I listened to a recent YouTube video of Dave Chappelle speaking at Allen University in Columbia, SC. I didn’t realize Dave Chappelle had roots from my home state but I was pleased to find out a little about his family history which is from a town I spent around five years of my life; learning, growing and becoming much of who I am today.
What I became fascinated by more than his story, was his speech. He spoke about how the things we do in one lifetime affect latter generations and how good vs bad somehow has been replaced by better or worse. But there was another phrase stood out. Dave said: “He [great grandfather] built, more importantly than a community, he built a way.” It was so eloquently put: he built a way.
That phrase has stuck with me and made me think about my life, how I live it and how what I am doing right now should be about building a way for me, my family and those who come after me. If you think about it, civil rights leaders/workers, slaves, abolitionist, entrepreneurs, our ancestors, our parents, etc, etc have done just that…built a way—physically and literally. It’s amazing to think about where my life would be if my mom hadn’t sacrificed for us to live in and me to grow up in a good home. More than the physical property, she built a way of living that influences not only how I live but what I want to strive for going forward.
Building a way for me means forging a legacy that offers opportunities for future generations and being conscious enough to understand that to build a way is the only way to create a life of freedom…