Random thoughts of a free Black mind, v. 257


00-charlescherry2El-Hajj Malik el Shabazz – Malcolm X would have been 90 this week. I have four Black activist role models – Malcolm (Black people will bring our rights into existence “by any means necessary”); MLK (We must shift from a “thing-oriented” to a “person-oriented” society, among other quotes); Frederick Douglass (“power concedes nothing without a demand”); and Ghana’s founding president, Kwame Nkrumah (“Forward, ever; backward, never”).

What would they all say about us today, and the direction in which people of African descent worldwide are going?

In my humble opinion, Malcolm would be disappointed in the slow progress we have made to unify Africa’s resources, history, and ancient culture with Black America’s high levels of education and training and our history of intergenerational struggle. MLK would be disappointed in the blatant materialism and extreme consumerism that has captured our young people, and the general weakness of the Black church – which now focuses on prosperity and comfort.

Douglass would consider us too unfocused, distracted, and relaxed by Barack Obama’s election, and our unwillingness to “make a demand” of the Obama administration on behalf of our people. Nkrumah would be especially disappointed that his native Ghana, the “Black Star of Africa” and the first sub-Saharan African nation to achieve modern independence, has not unconditionally set out a welcome mat for Black people worldwide and is not leading the development of a United States of Africa…

Where are the Black cops? Ask Bill Clinton and Jeb Bush. The 1990s-era epidemic of incarceration, the continuation of the “war on drugs,” “three strikes you’re out,” zero-tolerance school discipline, and high-stakes educational testing has narrowed the career possibilities of Black boys and girls who have been criminalized, incarcerated, or flunked out…

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