I wish I had seen this before the meeting this past weekend so I at least could have publicized it, if not gone myself.
Amefika D. Geuka
MOVEMENT TO “BRING BACK BLACK”
Although there were detractors, the vast majority of Americans of African descent would no doubt agree that the tremendous turnout and show of support for the six young Black males and their families in the now infamous miscarriage of justice that occurred in the small rural town of Jena, Louisiana was a GOOD thing. We should give credit where credit is due to all the individuals, groups, and organizations that made the “Jena-Six” a “cause-celebre.” Michael (The “Bad Boy of Radio”) Baisden took promotion of the need to descend on Jena to support the boys ‘over-the-top;’ however, his efforts were probably matched by the less-well-known, but no less outspoken Black activists who permeate the “Blogosphere,” as many refer to the Internet. Taken together, these forces made sure that no person of African descent in America was left unaware of the travesty taking place in Jena. White America was made aware too, but most of them chose to remain in denial of the continuing persistence of racist practices in America.
Some of the criticism directed at promoters of the bus-in and rally reminded me of the build-up to the original Million Man March when pundits lambasted Minister Louis Farrakhan for having the audacity to summon 1,000,000 Black men to Washington, D.C. for a well-deserved tongue-lashing for our past failures to be real men to our women, and providers for and protectors of our children. Their voices and recriminations were muted however, when 2.5 million of us showed up on October 16, 1995! Minister Farrakhan’s call was for Black men to stand up and be men; he did not see fit at that time to call for creation of an organization. We were called upon to take an oath of commitment to be better men; and agreed to return to our respective home communities and join some organization working for the betterment of Black people. Further, we were told that if no such organization already existed in our community, it was our duty to start one! In other words, there could be no excuses for lack of substantive follow-up to the March. Hundreds of thousands of those men kept true to their word, and did as we had been challenged to do. The story of those successes has yet to be told, and is one of the chores facing our Movement to Bring Back Black after we give birth to the NATIONALIST Black Leadership Council (NBLC) on October 13, 2007 in Kernersville, North Carolina.
Promoters of the Jena-Six support rally did not claim that they were trying to create an organization. Their intent was to demonstrate to the “powers-that-be” in Jena, Louisiana that Black folks around the country were furious about what was being done to the six Black boys under cover of law and so-called justice. It stirred memories of days (we thought had) gone by, when law-enforcement and the courts themselves were the means by which Blacks were routinely persecuted and abused on the slightest pretext. Though we have not said so as loudly or with the same resolve as Jews about their holocaust, the sentiment many of us feel is just as strong, if not more so! The Jena-Six protest rally sent the message to racists and white supremacists, that never again will they be able to heap violence and abuse on us, and not be made to suffer any consequences.
Where Should They Go From There?
The question being asked in the aftermath of the Jena-Six support rally is “what comes next?” Where should the thousands who responded to the call to descend on Jena go next, and what should they do when they get there? This writer suggests that the Jena-Six” support rally be considered as having been a prelude to the Nationalist Black Leadership Council’s Birth-Giving Convention in Kernersville, North Carolina next week, October 11-14, 2007.
While the gathering in Jena was not intended to create an organization, there are few of sane mind who would not agree that Black folks need a vanguard organization, one that can fill the role provided by the NAACP during the “civil-rights” phase of our search for freedom, justice, and equality in America. That era ended with the “Brown vs. Board” decision in 1954, and subsequent passage of landmark civil rights legislation and “Executive Decisions” of the early 1960s. Since 1965 the dominant theme among those who have “led” or been leading spokespersons for the Black community has been their quest for the “holy grail” of integration and assimilation with Whites. They deserve credit for most of the ‘gains’ made on behalf of Blacks on their ‘watch,’ and must accordingly accept responsibility for losses we have suffered as well. In other words, they must accept the “bitter-with-the-sweet.”
So integrationists/assimilationists (I/A’s) deserve the lion’s share of credit for legal rights they won for Black folks, and the relative freedoms afforded by laws against discrimination that we operate under today. But they are also responsible for causing us to abandon our sense of self-respect and mutual support. We need to do a comparative analysis of the gains and losses that can be attributed to the leadership, direction, and guidance provided by the I/A’s while they were the dominant influence with the Black masses, and determine whether the results warrant a continuation of I/A leadership.
This writer argues that it is past time for the I/A’s to “pass the baton” to Nationalists and self-determinists to run the next leg of our people’s “relay-race of life.” Indeed, they have held onto the baton well beyond the “passing zone” in this metaphor, and thus allowed the Whites who organized the “meet,” to disqualify our entire ‘team’ from the race! It is now time for us to organize our own track meet, complete with our own rules; and make our own determinations as to who will participate in which events, and in what positions.
A “Shadow Government?”
The convention in Kernersville is designed and intended to do this. A new national organization comprising a close-knit coalition of like-minded groups and organizations will emerge from that unprecedented gathering. The mechanism will boast its own array of leaders and spokespersons whose only loyalty will be to the Black Collective, at home and abroad! The organization will operate as a ‘shadow-government’ to protect, preserve, and advance the best interests of Black folks collectively, just as the government of the United States is supposed to do for citizens of this nation. Just as this (U.S.) government prioritizes whatever it claims is in the “national interest” of (White) America, and the federation of National Jewish organizations does likewise for the Jewish community and the State of Israel, so too will the Nationalist Black Leadership Council (NBLC) prioritize the interests of people of African descent, “those at home, and those abroad!”
The NBLC will strengthen the Black Collective in a way that we will no longer be so vulnerable and susceptible to the vagaries and vicissitudes of white supremacists, racists, and hate-mongers. When this is accomplished, there will be fewer incidents where Blacks will be the victims of capricious behavior and conduct by those who do not respect our humanity, or believe that we have any ‘rights!” The “90-pound weakling” will have “morphed” into a hard body-politic capable of protecting its women and children from any who would do them harm.
From Reaction to Pro-Action
The rally in Jena, Louisiana was a justifiable reaction to the racist action taken by White authorities in Jena; our convention in Kernersville will be the latest in a series of pro-active initiatives taken by Black Nationalists, Pan-Africanists, and advocates for self-help, self-determination, and self-reliance from around the nation and the Black Diaspora. All who agree that we must move from being reactionaries to being pro-active and preemptive, should plan to join us in Kernersville, North Carolina October 11-14, 2007. That is especially true for those who feel that their participation in the Jena-Six rally left a void that needs to be filled, one that can only be filled by constructive ACTION to preempt and ward off attacks by those who would do harm to us.
Where will YOU be October 11-14, 2007, and what will you be DOING?