In 2017, the number of African Americans killed by police around the country totaled 282 people. That’s 25% of the 1,147 killed in total. African Americans only make up 13% of the population which makes this disproportionate statistic by group of trained professionals beyond absurd. Along with the number of hate crimes jumping 20% from 2016, there was a white supremacist riot in Virginia on a college campus in America. There were a myriad number of elected officials fired for their public display of racism and most African Americans know there is no way to have access to data of the private acts of racism experienced daily across the U.S. The effects of this is so detrimental on the advancement of our people as a whole. The impacts include living in a constant state of grief, living in a constant state of fear, and coping with the the stress of dealing with it through a relatives and peers. Despite the numerous examples of the physical and mental war African Americans faced in 2017 alone, one might be surprised to find out how the culture as a whole simultaneously advanced in other areas and broke numerous records.
In 2017 alone, the number in Black businesses increased over 5% since 2015 reporting. The number of high school graduates in African American Community improved dramatically from 2016 and Harvard's Fall 2017 class made history as this is the first time since the school opened in early 1700s, the number of incoming freshman being predominantly people of color with African Americans making up 12%! In 2017, African Americans had many record breaking accomplishments; youngest to hold a position, first African American in history inducted into particular positions of authority. When it came to awards and entertainment, most of the accolades became possessions of many popular well deserving influences within the African American community! The year 2017 also marks the biggest increase in positive images of African Americans displayed within media platforms and websites. It is safe to conclude, that when African Americans have their back against the wall, the community as a whole will excel immensely.
While positive representation of the African American culture in popular media is relatively new, there are accurate depictions of how African Americans throughout history came together only to excel in the face of war. We can dwell and ponder how far we’d be if the playing field was leveled and even on both sides, or we can appreciate the lessons learned in the face of adversity and continue to strive to make sure our future children do not have to go through the same adversities we faced. It’s what our ancestors done before us while being at war and in war. African Americans in the face of war have always thought about the future and moved knowing that one generation plants the tree while another gets the shade.