How Do We Get To Pro-Black From Here?

Preparing to go on our Pro-Black Journey.

How Do We Get To Pro-Black From Here?

Preparing to go on our Pro-Black Journey.

Young, Black woman with Black Lives Matter COVID-19 protection mask, present at the March on Washington Commitment March, Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech. Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C. | 28 Aug 2020 | Photography Credit: Johnny Silvercloud

Author’s Disclaimer: The author is not affiliated with or compensated by any book, event, or product noted in this essay. I just like and believe in the educational materials and educators I shared.

Where Do We Go From Here?

If you’ve followed me for the past two years, you’ve heard my unvarnished truths I shared. If you’re new, you have a lot of catching up to do. My truths are rarely popular, rarely nice, and it’s straight to the point. I don’t have time to coddle folks too sensitive and immature to see the truth. Let them live in their lies, fairytales, and fantasies.

We can’t keep putting our hopes in White people finally seeing the value in our humanity or changing after all these centuries. We gotta keep it real. White people aren’t changing, so Black folks must. So where are we going, you ask? We’re going some place different, that’s where. I’m a realist. I am not suggesting Black people go back to live with people who helped sell them and are still reaping the benefits of selling their own people. I’m not suggesting anyone should hate White people either, although anyone Black living in the world has fully earned the right. That’s fruitless. No need hating the gatekeepers who have everything we need to survive.

The goal is to figure out how to survive with fewer White people in our lives in those who understand our forever underclass status in America. It means we learning practical ways to reduce our economic footprint in White society and capitalism. It means we understand we live in a system that exploits us all in order to run, and we will not continue taking part in a society that believes this is okay. These types of changes will make us outsiders in some of our usual circles. You must be comfortable with that.

Everyone won’t want to go this your journey, and that’s fine. I’m a proponent of moving in silence. I don’t like to bash people for their choices, nor do practice tilting my hand. Being Black in America means one understands we must navigate multiple worlds to survive in the one. This journey requires sacrifice and being alone sometimes, and there are many people not cut out for it. This journey will require discipline. Reeducating yourselves, decolonizing your minds, and getting back to the basics of the elders when life was simpler.

Black people are seriously going to learn to play politics and get on one accord with this. Politics is a battle of resources, and White people have the monopoly on all the resources presently If we don’t learn how to speak for ourselves, no one else will. Our needs are unique, and Black folks need to begin feeling comfortable speaking about Black people. Normalize talking Black, about Black issues, and about Black people. A Black vote is powerful, but if it’s given away for nothing, it’s useless. Regardless of the reasons, we’ve been giving our votes away for decades.

Black people are the booty calls of all voting blocks for both . White folks call us up with they want some, and after they get it, they go home to their main Bae until the next time they are feeling they need a hit — or in the Democratic Party’s case; they need their most loyal voting block that helps keeps White Moderates in power.

Moving forward means Black people will need to believe in Black agendas, speak Black agendas, know their Black communities, hold both White and Black politicians accountable, create a Black political action group or party advocating our interests, and refuse to allow America’s politicians to lump Black people in with other minority groups which further dilutes our issues and erases us. It’s fine to have strategic alliances, but we gotta stop putting others before ourselves.

Decolonizing and Detoxing Our Minds

There are plenty of people who have examined already White Supremacy’s impact on Black America thoroughly and have written barely used roadmaps to Black self-sufficiency. Because we’ve been taught to not trust or like our own people, many of us have been too afraid to trust Black economists, Black educators, and activists who have always had the best interests of Black people at heart unless they’ve been blessed by White people.

Learning and re-learning will be essential to living a Pro-Black, Black Liberation life in America. It won’t be easy to ween yourself away from Whiteness. It’s attractive and shiny, like a new toy. It also makes you feel bad for leaving. Reading literature is a must! You can’t really start this journey without reading and embracing Black thought.

Allies taking the journey are free to learn too. In all honesty, you need Black education. The White education not enough. We need all the strategic partners we can get, and that’s what my type of allyship is all about. Allies also need to read Black literature created by Black authors to learn about yourselves through other lenses. The more literature you consume, the more you’ll be moved to do more than just read. You can help!

