It's been an extraordinary labor of love to nurture and push this community forward this past year. There have been a number of members along the way, without whom this day would not have come for this site. Profound thanks go to you - you know who you are. Over the course of the past year we have attracted 324 members, although most have fallen along the wayside as is common in this medium. Nevertheless, there has been extraordinary energy, passion, and intellect shared here on a daily basis - which has truly made me proud.
My vision for this site was to create a place where informed black folks with opinions about the issues could come and find each other. It was to create a place whose foundation is rooted in positivity and a focused commitment to bettering our community. I believe that for the most part we have succeeded - although there is much that we can do to continue to grow.
By our second anniversary much will transpire in our nation. We'll know what's up with Affirmative Action. We'll pretty much know the long-term implications of the Iraq War. We'll know whether the economy took a turn up or continued to meander in weakness. Perhaps most importantly, things will be much clearer with respect to the next Presidential election. By now (May 2004) we'll probably know who the top couple of Democratic candidates are. We'll have a clearer picture of the impact that Al Sharpton and Carol Mosely Braun will have on the process. It is my hope that the WH '04 (White House 2004) forum will grow as the year progresses and become a vibrant and tangible resource for black folks to dialog about the race. If we believe that information is power, that forum could really make a difference. As with all things, time will tell.
Lastly, again, many thanks to all of our members! There are many moments when I am just filled with pride and happiness at the interchange that goes on here. Whether it is Vox eloquently waxing philosophic, or B. Bankins guarding his position on the Right, or Nykkii "keeping it real" in Our Lives, or Lofton letting everybody in L.A. have it, or JuneBug keeping the atrocities in Sudan on our minds, or EbonyRose holding down the Left, or jazzdog keeping us all honest, or Lea astounding us with her crystal clear writing, or ocatchings teaching us all how to be a straight-shooter, or msprettygirl sharing the travails of college life, or Nkechi sharing her soul through her creative writing, or ArabianQueen 'bringing the heat' from the Middle East, or Yummy turning up the temperature in Our Lives, or Len gracing us with her gentleness and warmth, or negrospiritual and Kevin41 and Faith and Jazhawk and Kweli4Real and Kraaal and all the other 'old timers' that keep this place hopping!!! - you all bring me great joy!!
Thank you. I really look forward to our second year together. Please help me make this a great year together.