Awaiting dawn, we stood side by side in the cloud of tear gas—no time for dreams or hopes, just awareness. Just before sunrise, our consciousness is present and clear. The night was not full of cries of pain but rebellion. This nation is beginning a new day, with the people on the streets. It is up to us to decide what our new day will bring.

We have become a nation where it is death for profit. The most profitable death is that of a Black man. While we have filled the streets over the death of George Floyd, there have been many more massacres over the past five years. There is still a generation who idealize the movement of the sixties. Wanting the young folks to protest the right way, we continue to hear the MLK parallels, yet with the passing of John Lewis, we must mention what they were met with. Also, the fact that many are still alive. MLK was murdered, and not for protesting the right way. Whatever way we protest, we will be met with violence. The only right way is to continue.

Our music long took a turn to promote the death of one another versus that of the system. However, there is a new sound in the air. While violence remains a constant topic, many artists have shifted to use their voice for change. It is of the utmost importance now that all Black art focus on the uplifting and promoting the prosperity of Black people.

While elders plead for us to fight the right way, this administration continues to show how villainous it can be. ICE has only become more reckless since the COVID-19 outbreak. The detention centers still keep families separated and children in cages. This president has unleashed his paramilitary force first in DC, now Portland. The law and order threat is now becoming a fascist reality.

With Biden being the Democratic nominee, I fear we may be putting our dream of justice on Obama’s memory. Electing Joe Biden will not bring about the change we are really seeking in this nation. Too often, we have been fooled to think that an elected official can deliver on the promise that this nation owes Black people.

No matter who we elect, the people must embrace what is next for our country. In the next ten years, we can decide where this country will be for the next fifty to one hundred years. We could be on the verge of eras’ like the Harlem Renaissance, or we could be headed into what could be worst than the Great Depression.

There is no time for dreams; the sunlight is here. We can no longer dream of justice; we must continue our demand for it. The nature of sunlight is one of revolution. It is not enough to wake; we must rise.