(ThyBlackMan.com) “A people who have suffered so much for so long at hands of a racist society must draw the line somewhere… the black communities of America must rise up as one man to halt the progression of a trend that leads inevitably to their total destruction.” –Bobby Seale, Oakland Black Panther Party, 1967
Huey P. Newton defined power as “the ability to define phenomena and make it act in a desired manner.” As a people, we clearly have the ability to define phenomena; we have done so throughout our nearly 450 years of oppression. The problems present within the black community have been staring us in the face for centuries, but we have yet to solve them. Making phenomena act in a desired manner is a skill that the black community as a whole has yet to master, and it is hurting us dearly.
In present-day American society, we have more power than many individuals are willing to admit. While we obviously face countless setbacks as well, focusing on these setbacks will not move us ahead in society. Rather than focusing on our handicaps, we need to use the power we do have to claim our rightful place in America. We built this country; we deserve to prosper in it. So, what do we have the power to do? Thankfully, we do not need to resort to carrying automatic machine guns to defend ourselves from police officers like the Black Panthers in Oakland during the Civil Rights movement. We have a much simpler task. We have the power to change ourselves. African-Americans cannot collectively advance in society until we individually take responsibility for our own actions.
The days of taking direct action against our oppressors are over. At this point, it will get us nowhere. As stated in a previous article, we can no longer “blame the nearest white man.” We need to make things and people act in a desired manner—a manner that facilitates the success of black Americans. The first step in changing ourselves is changing our thought processes. Thoughts turn into actions—actions which we desperately need. We need to adopt revolutionary principles in order to succeed. In using the phrase ‘revolutionary principles,’ I allude to the spirit, determination, strong will, and boldness displayed by our ancestors during slavery and the Civil Rights movement.
If Huey Newton’s revolutionary spirit manifested itself in present day African-Americans, the influence we could have as a people on society would be overwhelming. The fact that many of us would rather play Xbox Live than vote in a congressional midterm election is unacceptable.
The reality that several of our men would not hesitate to draw a gun on another African-American is alarming, and should be very frightening. Worse than that, many of us are not adequately caring for our own children, our only source of power in the next generation. This has to stop—immediately. By collectively exercising our power in society, we can prevent a trend that will otherwise lead to our destruction. If that simply means registering to vote, or slowing the violence in our communities, it needs to be done. White America will not look out for us. We need to do it ourselves.
Written By Spencer Carter
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