Friday, July 17, 2009

The End Of The Road For African-Americans, Part 1: There Is NO "Black Community"

This essay is contained in my new book. I'm delighted to announce that The Sojourner's Passport site has launched! You can visit it at http://www.sojournerspassport.com/.

Everyone, I can't thank you enough for your ongoing encouragement and support; I truly appreciate it. Your support is what made this possible. And here's a special shout-out to my web designers at Educo Web Design. They're nice people to deal with, and they do outstanding work!

Peace and blessings,
Khadija Nassif

17 comments:

rainebeaux said...

I always sensed that the quote-unquote black community died before I was even born. The longer I read the empowerment blogs, the angrier I get.

I look within (not just into self, but the immediate surroundings), then work my way out based on what I've read.

Roughly translated, it's every sista (and child/ren when applicable) for herself at this point, is that correct? Based on your archives (and your fellow bloggers' essays as well), I need to get in where I fit in, educating self and my child as I go.


I wish I had more to add, but all I can manage is ugh.

Halima said...

Yes Khadija, you have laid it out.

even in school we are taught the characteristics of living things so that we can compare and determine what is living or not, pure 101.

As you have listed, we can look at what attributes exist in real communtities to determine if what we term the BC is a reality.

Internal control and internal structures are a key attribute of any community, none of which is evident within the so called BC. Indeed how can you call yourself a community and take all your orders and instructions and be organized essentially from outside, how indeed can you be described as a community.

At worst Bc is a warm romatic notion that we use to comfort ourselves and at best there are little pockets of bc dispersed within this larger bulk of unanimated blacks (incidental or accidental BC), and maybe those active black micro communtities need to find and form links with each other. Maybe they need a reservation or a colony like the Amish (those folks were onto something i think).

Sometimes I do mental exercises around BC issue not that I hold out much hope, but just because I like analysis. Anyway on one occassion I was telling a freind, 'The fight for Equal opportunity is not the same as that for black advancement'. She was all about putting energy into anti racist activities and 'free XYZ' and 'Justice for ABC'.

many of us assume that if we fight for black folks to have equal opportunities and equal treatment etc, and if we we fight to eliminate discrimination then automatically the BC will be uplifted and move ahead. the truth is that the self hatred and absence of ethnic pride among blacks for themselves will mean this equal opportunity will be used as a passport to straight up distance from blackness. You have talked at length about this.

And as you can see, all our structures and leaderhip has become a vehicle geered towards fascilitating and enabling equality for individual blacks lol! It is so evident with NAACP, PUSH etc and how they get animated by acts of aggression against individual blacks. Thats your evidence right there.

All they are doing is opening the prison gate for each black person (usually male) to escape and never look back even to help others.

As for escaping blackness, you need look no further than the caribbean community in UK. A recent report from a race watch body has indicated that the carribean community has now reached tipping point. there are now more mixed race children born than black children. so anyone can do the calculations as to how long that community has to exist baring immigration. We are looking at no significant Carribean community in the uk in next 100 years, if immigration is slashed. Already magazines, Tv etc, reflect this trend.

And then one of my black freinds was on the 'we bw and bm must sit down to dialogue' trip again and I emailed her the report. When I saw her again she was shell shocked. BW have blocked their eyes and ears, refusing to see what stares them in the face and continuing to recite the mantras of yesterday SMH.

Someone needs to set up a school to teach black women how to keep step with reality, how to observe and understand whats going on. Either that or set up a brain center, because bw have had their brain systems scrambled so much, they think they are living in 1950s and they are running around touting 1950 ideas and solutions when we are 2010 nearly.

I said to her, 'dear do you see why I say to you that the dialogue stage has passed and passed like some 25 years ago, why you were careful not to notice.' She just looked at me!

outside forces can indeed produce a sense of community ( eg jim crow), but after all that, the test comes when the conditions have lifted and what happens then. It is clear what happened with the BC.

Halima said...

just to add something else

Once while working on an equalities project, an asian man came in to visit the project to see if we could do some partnership work together for mutual gain. This man gave me one of the clearest ideas of how functioning communtities work and it isnt all happenstance the way black folks do it.

His partners would more of less 'swear' an oath that once they came into some money/resources, they would take on some other struggling partner and when those had stood, they too would continue on the assistance.

