In the “Subtractive Color” theory, it is believed that black is the sum of all colors combined. When we imagine black, do we only see this solitary shade, or do we see brown, red, yellow, tan, white? All of these are involved in the creation of the color black; if one is missing then we do not have black. In short, black is the unity of all colors.
The term “Black Power” was used heavily during the Civil Right’s Era, and continues to be a prominent phrase today. This phrase, along with the raised fist, represented the solidarity and progression of the black race. Today , I am to give this powerful term an updated definition, one that ties in the color theory. Instead of dividing ourselves amongst race (a societal construct), we must include all of the oppressed individuals when we say “Black Power”. This term is an expanded umbrella, capable of shielding all of the “revolutionary organizations” within the various ethnic groups. It can become a unified banner, worn in times where cohesive action and collaboration are necessary. It is vital that allied groups are allowed to remain autonomous, and able to grow their own power. The core of Black Power must be something that all can agree on, and wholeheartedly support, what then is the goal? Freedom.
Not only in the political sense, but freedom from the mental strain that oppression pushes on us. This is a tangible goal that can be attained before conflict is even reached, but it will take an effort to keep this alive. Individuals must, first, be educated on what is mental freedom, or liberation. What good will it do if they are not exactly sure what they are chasing? It must be understood, and simultaneously, employed into the daily lives of the activists; only then can they become a proponent of change. Then, how do we teach liberation? Who among the masses has an understanding of mental freedom? The artists of our age.
Artists have always been a driving force for revolutions. Writers, poets, painters, photographers, etc. have found a way to transcend the shackles that society placed on their brains. The duty of any teacher is to educate the student on a specific subject, in this case…freedom. I am unsure how one can teach freedom of the mind, but if it can be learned then there must be a way. The answer may potentially lie within the product of the liberated mind, art. If art can make one feel, and think, then it is the best tool we have for teaching one to be.
After educating individuals on these values it is necessary to then find ways to implement them in a positive and progressive manner. Once the values are more than just words on a document, then we can officially organize. The organization should be filled with leaders at every level; individuals who wish to hold a position must represent the organization (professionally and personally). Those who are morally corruption do not deserve a position for they will bring down the morale, this does not mean the organization is capable of making morally questionable actions. Acts such as these will be necessary one day, and leaders must be willing to shoulder the responsibility. Not only must leaders be sound, but general members should be as well. Each must have a true desire to be there, they must be willing to give every effort they have to fight for their cause. If they are unsure, then work with them to develop their assurance, but do not cast them as an ally until then. When organizations are finally developed, there will be no room for fickle individuals who will abandon the cause when it comes into conflict with self-interest.
Upon organization, the next ideal step would be to strategize and create tangible coals (short and long term) to combat whatever forces may arise. Some will focus on education, the economy, housing, intraracial and interracial violence, politics, armed defense, and healthcare. The two branches that all organizations should put their initial efforts into is protection and literature, pens and swords are the tools men use to fight each other. If we are able to cover both fronts then we stand a chance.
Once the foundation of an organization is established, and goals are defined, it must dedicate every effort to always represents its individuals. A checking system must exist. In that area I have little experience so my opinions will be greatly limited and implied. After this has been properly implemented, then it is time for organizations to recruit members. Doors must always be open for any activist to enter, but it will take understanding of the values for them to be granted membership. If this cannot be done, then we must question their motives. We are not creating a faction that is for the weak or confused, this is going to be a shield for those who desire protection, a tongue for those who are unafraid to speak, and a home for those who are lost. When one enters the fight, they must be prepared to apply it to their life with every breath. By focusing on our goals and setting new ones, we aim to create a lasting force that will continue to propel itself through generations; in order to do so, we must recruit from all ages and walks of life. Invitations should be extended to elders and children, it is vital that we always keep our eyes on the youth for they will one day become our greatest ally or toughest opponent. Allow them the opportunity to voice their qualms without resistance, and extract lessons from the tales of seasoned veterans.
In closing, I ask the reader, what more should an organization that has not yet formed desire? The only option left is to continue to develop this idea so that it does not die on paper. Make this your cause as an activist, and do not give it up.