I do not choose for even my Brother to keep me. It is my right to be independent, when and wherever I can. I seek equal access to opportunity . . . not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, insecure and dependent, by having the government look after me.
I want to take the calculated risk . . . to dream, to have visions and to build; to try, to fail, and yes, to develop by learning from failure. And most of all, I’m willing to take a calculated risk to succeed.
I refuse to trade self-initiative for hand-outs. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of achievement to the enslavement of government subsidy. I will not trade my self-initiative for benevolence; my right to succeed for generous gifts; nor my dignity for a hand-out.
Afraid? Yes!! For to fear the unknown is human. But, I will not allow that fear to stop me from fighting for, sacrificing for, and-yes-even- suffering for my right to be a man and to make it on my own. For as the great Abolitionist, the late Frederick Douglass once said, “To want progress without suffering is like the farmer wanting a good crop without plowing the field.”
God is my master. Therefore, I will never cower before any so-called earthly master, or bow to any threat of taking away from me my God-given creativity . . it’s my heritage to enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say “This I – not the government, not some foundation, but I – have done for myself, my family, my country and for the human race.”
I have been ordained by God to stand erect with pride and self-respect – not only to think, but to act out my ideas with my life. Above all else in life, I demand. But I only demand equal access to opportunity. With this I – I said, I – am not and will never be poor!!
This I have done for the millions of disinherited human beings . . . . . . for you and for me . . . through the length and breadth of this earth, because I am a creation of God, created in God’s own image. Which does not mean I can make it if I will; but means I must make it . . . because after creating me, God gave me dominion over the earth – which includes poverty, which includes illiteracy, but most of all includes apathy, complacency and the lack of will power to succeed.
These manless evils command me not. But I do command . . . for you and for me, because truly this is what it means to be a humane American.
By Rev. Hosea L. Williams
Organizer and Leader of the Famed Forsyth March
“Live a Great Life” – Hosea