25 Oct 2016

By Jerrilyn Goodwater

Ecclesiastes 3:1 reads, “to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

Living in New England, we are familiar with the four different seasons; winter, spring, summer & fall. These seasons are marked by specific weather conditions, temperatures and length of the days. We have winter with the colder weather and snow, spring with the blooming flowers, summer brings our warmer weather and fall with the colorful foliage. We realize that people do different things in preparation for each season and also in response to the conditions, pressures, stresses of the season. This is also the case with the seasons in our lives.

Ecclesiastes 3:2 reads, “a time to be born, and a time to die: a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.”

In the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, the scripture goes on to demonstrate there are many different seasons in one’s life. If we look back at our history, the history of African Americans, there were seasons. There were times that our ancestors did things based upon what was going on in the world and the pressures they experienced. They held marches, sit-ins, demonstrations and boycotted. Through the struggles of our ancestors, we gained ground in our struggle for equality. We gained the right to vote!

As we approach the upcoming election, I want each one to take a look at the season we are in. See what is going on around us and think about how we should best prepare. How can we prepare for a season when our Black men are being shot and killed by the same ones authorized to protect them, when our children are being shot while playing with toy guns? How do we prepare for a season when candidates running for the highest office in our country are spending more time saying derogatory things about women and other minorities than addressing the issues facing our country?

Ecclesiastes 3:7b reads, “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.”

I propose that we as Black women are in a season that calls on us to NOT be silent anymore. We are in a season in which we ought to make our voices be heard. I propose that we are here for such a time as this. If we are to make a difference, then it must be a season of action, calling us to speak. It must be a season calling for us to speak up and speak out. If we are to be a part of the change, then it is a season calling on us to “Lift Every Voice”. Let’s help lift every voice through the vote!

Black Women had the highest voter turnout in 2008 and 2012 over any other demographic group. The power of the sistah vote is very real and can only happen when we collectively galvanize our power and show up to the polls in force. It’s our season, our time now.

I look forward to seeing you at the polls on Nov. 8.

Jerrilyn Goodwater is the mother of two and the wife of Rev. Issac Goodwater, pastor of Emmanuel Church of God in Christ in Norwich, CT.
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