Category Archives: Manifesto of the Movement

Tired of Talking

Excerpt from “The Black Book”

“Untitled” (8/19/16)

“We need to have more conversations like this…”

This is a lie, and we should learn to spot it. Those conversations never happen, they are imaginary, like world peace and the end of racism. When you hear someone say this, you must apply the appropriate pressure:

When will we have this conversation?

Who will partake in this conversation?

Why are we having this conversation?

If they can’t answer this, then they don’t plan to talk. Those who do can become allies. This phrase is our way of verbally ignoring the truth. How many times must we talk about the same subject, before action is taken? The situation hasn’t changed since the last time we talked, so why are we still talking?

We discuss so we can learn, and eventually, act. Words that do not create actions are wasted gasps and empty promises. If we are to fight oppression, we must learn the language of the oppressor. The key phrases they carefully develop when they have no desire to answer. This is when we must use wisdom, and choose our own words carefully.

 

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Thoughts on Education

Excerpt from “The Black Book”

“Untitled” (8/19/16)

Does anybody else feel stupider after listening to Trump?

Anyways, I’m en route to Morehead City with my dad. It’s a bumpy ride (literally), but the trip has been smooth. We’ve conversed, a lot. Something that doesn’t happen that often, not because he’s absent or anything, but because we’re usually on different wavelengths. Today, we happened to be on the same, and our discussion led to significant discoveries. Firstly, I should take the time to write my own thoughts down in a way that is authentic; if you happen to share this, I want it to be original. Tonight, I’m writing about me, something that I don’t do often. Not directly, at least. Let’s start with my thoughts on healthcare.

I think when I return to healthcare I will be involved in the public health area. We’ve slacked away from seeing patients as people, reducing them to lifeless digits and diagnoses on a chart. I think this stems from what it takes to be a healthcare provider.

Question: why is Organic Chemistry a requirement, and not Sociology? I’d rather my doctor understand me more than my biochemical make-up (at least at the molecular level). After being played a fool by the application process, I realize it’s shortcomings (I understand this may come off as bitter, but I am purged of such mundane feelings; this is critical thought).

Question: why do we have standardized tests if we preach of individuality? These archaic tools for classifying the successful, and stragglers, are only testing our probability skills. Questions are roughly thirty words, answers are ten, and yet, a single textbook page can hold thousands of words. Education failed to evolve along with technology. A student can learn an entire semester of U.S. History in a week on their computer; yet, why do we have children who can’t read aloud in class?

Education has to incorporate the free knowledge bank-the internet-that we can easily access. My brief stints with teaching have taught me that student success begins with student motivation. The term “success” must also be redefined. We have cleverly disguised “motivation” as “passion”, and our generation adores that phrase. We all imagine a flame burning in our core, reminiscent of a distant star, however, we must also come to accept that “passion” stems from suffering. Does that mean tribulations have the power to elicit triumph?

Absolutely. It ultimately depends on how the individual utilizes the elements of his or her own circumstance. The college student who works two jobs and takes care of their siblings will appreciate their rewards, just as much as the one who is in school thanks to their parents checkbook.

We must do more than push students towards success, we must also pull them out of their struggle. By doing both, I believe we will be able to see the education level, and desire for knowledge, increase over the years.

Color-coded Curses

I’ve been cursed,

A hex placed on my soul,

Without knowledge.

I was forced to learn in school

That slavery was real, and that blood

Still flows through these melanated cells

How an entire organization of one mindset,

So brainwashed in their beliefs,

Are playing “who can pop a nigga and get away with it?”

My children, my unborn children

Whom I shouldn’t be imagining with my immature mind,

I already see shakles and rattles,

Food stamps and baby bottles,

Or dirty diapers and blood stained tees.

Our shirts have been the canvases for your painted hatred.

You power-hungry demons,

How you have cast the spell of fear

Now I can’t even look forward while driving,

Without staring in the rearview;

To look at those sirens,

The things that could be of nightmares

But they resound too loudly throughout the nights

For me to fall asleep.

 

I wander in my trance,

Not yet able to escape this illusion,

Mind too far stuck in the dream that we black have been in limbo

All these years

With our totem stolen so we don’t know the difference.

But, the thing about curses…is that they can be lifted.

It takes wise words, one preferebly found in an old book,

And an un-natrual expression,

*Pauses to let the police officer pass…*

Be still my heart, be still my heart,

I SAID BE STILL!

This reaction scheme we’re stuck in isn’t working,

Instead, we must respond

With calm minds and steeled hearts

What they don’t know is when the spell is lifted

And we catch a glimpse of the light

-Not like those above the abandoned homes,

Strained streets

And those upon the stage.

That light will be your bane,

The devil’s power has no hold over one who walks with God,

Don’t be afraid to believe

You will know the real you,

The one before the hex,

Before the branding,

Before the innocent blood was spilled,

For we are beautiful.

Eyes on the Prize

Excerpt from “The Black Book”

“Untitled” (9/24/16)

Cecil told me that he’s never been more scared at a protest. I initially thought of the unpredictable violence and how it could affect one, but that wasn’t the case. He was afraid because we were “not moving”. We united and took to the streets, but who were we following? “We looked like sheep, it looked like the perfect plan.”

