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Every year has a cycle. And the Black community is presumably more aware of the ebbs and flows and turns of the tides more than any other because our brand of oppression has been so blatant and violating since the beginning of the formation of America.

Not only does COVID-19 continue to mold our new understanding of normalcy, making our baseline of living even more inconvenient and full of minefields in regards to closeness and community, but this pandemic has fallen upon a presidential election year. Debates have been executed and the campaign trail has morphed into a road of health risks wherever people gather. Mail-in ballots are said to be inefficient even though it is the only way for millions to cast their votes.

We must sow seeds now with foresight that the future, though unknown, can open doors for the Black community to become even more motivated to overcome the troubles and struggles of voter suppression. If we can succeed at getting our votes counted now, we’ll attain the keys to future success because we’ll have continued to push through the barriers that threaten to stop us from having our voices heard and our votes included.

If we can power through this election year, the next four years may possibly be easier and if they are not, we’ll have learned many lessons on how to cast our votes through treacherous times. It is true that we’ve in some ways been here before with the civil rights era, the fight for Black voting to be legalized, but we’ve never before seen a pandemic of such proportions. There’s no precedent or rulebook. We have to make our own way for the future as we always have. Planning, scraping, organizing and surviving so that we can pry open the doors of fairness and inclusiveness that will allow us to vote like every other American.

It is true that all Americans are worried and without a doubt overcome with new responsibilities like homeschooling and remote work, making all of us vulnerable to the temptation to avoid the complexity of this voting season.

We’ve just got to be future-minded and know that voting is now more important than ever. No one is going to force us, we have to be accountable as individuals and partake in whatever resources are offered to help us complete this overwhelming task. Cast your ballot, take part in your rights, and if you can support others so that we can come together as a community and show the world what we’re capable of: unity and cultural accountability.

We may be quarantined, making many of us essentially alone, but we don’t have to be alone in this. We can join one another in moving towards a stronger and prepared nation and Black community. We can prepare for the worst and realize that in the coming years, we’ll rise to being our best.