Once you agreed to the terms, the whole group would, 'mobilize' on your behalf, getting you contracts, funds, property etc etc.
Apparently they had decided to expand beyond their asian group for political/PR reasons hence his visiting us to sound us out.

My mouth fell open as he shared their MO.

but i now undertand why his community's social indicators are even better than those of the indigeneous white population, with their children out performing whites on all levels.

....and blacks would have a celebration to have indicators that are par or just below those of whites lol!

Aphrodite said...

Hello Khadija,

I went and googled Claud Anderson when you mentioned him prior to this post.


I haven't read his books yet, but I read through some of the newsletters on his site and I must say that he was amazingly brilliant to see all of this coming waay back then.

I was amazed at how he broke down a lot of the strategies that were employed to allow this:

"All across America, Black neighborhoods are administered and governed by Whites, even in cities where Black elected officials are already in place."

to occur.


It blows my mind when he shows various points in history where AA's had clear opportunities to dominate and make sure that needs were met and people intentionally/willingly did things that shot themselves in the butt.


I don't understand.



"Not one Black neighborhood in America has a Black business economy upon which its members can depend to supply its residents with their daily necessities, products, services or jobs.


The burden for establishing and enforcing a code of conduct typically falls upon the shoulders of the community's basic institutions: the church, family and school. [Oh well, then it's definitely a wrap on that idea in terms of African-Americans. Due to the advanced stage of our decay, we don't have any of these basic institutions anymore!"


You are right it is a wrap.

Felicia said...

Khadija,

Everything you've stated is but the obvious and cannot be denied.

For those still out of the loop, LIFE IS WONDERFUL outside the cemetery.

CHOOSE LIFE.

Khadija said...

Rainebeaux,

Anger is one of the stages of grief. I went through it, and so did many other BW after we "took the red pill," and woke up outside of the Matrix. I've reached a point of acceptance about certain things.

You said, "Roughly translated, it's every sista (and child/ren when applicable) for herself at this point, is that correct? Based on your archives (and your fellow bloggers' essays as well), I need to get in where I fit in, educating self and my child as I go."-

EXACTLY. In my opinion, all of the BW empowerment bloggers are (independently and in our own ways) working to form a loose-knit sisterhood to assist fellow escapees (or "Sojourners" as I call them).

Meanwhile, there are still the majority, "contrarian," voices that are trying to turn BW AWAY from the lifeboats that we're pointing them toward.

Voices who are telling other BW that the Titanic isn't really sinking. Or that if they would only click their heels 3 times, everything will be okay. Or that they can't get on the lifeboats to save their own lives unless and until there is full employment among other AAs. Loud voices telling BW anything and everything EXCEPT "Get on the lifeboat!" Voices who are telling AAW to sacrifice themselves to save something that has been dead for quite some time.
____________________

Halima,

Thank you for sharing your brilliance at this table! You always SIGNIFICANTLY raise the level of any conversation you enter. While I mull over some of the other points you've raised, let me respond to the following.

You said, "At worst Bc is a warm romatic notion that we use to comfort ourselves and at best there are little pockets of bc dispersed within this larger bulk of unanimated blacks (incidental or accidental BC), and maybe those active black micro communtities need to find and form links with each other. Maybe they need a reservation or a colony like the Amish (those folks were onto something i think)."-

I agree. I haven't forgotten about Evia's "oasis" concept. And I will eventually get around to finishing the books I'm (slowly) reading about intentional communities.

Thank you for giving us the inside scoop of what's happening with Black folks in the UK. I had heard these shocking statistics about the rate of British BM generalized abandonment of BW and children through the pursuit of WW. But, as I recently said on your blog, I couldn't tell which category of British BM were most heavily engaged in this---the African-origin Brits or the Caribbean-origin Brits. Thanks for clearing that up.