Please know, I don’t have all the answers, nor am I professing to know everything. I’ve been dabbling a few years wavering for some time for various reasons, but I’m ready to fully commit being Pro-Black. After Election 2020, there can be no greater sign of how much you’re hated than the Trump vote. I just know I don’t like this place, and I don’t want to spend my next 40–50-years trying to win over people incapable of being won over. I am ready to try something else and I have nothing to lose.

Having worked for state and federal government for almost 20 years, I understand how things work inside and out, and I’ve learned nothing is set up to work for Black people in America. Nothing. If you’re Black and you’re doing anything in White America, know it’s not for you, nor is it going to work out for you in the short or long-term. If you stay long enough, you’ll get the best education one can have from the school of hard knocks. I’ve been doing so reading to get my mind right. I have a few books I’m going to recommend reading before we get started.

Again, there is no right way to decrease your White Supremacy footprint. We all gotta do what’s best for each one of us, and our paths will be different, but as long as we’re working toward the same goal of being less dependent on White Supremacy, we’re good. Check out some books I’ve been reading or planning to read.

The Read: “The Willie Lynch Letter”

I recommend several books to begin this journey. The first is “The Willie Lynch Letter” by Willie Lynch. This will help us understand how Black people got to where we are today. It started with slavery and it ends right here in 2020. We’re still living with the impact of White people broke Black people physically, mentally, and emotionally. It helps you understand the dynamics between Whites and Blacks today. You’ll understand why White people fear and hate us in the same breath. “The Willie Lynch Letter” is a very hard, brutal read, but it will definitely change the way you view White people and White Supremacy. If you’re a descendant of American slavery, you’ll see the tools used to break our ancestors and how those same tools are used today. You’ll also understand all our ancestors and elders lived through and will connect to today’s coded languages and behaviors used by White people.

How Can Allies Help? Realize you are looking at hundreds of years of abuse of Black people at the hand of White people? Know you are the descendants of these people and you need to accept responsibility for your role in maintaining slavery’s legacy. Look at Black and African America history and how White people continue the same behavior of Willie Lynch today. Yesterday is today. Then do better. Treat Black people better, just because. If you’re White, this is the legacy of Whiteness we see when we see you. Own it so we can move on.

The Read: “The MisEducation of the Negro”

The next book I recommend is Carter G. Woodson’s “The Miseducation of the Negro” (1933). Education is essential to upward mobility for all minorities competing in a White world. The problem is Black people have been indoctrinated instead of educated, except most of us don’t know it. It’s one of the major reasons Black people, no matter how educated we are, can’t surpass White people our attain wealth at the levels White people have with less educational attainment. Even in the early 1930s, Carter G. Woodson could see the negative impact of our miseducation. An excerpt from the book:

“When you control a man’s thinking, you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his ‘proper place’ and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary.”

Having worked in higher education and served as a public school advocate for sometime, this book describes the state of Black America today after having received a White public school education. Our thinking is controlled by White Supremacy (of course, because they hold everything we need and we’re taught to value), and Black folks are continually seeking their “proper places” in a White society. It’s never going to work for us. We never fit in. We’re never going to fit in. While the book was written in 1933, it could have very well been written in 2020. It’s a good read to help Black people understand why we must do more than accept a public school education.

Black families gotta educate in your homes outside of school. Grandparents must educate too. Passing down wisdom helps ensure our children are fully aware of the world we’re living in. Oral history matters.

How Can Allies Help? Allies can use this book to advocate for our educational needs and interests. Education is a local/state issue. Allies should find out what Black people want and need, then help them achieve those things specifically. You can also advocate for more African American studies courses in all schools. White folks can’t keep claiming they don’t know, but don’t make any efforts to learn. You must stop thinking about what’s good for all children and White children, because what’s good for all ain’t good for us. It’s Black centered for a reason.

