As we enter into a new year and a new decade, it will be to our advantage to pay much closer attention to serious guidelines from some of our most brilliant and committed ancestral warriors.
In alphabetical order, they include the following:
Lerone Bennett, Jr. said, “The Black middle class can no longer avoid its destiny. The Black middle class can no longer avoid the necessity of redefining itself in terms of the needs of black people.
“It is necessary now for the Black middle class to become the servant of the Black community and not the mediator of the White community,” Bennett continued. “It is equally important for the Black community to judge individuals on the basis of their contributions.”
“Some men can write, some can fix cars, some can cook, some can raise hell; all the writer, the mechanic, the cook, the hell raiser, are all valuable because their skills are complementary and not contradictory.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “This plea for unity is not a call for uniformity. There must always be healthy debate. There will be inevitable differences of opinion.”
“But Negroes can differ and still unite around common goals,” King said. “This form of group unity can do infinitely more to liberate us than any action of individuals. We have been oppressed as a group and we must overcome that oppression as a group.”
Dr. Carter G. Woodson stated, “… The race needs workers, not leaders. Such workers will solve the problems which race leaders talk about and raise money to enable them to talk more and more about.”
“When you hear a man talking, then, always inquire as to what he is doing or what he has done for humanity,” Woodson continued. “It may be well to repeat here the saying that old men talk of what they have done, young men of what they are doing and fools of what they expect to do. Our race has had a rather large share of the last-mentioned class.”
Afro American unity
Brother Malcolm X expressed, “Basically there are two kinds of power that count in America: economic and political, with social power deriving from the two. In order for the Afro Americans to control their destiny, they must be able to control and affect the decisions which control their destiny: economic, political, social.”
“This can only be done through organization,” Brother Malcolm said. “The organization of Afro American unity will organize the Afro American community block by block to make the community aware of its power and potential.” The question is whether we are intelligent enough as a group of people to follow the guidelines of our ancestral warriors.
A. Peter Bailey’s latest book is “Witnessing Brother Malcolm X, the Master Teacher.” Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.