The bright spot in all of this is that it seems that our sisters in the UK have been MUCH more quick to catch the hint and purchase a clue than AA women. Instead of sitting around raising children ALONE and moaning about "When will the 'brothas' come back 'home'?", more BW in the UK have moved on and sought to marry QUALITY men of any race/color.
_____________________

Aphrodite,

Yep. Dr. Anderson saw this coming. He keeps pushing back the date of our final demise (I suspect in order to keep selling his books on how to "save" us--I ain't mad---LOL!), but he clearly laid out the sequence of events YEARS ago.
________________________

Felicia,

Yep. There is life, and a GOOD life at that, available OUTSIDE the graveyard!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Everyone,

I would strongly urge you to read the concurrent conversations over at Faith's blog. I'm only building on something that she started over there--I'm riding her coattails! *Smile*

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

ActsofFaithBlog said...

Hello Everyone:

Well thank you Khadija because I don't prepare what I'm going to write about too far in advance anymore. I have in fact scrapped a lot of the subjects I was going to discuss. Since my mad crash to earth less than 2 weeks ago I feel it is imperative that we get out and that I get a final message out to the masses!!!

I don't believe in coincidences either. It just dawned on me that I was handed an opportunity to reach a much larger audience guest blogging on WAOD with a specific message for women. Of course I noticed it was other black women who were staunchly defending/questioning the dysfunction as well. SMH!

You have provided a wonderful context with books and other studies that give weight to these discussions. So our shared consensus is great!

As I've said in previous writings it is very telling some of the pop culture references we use. The fact the Matrix (and Terminator stories) were written by an African-American woman who had her work stolen is also very telling.

We have to forge communities and alliances with people who will support our endeavors. It is quite obvious that will not be with a majority of other black people. That's okay.

Khadija said...

Everyone,

Here's a bit from Dr. Claud Anderson's bio over at the website for his think tank, The Harvest Institute:

"Dr. Anderson has a broad and varied base of experiences spanning education, business, federal and state politics and successful social reform. During integration, he served as State Coordinator of Education for Governor Reubin Askew of Florida. While serving in that capacity, he founded the State Action Council, a coalition of Black leaders for political action in Florida.

Dr. Anderson, appointed by former President Jimmy Carter, served as Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Commerce where he headed the Coastal Plains Regional Commission and funded and directed economic development activities for governors in the Southeastern states.

One of the first Blacks to own a radio station in Florida, Dr. Anderson owned radio station WOWD-FM in Tallahassee. He also served as executive director of two economic development corporations for the city of Miami. As special assistant to the 1988 Democratic Convention, he awarded 37% of the contracts to Blacks, a record that has not been reached or broken."
-

So, based on his personal history, Dr. Anderson isn't just talking out the side of his neck about these things. Unlike the "loud-talk but do-nothing" masses of our people, Dr. Anderson has a history of following through on his talk.

I'm going to discuss Dr. Anderson and some other little-known, sincere, successful BM economic/cultural activists in Part 2 of this series. There ARE a small handful of these men. The problem is that: (1) there's only a handful of them, and (2) they're all old---they're NOT being replaced in their efforts by younger BM. Since they're not being replaced, this means that these sorts of AA men are part of our past, NOT our future. {sigh}

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Faith,

You're welcome, and THANK YOU for starting this conversation over at your house!

Nope, it's NOT a coincidence that you were "handed an opportunity to reach a much larger audience guest blogging on WAOD with a specific message for women." It's a wonderful opportunity to plant some more mental seeds and indirectly save some more AA women's lives (and through them, help save their children from destruction).

It's all coming together. Those of us who will survive and thrive are slowly finding each other, as well as the information that we need.

I firmly believe that these are both "the best of times and the worst of times." We know the unfortunate fate awaiting the masses of AAs. However, I believe that this period will be one of RENAISSANCE for those handful of AAs who survive and thrive. Much like the (false) Obama-ssiah, we will reach previously unheard-of heights in our various fields and aspirations.

For one example, just look at the modern technological tools that make our rise simply a matter of exercising our own will: viral marketing, print on demand publishing, e-publishing, podcasting, etc.
Personally, I'm looking forward to becoming a modern equivalent of Lorenzo the Magnificent and the other Medici merchant princes/princesses!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

sistrunkqueen said...