The Read: “PowerNomics”

My favorite, favorite, favorite book is by Dr. Claud Anderson, Ed. D, titled “PowerNomics, The National Plan to Empower Black America” (2001). As a grant writer and program developer, this book did something to my spirit when I read. This truly is the blueprint for Black people living in colonized societies all over the globe. It’s not enough that White people allow us into their spaces and give us their crumbs and leftovers. Black people need to understand racism, and White Supremacy will always limit our abilities, stifle our growth, and prevent us from achieving wealth collectively. Dr. Anderson offers an entire blueprint for Black America to live, survive, and thrive in White America in a way we haven’t been able to before. The book focuses on Black politics, Black independence, and Black self-sufficiency. Keep in mind nothing is perfect, but this is the best options I’ve seen.

How Can Allies Help? Buy and read the book because you always want to support Black authors. After reading it, look around in your communities, learn what’s happening, and contribute your skills, abilities, connections, money, or other resources to their project. Learn to help Black folks as a follower, or cut a check and move on. You will need to get right with yourself before attempting to work with Black people because we’re really not putting up with take over spirits and petty vindictiveness because causes aren’t about White people or centering Whiteness. That’s not why you’re apart of this movement.

Other Reads

There are many excellent books out there to get acquainted with, like “The Isis Papers- The Keys To The Colors, (1991)” by the late Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, that explains White Supremacy in plain English. This book isn’t your easy textbook description of White Supremacy. Dr. Welsing’s book is not an easy read, but once you read it, you’ll understand White people and why White societies are the way they are, and gives much insight into why White people will not change. It’s a must read before transitioning and quite timely to help you understand how almost 75,000,000 people voted for Donald Trump.

Another book I just ordered was “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century Hardcover (2020)” by William A. Darity and Kirsten Mullen. The book makes a compelling case for reparations for African-American descendants of slaves (ADOS), delving into how the federal government has been the major driver of inequality and how much America owes us. I’ve followed Dr. Darity for some time now, and if you want to fully understand the inequality and anti-Blackness in America and how it’s harmed American descendants of slaves, I believe this book will make it clear. I’m going to read this book this month to get my head around the all that America has cheated Black people out of. I know it’s going to be yet another slay in the face, but in order to argue for what we’re owned and to justify why we need to live free of White Supremacy, you need to know how we’ve been harmed by it.

There are other books I’ll be reading in the future. I’ll be talking about my future choices soon, and I hope my followers share their favorite reads. It’s a collective journey, and sharing knowledge that will help move us forward is necessary. Reading more is a must.

Web Events

There is an online presentation coming up next weekend titled, “Transitioning From Anti-Blackness and Pro-Black” hosted by The African American Male Education Network and Development (A2MEND) is a non-profit organization, comprised of African American male educators who use scholarly and professional expertise to foster institutional change within the community college system to increase success of African American male students.

Guest speakers will include authors Dr. Tommy Curry, and Dr. William A. Smith. The web event is the last part of a 3 Part-Series created to help Black men grassroots organizations post Black Lives Matter and the shit storm we’re currently living through.

Transitioning From AntiBlackness to ProBlack
Eventbrite - A2MEND Organization presents Transitioning From AntiBlackness to ProBlack - Saturday, November 21, 2020 …

Dr. Tommy Curry is a Black Male Studies professor and author of “The Man-Not: Race, Class, Genre, and the Dilemmas of Black Manhood.” (2017). If you want to understand how White America has made Black men their favorite boogey man, read this book. I got this book for my son for his birthday and it totally changed how I see and treat Black men. This book has been highly recommended by Black men I follow on social media.

Dr. William A. Smith is featured in the book “Racial Battle Fatigue in Higher Education: Exposing the Myth of Post-Racial America.” The book (which I have not read) is about the physical and psychological toll of constant and unceasing discrimination, microaggressions, and stereotype threat. The literature discusses how individuals who work in environments with chronic exposure to discrimination and microaggressions are more likely to suffer from forms of generalized anxiety manifested by both physical and emotional symptoms.

Normalize reading Black authors, essayists, and activists.

These types of books are important to me because they help get our minds right. Black seeds grow Black fruit. These books teach us how entrenched we are in a White Supremacist system. It also shows us how hard it’s going to be to get out.

