How We Became A Generation Of Leaders

Protestor gather in Wynwood in support of black lives on June 5, 2020. Jesse Fraga/PantherNOW

Frederick Aurelien/Staff Writer

For the past four months, glaring myths, misfortunes and calamities have shaped our current predicament. 

From the global pandemic to the devastated job markets and the protests and riots occurring in cities throughout the world, it is obvious that we as a people are currently suffering a great deal. Like any tragedy however, this conjunction of experiences has laid the foundations for what may be a new age of consciousness, connectedness and possibly revolution.

This moment has changed us, and I mean that in the most radical way. Generation Z is experiencing their watershed moment in history, and because of it, I am willing to bet that in the next 10 to 15 years we will witness leaders and movements arise in America—movements we have not known since the great black socialist movements of the 1960s.

I can make this gamble with some certainty because I myself am not the same man I was four months ago, or even one month ago. Mentally, spiritually and psychologically I’ve changed. 

The anger, confusion, sickness and rage that enveloped my mind in the beginnings of this ordeal has without a doubt, transformed me, but this phenomenon is not unique to only me. This is a shared experience amongst young people all over the world right now. 

The political and social conditions of our society have forced the rapid creation of not only political activists, but political and social revolutionaries in every dimension of society. 

I find peace knowing that in an age of ultranationalism, racism and overall xenophobia, there exists another extreme: love.

When we see Americans of different ethnicities, creeds and colors protesting in all of the 50 states, we know this to be true. When we see mass demonstrations in places like London, France, Brazil, South Africa, Hong Kong, Tokyo or Australia (just to name a few), we know that the collective is pulling the destiny of the world into a particular direction—an unknown, if you will.

I find peace knowing that in an age of ultranationalism, racism and overall xenophobia, there exists another extreme: love. We are watching a generation of leaders be forged in the crucible of this moment, but instead of reading about it in school textbooks, or watching it on a Netflix documentary series, we’re the ones sitting in the driver seat this time. Aren’t we? 

As we take up this fight, know that we have centuries of struggle and sacrifice on our side. Know that countless human beings before us have laid down their lives for the building of a greater world, a world based on equity, equality and justice for all people. These warriors have both directly and indirectly made this moment possible, but now it is up to us to seize the opportunity before us. 

We are now writing out our chapter in history, and it is no stretch to say that the fate of the world depends on the will of this generation. Of course, no future is guaranteed, but I am especially optimistic about the prospects of this one.


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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