. When I was 10, it was an unimaginable that 10 year old elementary school kids would have mobile phones on their persons. Times are a-changing, and responsibility is ever more important. Video and audio technology both comfort and, at the same time, cripple us. Thinking through our crises, both personal and individual, will be my generation's immediate calling. The voice of the Lord is beckoning us: As it is said, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion" (Hebrew 3:14)

[Dr. Jamal-Dominique Hopkins is Scholar-in-Residence at St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Atlanta, GA and is a Professor at the Interdenominational Theological Center also in Atlanta. He is the author of "Ecclesiastes" in the African Bible: Reading Israel's Scriptures through Africa and the African Diaspora (Fortress Press), 2009, and "Duty or Responsibility? The African American Evangelical's Identity" in the Journal of African American Christian Thought 1 (2009). Hopkins is available for preaching, lecturing, speaking or conducting workshops or seminars. You may contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .]


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