Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A Long Response To An Article

This article is very interesting to me on a few levels, besides my building a program to make our students ready for college, with an emphasis on HBCU, I'm also dabbling in the writing another novel that considers this very premise only expanding it to Black Nationalism on a whole, and as we know The Nation plays a major part in that. We all have recognized and been amazement by the amount of change that's taken place on the political landscape in the past 20 years. While we celebrate Obama and generally Black folk having advanced opportunities towards being progressive, in the 'hood those 20 years don't necessarily look unfamiliar, in fact they look very familiar; they look like they've always looked for some unfortunately. And it’s not just the 'hood, for many our world at large looks very familiar, when it comes to racism and justice progress seems to take two steps ahead, and then four steps back. There's still police brutality and unjust killings, race/sex/religious based killings and crime, Mumia and other political prisoners from that era are still locked up while racist murders go free, and while it seems that we're moving towards lifting the embargo on Cuba, we have politicians (both Black and white) still stuck in their ways of 20 years ago and unwilling to adjust to the times.

So while I understand that the necessary rhetoric and movement of Black Nationalist is urgently important, I think the question is how do the tactics evolve. I think the author’s argument about the Million Man March points to this. Not that I completely agree with her, however, there is the issue of continuing the momentum. The example of Obama’s first 100 days could possibly stand as sort of a road map to addressing this issue. He hit the ground running, and while many of us are already on the ground, some are nowhere near running and others (do to age/lack of young new blood or resistance to new technology) are continuing at that snail’s pace chipping away at the problems as they’ve done for the past 40 years. I make this point particularly because I know of grassroot level organizations that’s been doing their thing for years, but ask them for a simple email address and you damn near get a conspiracy theory about why they don’t have that or a cell phone. Now that may not be the norm, and I don’t hold them to fault on anything but point is it exists.

I say all that to say, I love the old school Civil Rights and Black Power movements, it’s hard for me not when I fancy myself a student of history, however there is a generational gap – much of which picked up steam due to President Obama’s election – that tends to break away from that spirit. That’s why I equate it all together, just like the movement away from HBCU by our students. The argument or dilemma is akin to asking “what’s the need or necessity for all that old school Black talk?” Which is like asking “what’s the need for community action?” when we know for a fact it’s needed and why. Or for that matter “what’s the point or need for HBCU?” Now while there are those of us knee deep in answers, those questions still remain and many of us feel and believe we have overcome so The Nation, Black Nationalism, HBCU, and much of what has traditionally been apart of our history during our sojourn here is passé. And I guess therein lies the opportunity for a progressive discussion towards evaluating and moving forward many of our old ways of addressing the same issues we face in this new day.

Now playing: Jackson 5 - I Am Love

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