I wanted to act shocked at this revelation, but that thought filled my head as well. It’s just as Ayn Rand stated, “the mob has no value, because there is no man (or woman) in the mob.” That’s what we were today, a mob of people, with no goal. Yesterday, I led the mob, today, I stood apart from it. At no point was I in the mob, I do not see myself capable of blending into the crowd. I must be my own man, and stand for my own values, not just the collective.  I admit that, within my heart, I felt nothing; we did nothing.

We didn’t disrupt the system, we didn’t halt the dollar; we peacefully marched through the streets of Charlotte on designated paths. We didn’t even go where we wanted to go! Instead, we were paraded by the pigs, or led by a sheepdog like lost lambs .

Last night, at the precinct, I met a woman from Ferguson. She told us of her trials, and then made statement that started some unrest. “Now that we’re here [at the station], we don’t need to leave, until they give us what we want.” What we wanted were the tapes (of the officer involved shooting of Keith Lamont Scott). Again, my heart called to me, and I agreed; but, the mob did not. They believed that more marching would bring them closer to their demands (I’m hesitant to classify them as goals, because I am not sure if they have any).

We’re never going to win if we just march. It’s an act that appeases the masses, but it does not change anything. We moved at night, where there was little inconvenience for the city, aside from minor traffic detours; we walked on Saturday, on the weekend, while the citizens stayed indoors and watched us from the comfort of their couches.

WE DIDN’T EVEN OPPOSE THE POLICE!

We didn’t get those tapes released. Just because we had numbers does not mean that we are a force. There is power in unity, but if there is nobody to direct it, then, what is the point of having power? So much wasted potential.  There has to be a more efficient way to stake our claim.

However, there is beauty in this. The protests tore down the dividing lines that the government has erected between its citizens. Out there, on the scorching streets, we realize that we are all one people, God’s children. If it wasn’t for the protest, then we wouldn’t have come together. We wouldn’t be energized and able to uplift the city from this tragedy.

The black fists instill in me a sense of hope. I believe the revolution, and combating the system, begins with black power. Everybody has black power, it is the revolutionary spirit that rages within all of those who have been victimized by the oppressor. That is the power we will use to win, but before that, we must set glorifying goals.

Will I be able to lead when my time comes? I can only pray.

 

New Form of Freedom

One of the most pressing obstacles in our fight for freedom is the amount of observers versus actors. So many are willing to pinpoint problems, yet who is brave enough to solve them? It is because we think the scale of this task is too great, or do we have too little care to embark on a journey towards solutions? The ghetto, it is a cesspool that America has forced our brothers and sister into, deprived them of necessary resources needed to survive, and armed them with the tools of their own destruction. There is no doubt about these places, and the horror within it, yet we must realize that the root of it is intertwined around the root of American society. The ghetto is doing exactly what America wanted it to do, and those observing are seeing the results of a properly working system built on enslavement (both ancient and modern).

In order to combat this we must seek “entirely new and substantially different forms of expression.” How many more years can we sit idle while conditions continue to worsen? The fight for freedom starts with us, and within our own communities.

  • “Black people must organize themselves without regard for what is traditionally acceptable.”

Traditionally, we have fought with methods that have, in the grand scheme of things, been less than effective; what exactly does marching through the streets at night do for us? Besides foster filial bonds with your allies (which is ideal). We are weak because we are divided. The proletariat soon discovered their strength when their numbers grew and they were forced to work with each other. We must do away with this hateful and competitive nature that keeps us, oppressed humans, apart. It is the goal of the oppressor to divide us, for division makes us weaker and we can be easily controlled when isolated. This is the reason we need organizations, ones that are strictly crafted and drafted by our hands. Only we know what our people desire, value, and seek; and it should also be us who bring them together over these shared ideals. It can be done because our struggle is universal, just disguised by the characteristics it takes, ex. threat of deportation=threat of mass incarceration.

  • “We should concentration of forming…and not wasting time on trying to reform”

American politics are too deeply rooted in racism and hatred to be truly reformed. Although risky, we must form our own; it is the only way we can hope to achieve political victory. By creating our own, within our community, we can aid our brothers and sisters. Oppressive America wants to keep us static and it is up to us to remain dynamic and achieve our freedom.

Our movement starts within the mind. If we want change then we must be willing to dedicate our lives to it; the day of change will never come if we do not make strides towards that future now. That begins with sound organization in a way that best represents us. With organizing comes control, and it through these two methods that w can seek change. We should control what affects our community; housing, education, banking, politics. All of these are ways that modern society defines our existence as a citizen so we must do our part and prepare ourselves. The system will not do this for us, for once again, it was built to produce the results we see today.

  • “It is crucial that race be taken into account in determining the policy of this sort.”

Race can either be a divisive factor or it can double as a bond. When I enter a new location for the first time, I unconsciously seek out other people of color.  Imagine if you fond them all at the top of the building? This isolation that we feel would diminish and instill within us a sense of hope; it is with this malleable hope that we can change from observer to activist.