This made me think about my cousin in the South side CHicago that I met for the first time two years ago. I went to CHitown for the Taste of CHicago. I had a good time by the way. She was in her mid forties and had one teenage daughter who was on her way to college in the fall.
What struck me about her was she had such hate for whites in Chicago especially Italians. She got some license in a skilled trade but according to her the Italians in the union would not let her in as an apprenctice. Most of the members in this field were of Italian descent. This is what really suprised me. One of the union chiefs died a few years ago and my cousin found out where the wake was being held and showed up there. I couldn't believe it she went to the wake to complain to the other "heads" that she was passed over for a job. My other cousin, her mom said she should not have done that. Later on that day I questioned her mom about it and she just said that her daughter get angry and doesn't think about what she does. I told her that she could of been "swimming with the fishes" in Lake Michigan.
There could of been a better way to handle that. The union guys gave her business cards and told her they would be in touch of course they never did. She called several times and left messages but no one returned her calls. Her name is still on the waiting list. I don't know what the race relations are in Chicago, but it seems to be very bad. The cab driver(African) even said that Chicago is bad for a black man.
It appeared to me it is bad for a black woman too. You livein Chicago so what do you think my cousin should have done? By the way she got a rare cancer last year and is now at home resting. It does not look good for her from the last communication I received. I just hate that my family members may be left in the Matrix because of bad choices in their lives.

Southland Diva said...

I can co-sign about black folks not being in charge even when they 'run' the city. Mayors and departments heads are just window dressing. The real power rests where the money and connections rest and its not in the hands of black folks (at least in my recent experience).

Worse still, alot of the black folks I worked with weren't interested in uplifting anybody but themselves. They wanted to appear to be in charge but didn't want to be accountable.

This statement cannot be repeated often enough: The mere election of a black mayor (or president) does not magically solve the problems society faces, especially when concrete demands are not made and methods of accountability are not created and enforced.

Peace

Khadija said...

Sistrunkqueen,

Your comment and questions are not relevant to the topic being discussed in this post.
____________________

SouthlandDiva,

You said, "Worse still, alot of the black folks I worked with weren't interested in uplifting anybody but themselves. They wanted to appear to be in charge but didn't want to be accountable."-

These people pimp the AA collective for support. And then refuse to pay that support back to other AAs when they get where they were going.

You said, "This statement cannot be repeated often enough: The mere election of a black mayor (or president) does not magically solve the problems society faces, especially when concrete demands are not made and methods of accountability are not created and enforced."-

This was discussed by Bob Law and Claud Anderson in the video clip linked to in Part 2 of this series. Both of these men have warned AAs about many things over the decades including:

(1) the fact that symbolic progress is NOT actual progress for any group;

(2) AAs are infatuated with symbolic progress instead of substantive progress; and

(3) unless you control some economics, you will NEVER be able to control your politicians---you didn't "buy, rent, or lease" these politicians---the money for their campaigns came from SOMEBODY ELSE--and these politicians are only truly accountable to the people who paid for their campaigns.

After all these decades of being warned by these gentlemen and other sincere, "walking their talk" (both of these men are businessmen with their OWN businesses) activists, AAs still haven't caught the hint. We're still doing the same old symbolic mess that hasn't gotten us anywhere.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Brother OMi said...

ouch
but so true

i have to dust off my copy of Anderson's book. thanks for reminding me..

Khadija said...

Brother Omi,

You're welcome! Yep, I also felt some emotional "pokes" and stings while re-reading Dr. Anderson's work. But it's always better to face facts and act accordingly. No matter how unpleasant and disappointing these facts may be. {sigh}

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

sistrunkqueen said...

I brought this up because you are a resident of Chicago and I thought it was relevant to the lack of support for black women. If one wants to move up in a field or change careers you must know some one. If it is not relevant please remove my previous post.

ak said...

Hey Halima

Halima:

As for escaping blackness, you need look no further than the caribbean community in UK. A recent report from a race watch body has indicated that the carribean community has now reached tipping point. there are now more mixed race children born than black children. so anyone can do the calculations as to how long that community has to exist baring immigration. We are looking at no significant Carribean community in the uk in next 100 years, if immigration is slashed. Already magazines, Tv etc, reflect this trend.


I live in London now too and my family's Jamaican. You say 100 years? Heck, I'd give it no more than 50 years tops maybe less. Africans (the women and men) are making more mixed race children now but at a lower rate, but as a woman in north London told me 'the West Indian child is disappearing'.

And of course some Caribbean-background bw in the UK still feel like they should only deal with bm only, anthough some these days do date Africans more now.