The one thing I’m going to say to everyone, especially Black people, is that you’re going to have to get into the mindset that we need to pay Black people to do this work. We are worth it. For so long, Black people have had this mindset saving the Black community is somebody else’s job that should be done as a charity. Activists, leaders, and teachers need gas money and bus passes to travel. We need to pay to be educated and to share ideas. We need money to travel to conference to set agendas and to petition the government for things benefitting the Black community. We need to make literature and tools to replicate what we’re doing nationally and internationally, so that those resources can be used to generate revenue.

Black people have no problem giving money to White people for any and everything, but buck when Black people, who love Black people, work to care for and advocate for Black people. This attitude must change or we cannot move anywhere. Time is money, and good Black people dedicating their time to teach the Black community on how to save itself are worth investing in. I will teach you how to know a good investment from a fraud later. Following money and holding folks accountable will be necessary (within reason) to build trust and to show transparency. That’s my expertise.

What My Pro-Black-Black Liberation Is

Pro-Blackness and liberation for me is a long journey that includes short, mid-term and long-term goals, some I’m willing to admit I may not live to see, but that’s okay as long as my people are better off because of my efforts. Some of my goals will be personal for myself and/or my family. Other goals will include contribute to my local community and for efforts happening nationally.

Transitioning will be slow, because I must reprogram my mind then change my lifestyle. Once I change my lifestyle, my view and language will also change. It’s going to be a long journey, but I’m looking forward to it. Earlier this year, I started a backyard garden. It’s been difficult because of bugs and iguanas, but I’m learning. The more food I can grow, the less money I have to spend in grocery stores that don’t support Black communities.

By doing this, I am decreasing my White Supremacy foot print and I have access to healthy vegetables. I can purchase meat from African American grocers or co-ops. I can support places of worship that support the community (whenever that day arrives). I can invest my money in Black political figures who can unapologetically get behind Black agendas the same way the White politicians chase White-working-class voters with those “kitchen table” issues that never include language we use at Black tables in Black homes. I can support Black after-school programs that groom our future Black professionals and donate to Black medical schools and Black residency programs to help create the next Black doctors.

There are lots of ways to contribute to our efforts.

What My Pro-Black Liberations Is Not

There are about shaming or bullying Black people interested in the status quo. To each his or her own. I’m not trying to start anything, create some conglomerate or develop stuff that will turn me into some go-to source for Blacks we have today. I’m not interested in any title or label that doesn’t allow me to do what’s best for me and the groups I’m affiliated with when the time comes. Like so many pro — Black and Pan-African leaders discovered before us, you cannot exclude negotiating with White Supremacy sometimes, and you cannot exclude good White folks from some of your endeavors. They have keys and resources we don’t have access to. There are also Black people in spaces who can navigate between two worlds to help us. Labels stifle that.

Having examined methods that include and exclude White people (aka politics) I love Dr. Claud Anderson’s PowerNomics blueprint. It’s more sensible considering all the challenges and lack we have in the African-American community. Some folks may disagree with the entering into Black liberation slowly and go straight cold-turkey to being pro-Black and/or Black liberation, Pan-Africanism, etc. Good for you, I have nothing good or bad to say about the choices. We all gotta do what’s best for us. That’s my line and I’m sticking to it.

One thing we as a group need to do is practice respecting each other and putting each other down because they don’t want to follow us. I’m not down with that. We don’t know someone’s financial situation, educational level, or desire to be free. We gotta learn to stop being the White people of Black people. I’m not reinventing the wheel either. There is enough stuff out here to try, implement or modify. No need to reinvent the wheel, and no need to start all over wasting precious time, energy, and resources just to be a founder of something. Find something that works and stick to it.

In Closing

It’s going to be hard, but we can do this. I’m not advocating violence, just peace and prosperity for Black people. I want us to be safe, alive, thriving, growing, thinking, and creating is spaces for us, by us.

My purpose is to help Black people and good White folks interested in helping us become more self-sufficient, and knowledgeable about who the real America works so we can stop expecting things to change. I am all about individual change which can eventually lead to institutional and community changes. Some constructs we’ve held dearly will have to be put away in order for us to move. We must also look at some older, longer established societies and see how they’ve lasted for so long. And as time goes on, we may even have to consider what we’ve learned about order and natural order. So many things in America do not work because there is no order.