Bibliography

Carmichael, Stokeley; Hamilton, Charles V. Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America. 1967.

Bodily Curses

Text: Black Skin, White Mask by Frantz  Fanon

I pose a question that may be considered dangerous if truly studied. Does the black (read oppressed) individual have a being, or is this philosophical entity solely for white (read oppressive) individuals. Think, a being is an individual that is birthed from nothing, and exists for itself. Through generational colonization, the black man was brought into “existence”-according to their values-from the white man, his original being died the minute the rusted shackles touched his skin. “Not only must the black man be black; he must also be black in relation to the white man” (Fanon, 90). What is it about the white world that makes us live the way we do? Our original beings are no longer alive, what’s left of our former selves are fragments that have been glued together by their world’s ideas of humanity. While living in the black world, we see glimpses of our beings trying to reconnect with us within this safety net. We become one with our essence, and come to appreciate the nature that thrives within our own realm; however, once we exit this illusion, we are cast back into reality. “The man of color encounters difficulties in elaborating his body sclera.” Truthfully I do not have a full understanding of this topic, but I shall nonetheless attempt to decipher the meaning. To be black means that you have a “bodily curse”, it is something that is forever evident to us. We are told truths about our skin, that they eventually pile up and interferes with our creation of a being, and in turn altering our relation to the world. “Now, they were beginning to be scared of me.” This “fear” is a penetrating force. When you are an agent of fear, it can dramatically alter your perception of the self. Along with this, another major factor is the belief that we are “responsible…for my race and ancestors. (Fanon, 92)”. A rather disheartening reality to accept but think how many times we are grouped into a category, deemed dangerous, and then treated with an appropriate manner? The white man is capable of dividing himself from other whites, thereby establishing his individuality, however, since black is already separated from the white, he must automatically exist as a collective. This “collective” has been exploited by all institutions of the system, but it also affects our chances of securing authenticity. In their eyes, we are all the same. Not only are we grouped with our brothers and sisters, but also with our ancestors. This is both problematic and beneficial for us. The white man fails to see our worth, for he still latches onto the being known as a slave: the lazy, uneducated, poor, expendable laborer that is completely dependent upon white salvation. We must seek a way to separate ourselves from the false stereotype. On the other hand, having a background to base our existence off of may provide us with a sense of purpose. Black’s may never have the opportunity to create a being from nothing, so we must find a way to create one from something, and even though it may have been given to us, it is up to the individual to determine how much of their essence they wish to extract from this “something”. We hail from some of the most resilient individuals, but resilience alone will not win a revolution, only radical action will. Knowing that we share the same blood with these “warriors” should give us an edge on those who define themselves based on material wealth. As we prepare the future generation, we must educate them on the being that they are capable of becoming, based on their skin. Creating goals, values, and desires that match up with the “something” that they were birthed from, as well as the ideal that rest within their own individual. There is a clear misrepresentation of blacks by the white man, and often this leads to severe consequences for the former, why? Because the black man does not hold the power of decision-a power granted only to being that have will. When the black man has the freedom (and free will) to choose and to decide, without interference from the white world, he will discover his being and his power.

Black Power: It’s Need and Substance

Text: Black Power by Stokley Carmichael & Charles Hamilton.

“A new group may have to fight for reorientation of many of the values of the old order.” V.O. Key, Jr.

Since society was not created for us we must ask the questions, they cannot ask, only answer.

Redefine Ourselves

  • Reclaim history + identity
    • This gives us a starting point for our place.
    • We can then create terms for our society, once we understand what it was.

The oppressor forces his world upon us, and we, the oppressed, have to accept it; in return, losing grip of our own. It begins with wordings.

Ex. English:Victory::Indian:Massacre or White:Celebration::Black:Riot

Labeling the fight is half of the battle.

WE must define our image and destroy the stereotype. If we conform to what the oppressor wants us to do, then we have failed ourselves. We must know our roots and culture, beginning in Africa.

As black Americans, we are able to sympathize with other colored races. We can serve as the bridge between others, since we all have similar backstories. Does it make immigration a black issue? Yes! Does it make unfair labor a black issue? Yes! Does it make xenophobia and religious prejudice a black issue? Yes! We have the ability to unite the other races, because we understand, to a degree, their struggles as oppressed individuals.

Political Modernization:

  1. Questioning old values and institutions.
  2. Searching for new forms of political structure.
  3. Broadening the base to include more, politically.

Why the middle class won’t work for blacks? It is only a mindset without the true values of the aristocrats. People hope to achieve a life based on the material goods they possess, and the closed communities that they inhabit. They’d rather live isolated than exposed to the truth, trading their right to “true liberation” for “safety and false comfort”.

Why we must question the middle class? Because it has become the backbone of the institutions.

Vocabulary

System: The entire American complex of basic institutions.

Structure: Specific institutions which exist to conduct the system.

“We must devise new structures, new institutions to replace these forms. ” (Carmichael, 42.)