Take a deep breath. The end of 2020 is in sight. Whooo-saaaah!

We’ve reached the 12th month of this year and nothing seems real. Handshakes have disappeared. Eating buttered popcorn at the movie theater is a distant memory. Some can count on one hand the number of times they’ve hugged their mom or dad.

This year is certainly one for the history books.  The COVID-19 pandemic is dire. In November, the death toll for the coronavirus cost 1,707 their lives in just one day. At that rate, this invisible foe is killing at least one American every minute of the day … and counting. 

Global Black Lives Matter protest also occurred following the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor in response to police brutality and racial injustice. Hate-filled people spat in faces of everyday people who do not look like them. And nationally, four Black men were found hanged during a three-week stretch this summer. Tree lynchings in 2020!

To not weep for humanity in these gut-wrenching times is hard.

Locally, we grieve the loss of UMOJA Magazine’s beloved publisher and self-described hellraiser. So many, including myself, remain disheartened because our Village Mother could not receive a traditional homegoing service due to gathering restrictions and health concerns amid this apparent unrelenting coronavirus outbreak.

With an air of despair creeping across this country, I wondered whether UMOJA readers were struggling with reasons for being hopeful when faced with saying goodbye to 2020 and welcoming a new year? In addition to prayer, I turned to the big guns for help and when straight to Mr. Keep Hope Alive ꟷ  Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. ꟷ for answers. The Civil Rights giant has played a key role in almost all movements for peace, empowerment, gender equality, and economic and social justice. He inspired me years ago to be a committed voter.

Read Rev. Jackson’s thoughtful insight and guidance for keeping hope alive.

Bishop Eugene S. Johnson, senior pastor of Madison and Beloit Pentecostal Assemblies, reminds us that a new day is coming! Meanwhile, we revel in the historic 2020 Election win of Kamala Harris as Vice President-elect of the United States and enthusiastically applaud trailblazer Nia Trammell, who received her robe when sworn in as the first Black woman to serve as a judge outside of Milwaukee County. 

There are many reasons to smile when thinking about the past year What I know in my heart is that the joy of Christmas is not store bought. Joy comes from within. Grab hold of it, an treasure it. As we gratefully close out 2020, the UMOJA staff and board members wish you a safe and healthy holiday season, and a joyous New Year.