December 30, 2021

By Melina Abdullah


As we move into 2022 many will make resolutions…beautiful mind, body, spirit resolutions, resolutions to eat healthy, to exercise more, to spend more time with family, to meditate, to read more. We will envision more fit bodies, more robust bank accounts, stronger romantic partnerships, and more lucrative and fulfilling careers. And while each of these deserve our attention and energy, so too does our role in building a more beautiful and beneficial community and world. What if, along with the pledge to walk a mile a day, we each committed to join the Black freedom movement? What if we each set an intention to do one thing each and every day to struggle for the liberation of our people? What if we assessed our skills, resources, and gifts and gave deeply to the collective struggle for Black freedom?

This New Year may we assess and make commitments to better our minds, bodies, spirits, and community. It has never been more urgent. Those who cling tightly to old systems that keep Black people oppressed are working overtime. They are working to gentrify our neighborhoods and force us out of communities. Police are killing our people with rapid fire…LAPD more than doubled the number of people they killed last year, leaving 18 families with an #EmptySeatAtTheTable this holiday season. Pro-police forces are trying to spend educational dollars putting cops on campuses instead of the resources that our children need and demand, like more teachers, counselors, librarians, and nurses.

When we fight, we win. We can build collectively-owned Black community. The fight for the Crenshaw Mall, didn’t leave us with a Black-owned mall, but it did fund Downtown Crenshaw to the tune of tens-of-millions of dollars, which is being used to buy residential and commercial property for our people. In the fight for Black students, we won a $100 million investment in the Black Student Achievement Plan in LAUSD, with Students Deserve leading the charge.

Among a long list of victories, Black Lives Matter passed two important pieces of legislation this year aimed at massively reforming policing in California. 2021 marked a powerful step forward towards greater Black autonomy and power…because we struggled for it.

And we are not free. We are sure to get there when we all invest in the work. Please take stock, determine what you have to offer and invest in the work. If your gift is song, we need you to come to BLMLA’s #EndPoliceAssociations protest on Wednesdays and sing for the movement. If your passion is youth, we need to you to volunteer with Students Deserve. If you have extra dollars donate them to a Black-led, Black-serving organization like the Jenesse Center. (An entire list is available at As you make commitments to yourself this New Year, remember that you are an individual who is part of a community that needs you. May we all live the principle of Kuumba…to do what we can, in the way we can, to leave the world more beautiful and beneficial that when we inherited it. It is our sacred duty.

Category: Opinion