Many years ago, I as Black man would have been limited in what I could aspire to do, what I could say and where I could go. Because of racism and prejudice, there would have been barriers keeping me from doing the simple things I wanted to do. In the past there were blatant separate systems established to funnel me in directions and facilities where others had decided (without my vote) I belonged. I would have had to go to certain restaurants to eat a meal and specific rest rooms (if even available) meant for people like me.
Thanks to the sacrifices and efforts of many, some who will never be recognized, I now have the ability to try to do and go wherever I want. I don't take that ability lightly. I try to honor those who came before me through aggressive and confident actions on my part when I interact with those who even now attempt to place barriers before African Americans. I want them to see, hear and feel the confidence that now exists in African Americans. The hateful ignorant words of others are just a feather I can blow away. Whatever they can do I can do. Fear is not an option.
Freedom to do as you want is very refreshing. The ability to say whatever you want is thrilling. Not all I say or write is politically correct. That is on purpose. Just having the freedom to express a thoughtful view is exhilarating. Considering that those African Americans who came before me often could not express their true views without fear of some form of retaliation. That retaliation sometimes would cost them their lives.
So now when I am asked why I express myself verbally, in writing or through actions, my answer is simple. Because I want to, I can, and I am. In honor of those whose sacrifices paved the way for me to do so.