Photos: McKinsey & Co\YouTube
While not transparent, we assure you that the chain of historical events that brought Black America to today is propitious. Accordingly, Black Americans are imbued with innumerable reasons to progress—to rise. We are motivated to fight racial discrimination and to climb aggressively upward the socioeconomic ladder: e.g., to become better educated; to increase our income and wealth; to secure better health; etc.
At the same time, our rise may be constrained by our various paths and unintegrated (independent) and fragmented efforts.
In one sense, there is no reason this should be. The proliferation of platforms and the relative cost of communications technologies are favorable today. But our “independent” thinking and actions cause us to dilute the power of our efforts.
As Eugene Robinson points out in Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America, and as we have noted so many times, there are at least four Black Americas: (1) Relatively rich ADOS (American Descendants of Slaves); (2) middle class ADOS; (3) poor ADOS; and (4) Black immigrants of various income and wealth strata.
If each Black America moves forward independently, then there will be at least four outcomes—all of which may not be favorable.
For the record, let us outline briefly selected tracks that Black Americans are pursuing today:
• Taking every opportunity to fully integrate with White America.
• Taking every opportunity to separate from White America.
• Being lukewarm on integration with White America.
• Proactively sampling Black and White America—taking the “best” of both worlds.
For economists trained to adhere to Adam Smith’s classical “invisible hand” principle, it is difficult to argue against the just described courses of action being taken by Black Americans.
Yet we know that social groups that have risen to the top of their societies (and that is where we want to go and deserve to be) have generally been bound together by a common purpose and method. How can we defy this historical fact, especially given that we face a particularly unique hurdle—our Blackness, which makes us easily identifiable targets for all others to attack?
Several efforts have been undertaken and some are underway currently to identify away ahead for Black America.
These “strategic plans,” in and of themselves (because they are not integrated/unified), serve as another source of fragmentation. Therefore, there remains a need for those inclined to do so to: (i) Evolve a unified strategy for Black America; (ii) promote and promulgate that strategy; and (iii) ensure that all Black Americans support, and operate within the context of, that strategy.
Woke ones realize that Black America is now engaged in a serious social media debate about our future.
We should be very conscious and purposeful about the debate. We should be open to ideas presented in the debate. We should be patient in arriving at a unified strategy through the debate. And, most importantly, we should adhere to the strategy once it is formulated.
Without doubt, there are many factors in place to facilitate our rise, and “it is written.” Therefore, if we do not become distracted and if we fight continuously and diligently this war against us, then we will be successful in our rise.
[1 ]Selected strategic plans for Black America include:
– Chancellor Williams’ “Master Plan,” which appears as Chapter 15 of The Destruction of Black Civilizations.