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We shall overcome: Black historic messages of inspirations

JOSEPH ELLICK | 3/4/2019, 5:06 p.m.
“You will go through many trials and obstacles in life and I want to tell you it’s not because of ...

Black PR Wire

“You will go through many trials and obstacles in life and I want to tell you it’s not because of your heart, but the color of your skin. But just like people before your time, you will overcome.”

My grandmother told me that randomly one day when I was young, but I never really understood the severity in what she said. Growing up a young Black man, there are things that I wouldn’t have had the luxury of doing if there were not pioneers before me who paved the way.

Throughout the years, there have been many influential African American leaders who have made a huge impact in changing not only the Black community but also our culture. Fighting for the rights of others while battling the odds stacked against them, these three iconic pillars of history inspire me and set a great example on how to overcome and become great.

Muhammad Ali

Growing up rooted in sports, I always looked for someone other than my father to help me stay motivated. Someone who, no matter what’s in front of them, accepts the challenge and goes far and beyond expectations. That person happens to be the greatest of all time: Muhammad Ali.

He was a great inspiration because he stands for what he believes in and always remained true to himself. He told people to never give up and trust in their abilities. He became world heavyweight champion three times because of those things and even in a loss, he found a way to teach a lesson: “I never thought of losing but now that it’s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.”

What made him the greatest of all time is his fights in the ring, but also his fight for peace and prosperity in the world around him.

There is a quote I keep on my wall to remind me to stay humble and continuously help others in need.

Ali said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your house on earth.”

Ali is one of the first Black religious icons who devoted his life to the nation of Islam and advocated for equal rights for Black people daily. I’ll forever be inspired by Ali because I don’t think anyone else ever inspired so many people to fulfill their potential.

Frederick Douglass

As a young student in middle school, I began to explore my love for writing. I used to ask one of my teachers daily to read some of my pieces and she loved the way I was so opinionated. She gave me a compliment that resonates with me till this day saying I was a young Frederick Douglass.

When you think you’re down and out and there is no hope, the stories of Douglass will instantly give you hope. The mere fact that he was a slave who learned how to read and write shows how much he overcame.