A Million CBMA Members

by Calou Beckford

On August 28th, 1963, more than 200,000 demonstrators participated in the March on Washington. The purpose of the march was to advocate for civil and economic rights. At the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic, “I Have A Dream” speech. It is estimated that 75-80% of the demonstrators in attendance were Black. What an amazing day it must have been. Could you imagine MLK’s view from the podium? Oh, what a sight it must have been!

As a youth, I remember seeing images of the march, and trying to wrap my head around the magnitude of the event. It appeared to be an endless sea of Black people and allies standing together, unified by a common goal. They sought to create a nation where men and women were judged by the content of their character, and not the color of their skin.  MLK’s words and the demonstrators’ commitment to human decency have reverberated through the generations following that legendary day. They were able to create a pivotal moment in history with only 200,000 people! Providing us with a prime example of an age old idiomatic expression, “There’s strength in numbers”.

Fast-forward from 1963 to the present - can you imagine one million CBMA members? Does it sound improbable or unrealistic? Or does it sound like next step in the Black male achievement movement? I would assume it all depends on whether you’re a “cup half-empty”, or a “cup half-full” type of person. Regardless of your perspective, take a moment to imagine the impact. 

​Imagine how many Black lives would be influenced for the better, imagine how many more resources we could allocate to impoverished communities, imagine how many opportunities we could provide for us, by us.

Often times, people get bogged down by day-to-day realities, and forget to use one of God’s greatest gifts—our imagination. In my new role, I will not forget to use this sacred gift. 

As the Membership Manger at the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, I would like to recruit, engage, and learn from one million or more CBMA members. Albert Einstein stated that, “imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution”. 2018 marks CBMA’s 10th anniversary, and I would like to help stimulate our progress, and support our evolution.  

There are nearly 47 million Black people in America. That means I have more than one million chances to build on our national network, and ultimately, improve the lives of Black men and boys. It’s an ambitious goal, but so was ending racial segregation. I plan to aim high, and if I fall short of my expectations, I’m confident there will be much gained in the process. Please support me in reaching my goal, by telling a friend to join the Campaign for Black Male Achievement!