Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Leaders: Where Are You Leading Us?

January 8, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) I remember listening to one of the greatest minds in the African-American community, Maa Kheru Dr. John Henrik Clarke’s Lecture on “Fake Leadership”.  He posed a very important question that is still very relevant today, which was, “Leaders, Where Are You Leading Us”.  So intrigued with this question, I sought out some of our most prominant leaders in the African-American community and asked the same question.

The initial response to this question was silence and then it would be followed up with the defense mechanism of “Who are you”?  My answer: I am one of  your constituents that you are supposed to be leading kind Sir.  Wow!  I was absolutely shocked that our Leaders could not answer what seems to be a simple question.  Is it really that simple?  Then there were several sub questions that immediately came to mind after I got over the initial shock, but I will only focus on one in this article.

How can you lead and you do not have a clear vision for your community?  When one steps into a leadership role, they should have a clear vision in place that can be effectively communicated to the people.  I can’t help but laugh when you hear some our most prominent Leaders campaign for a seat or role in the community.  When asked about their vision, they will typically rattle off the following three things:

-I am going to decrease crime in our community.

-I am going to fight hard to improve our educational system.

-I am going to make sure that we bring the power back to the people.

Oh really?  We have heard that same song and dance for the last 30+ years and we continue to see our young men locked up or placed on ice at a record pace.  We continue to see our schools deteriorate and our children not receiving an African centered education.  It’s a shame when athletic facilities are better equipped than the classroom and our teachers.  We continue to see the most pressing issues (i.e. AIDs/HIV Awareness, Teen Pregnancy, and Health issues) that affect our community overlooked.  We continue to be the burden bearers of government programs that are cut in the community as a result of handshake deals behind the scene. We continue to fall for the old bait and switch mentality, “If you appoint me as your Leader, I will…..”

In order to lead, one must understand what and where they are leading the people from.  If you have not worked in your community that you are leading voluntarily or involuntarily, it would be impossible to lead with a clear vision.  Being able to effectively communicate this vision is also a necessary.  When those tough decisions arise around the African-American community, a Leader must be able to fight with passion and be courageous.  A leader must set the example via action.

As a people, we must understand that Leadership does not equate to the size of your church nor your monetary stature in the community.  We have to hold everyone who self proclaims to be a Leader accountable for their actions.  We have to periodically question their plan(s) of action; especially if we are not seeing the appropriate changes in our community.

I challenge everyone in the African-American community to ask those in and around your community that has taken on a Leadership role the same question I have asked, “Leaders, Where Are You Leading Us?”  If they are not able answer the question, then that tells you whether or not you need to follow.

Staff Writer; Rod Johnson

For more writings visit http://www.crumblinword.org or follow RJ Twitter; crumblinWORD.



3 Responses to “Leaders: Where Are You Leading Us?”
  1. Black says:

    “Too,the slaughter.” And helpin, wholesale, are tha church leaders.

  2. Keona says:

    This article was a eye opener for me because I have been one of those people to simple accept those 3 common answers that so called leaders give us and suddenly I’m appeased and I don’t think anything else about it because that answer sound so good. But really thinking those aren’t good enough answers for Leading our community because they never seem to fix any of the problems that are going on in our commuity.

  3. James Davis says:

    Solutions are hard to come by for most Black politicians. You need only look at the age of some of the Black caucus members. If you want responsive political leaders, stop sending these people back to Congress who have seen our unemployment numbers reach into double digits, without doing something. To make this Democracy work for us, we have got to call a spade a spade. Get out and participate. Make our voice heard.

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