As Black people, we cannot afford to live like this. Each person in our collective has value and potential. We all have talents, skills, gifts, talents, and abilities, and when cultivated, those things will flourish. I believe we’re all victims of White Supremacy, and that many Black people continue victimizing our people by using the tools White Supremacy in our communities. We use their tools in our homes, how we raise our kids and enter relationships. We consume like White Supremacists; and we engage with each other and disparage each other like White Supremacists.

Some of us have raised Black people to hate Black people, just like White Supremacists have trained you too (please read the Willie Lynch Letter ASAP). We need to undo this. We tear each other down instead of building each other up. We steal from each other the same way White people steal from us. We mislead and misinform each other, just like White people do to us. You can’t build strong communities that way.

White people have never “saved” us. They’ve only contributed to us helping save ourselves. Unfortunately, we’ve believed their hype for far too long. We’ve trusted they’d do right by us too many times, and White folks have let us down more times than we can count. We can learn from our mistakes and do something better/different, or we can continue down the same path begging White people for stuff they’ve taken from us.

The winners are really sore losers. There is a lesson in it. Let’s take these last 12 years as bunches of mini lessons in the laboratory called the United States that are anything but united.

America was an experiment. I say was because it’s done. We’re never going to be the same again. Black folks and Brown folks aren’t forgetting all the White rage, and we’re not reaching across the aisle to be friends with racist, lawless bullies that believe in inequality and White rule. We’re not forgetting Trump or Mitch McConnell, the erasure of contributions of Black women, the vitriol and patriarchy of White feminists, the vilifying of Black men, or the betrayal by Cubans and other Brown people who engage in anti-Blackness. The best thing about Trumpism is it revealed the true heart and cruel intentions of half of America.

This experiment called America has failed miserably. Black people, we have been a part of the failed experiment too. We know better than anyone except America’s First People what America truly is. It’s never been fair. It’s always been violent, and America has always needed a villain so they can be perceived as victors. Just because White people are living optimistically and in denial doesn’t mean we have to. I’m ready to forge forward. Just read Umair Haque’s blog. Sometimes I read it and I feel relieved I’m not imagining what I’m seeing and feeling. Visionaries and risk assessors often can see danger before it arrives. Those who can see danger off in the distance also help those they care about plan for the danger we see coming. We’ve been seeing danger and we’re screaming it from the rooftops.

We’re not prepared for a new Jim Crow America Black people.

The new America, which is the old America, is here to stay. Black people have always lived in a totalitarian government, it’s just been a little freer than it’s ever been. Things will change soon, and not for the better. Basic things like wearing masks and public health are debatable now, and White people get to decide if we live in a healthy society or if we’re going to “club risk it all,” breathing dammit Covid all over one another to death like an uncivilized society.

Most White people are just barbaric and inhumane. They don’t have the emotional intelligence to live among other people. They don’t care about our well-being. They don’t care about our ability to care for ourselves or our families either. We still don’t have adequate PPE (personal protection equipment). Black people, who make up a large portion of essential workers, are being evicted as we speak because there has been no relief by state or federal government. Where will they go? Likely with already financially strained family members. Black people already struggling from low-wages and Covid layoffs will be dealing with hunger. Where will they go to get food? Our usual infrastructures to help families in distress are burdened with communities hunger.

Black people are not in any position to help our people collectively as a standalone group or a standalone institution. We spend more money on taking care of our White political system and White-run social justice causes than we do our own shit.

There’s not a national Black church, a Black political action committee, or movement capable of getting resources to our communities to protect us. Jewish communities are ready. They’ve invested in insulating their communities and preparing for hard times. So are Native Americans, Arabs and Asians. We’ve helped everyone else, now it’s time to help us. Don’t be guilted into feeling it’s wrong. It’s not.

Black folks are living through a hard coup and a pandemic, and the nation is compromised by racists. We’re not ready. It’s time to get ready.

When White America gets a cold, Black America gets pneumonia. We got pneumonia, and these new boule Blacks will not lead us to freedom, save us from White rage, or protect us from the wrath of Whiteness.

Pneumonia is coming ya’ll, and we are not ready. We’re behind the power curve. We gotta a lot of work to do.

Are you ready? What are you reading? Any tips? Do tell.

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