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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Where's the Music

by Morning Sunday-Hettleman

Since January, 8th, 2009, millions of words have been written about the political ascent of one black man, but there has been virtually nothing about the descent of black leadership into well-nigh total ineffectiveness.

Rev Al Sharpton was photographed at his birthday party with a pair of 36DD’s resting on his arm, belonging to Wendy William’s, of radio and television "How you doing girl" fame. ( Her you tube video "boob trick " is a must see ! ) While Jesse Jackson isn't letting anything like a secret out-of-wedlock daughter and growing questions about his personal and organization funding get him down.Then, there's Kweisi Mfume, former congressman, who just a couple years ago had an illegitimate baby with a mistress about the same time as Jesse Jackson.

In 1963, civil rights leaders, John Lewis Whitney Young, Jr., A. Philip Randolph, Martin Luther King, Jr., James Farmer, and Roy Wilkins met at the Hotel Commodore in New York City for a strategy session.

A Philip Randolph, was a prominent twentieth-century African-American civil rights leader and the founder of both the March on Washington Movement and the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.

John Lewis , was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and played a key role in the struggle to end segregation. Whitney Young, Jr., appointed executive director of the National Urban League in 1961, Young won an impressive reputation as a national black activist who helped bridge the gap between white political and business leaders and poor blacks and militants. James Farmer, a principal founder of the Congress of Racial Equality, Roy Wilkins, was an influential member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

They were young, effective and harbingers of change, working to wipe away some of the lunacy of our lives.( No, they were not perfect, they were human, there are stories, some really juicy ones too.) Providing the beat, the sound, the rhythm of the movement was James Brown, whose involvement with the civil rights movement also began in the mid-'60s. From 1965 onward, Brown often canceled his shows to perform benefit concerts for black political organizations like the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

Since the 60"s, some Blacks have made giant economic, and social strides. But racial segregation remains and means that racial inequalities in employment, education, income, and wealth are inscribed in space. We have additional problems, the Black on Black crime rates are stratospheric. Unwed Black mothers , irresponsible fathers, severe parent to child violence. Blacks, 11% of the US population have the highest percentage of the population on welfare. Only 50 percent of black students graduate, young, male Blacks, make up half of the population imprisoned in America’s federal/state and city jails. People, these are self inflected wounds.

What should we do ? March? We have had hundreds, thousands, millions marching in one day. Boycott ? Martin Luther Kings , bus boycott was successful, since then the only thing we have successfully boycotted are grapes and bananas.

Is another political strategy session needed ? Must we plan strategic national boycotts ? Are Alex Jealous, Henry Louis Gates, Jermaine Wyrick, Dr. Howard Fuller, Dr James Jones, to name a few, the people we need to call to a strategy session ?

Peter Bramble, Episcopal Priest, Brooklyn, NY ,and a conservative , advances the idea that blacks, in spite of history and society, need to take responsibility for their conditions. He argues for the need to install success concepts permitting blacks to talk and behave in a successful mood. In keeping with this idea of personal and collective accountability, Bill Cosby has for years been exhorting the black community to take personal responsibility, to stop blaming others, and to drop the negative influences from their lives while embracing the positive. Both Rev. Bramble and Bill Crosby would tell us, there is no need for new Black leaders, the ground work has been laid for the change we need, personally and as a community. " Its time we went from victims to victors" Says Bill Crosby, "responsibility for ourselves, our families, take that into our own hands " Have we "Overcome" as Peter Bramble suggests ? If so, where is the music, if we have " Overcome" can we still sing "We Shall Overcome" or do we need to sing a new song ?

Morning Sunday Hettleman
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