As Dr. King wrote in A Stride Toward Freedom:
“Our concern would not be to put the bus company out of business, but to put justice in business.”
Being pro-black it is not about destroying white people, but ensuring that the black collective is not fatally weathered by the wrath of white supremacy.
This ideal is commonly lost to non-blacks whose hierarchical placement has always been contingent on the subjugation of another faction. This proves that far too often individuals see the world as they are, and not for what it is.
So when a conscious person says black power, and acts or speaks in allegiance with others of the black collective through supporting black businesses, attending or promoting the black university, or in an endless devotion to the principles of black nationalism, this is not running away from whites or other groups nor is it working to put them down. Rather these actions exist to run towards blackness and lift the black collective from the subjugation that has followed us for centuries. Due to the intense subjugation that has fomented the dominance and capital of other groups seeking to consummate whiteness, it is understandable that the same evil be expected of blacks. This expectation also reveals that these groups, although benefitting from racism, and appropriating racism to advance their collectives, fail to properly conceptualize the term.
Non-black factions also fail to see the good in black pride. Instead the confident or proud black person is commonly labeled “racist,” “hateful,” or evil. Conscious blacks are made to feel guilty for being prideful, for remembering all that the global gaze begs them to forget.
On the flip side, blacks often find praise for forgetting their past and rejecting nationalism for a humanistic initiative by those who fail to see blacks as human. Consider how the “new black” term which surfaced a few years ago by producer/artist/entrepreneur Pharrell Williams and writer/actress Issa Rae, proved lucrative and even viral to blacks looking to covertly appease whites as a means to seemingly “get ahead.”
Yet to articulate a phrase like “black power” is to secure placement on a black list, where once again the term “black” is given a negative connotation. To the black nationalist, given their collective understanding of our racism environment, understand that placement on this list is a reflective of a positive action deemed negative by a collective threatened by black pride.
So when I say black power, I speak solely to conscious blacks and blacks on their journey to consciousness. Those who do not see Africa as a place.
I was told recently that my strive towards “Africa” was not in unison with the black diaspora but in rejection of whiteness. That Africa to me, a so-called “black American,” Africa is not unique to a country, tribe, or dish, but a metaphorical place that represents an escape from whiteness.
I fail to see alleviating the physicality of Africa as a bad thing. Yes, the food, and the little things that those abducted from the continent would not know, are important components to Africa. But Africa is not a place, its a state of mind. There are plenty of indigenous Africans saving up at this moment, or applying to western schools to escape the embrace of the continent, due to misconstruing this embrace as a choke hold binding them to a disenfranchisement fictively believed to dissolve once their feet touch the western soil. The pro-black gaze understands that this soil is quicksand, not a step stool for upward mobility.
My blog has evoked a similar upset, as many have complained that my analysis on black male portrayal, notably the function of the black gay male in mainstream western culture is somehow an attack on sexual orientation as a whole. Sexual orientation has never really been a prime area of focus for those on a stride towards consciousness, as sexual orientation, like gender and socio-economic castes function to distract the black mind from blackness. To be pro-black is to eschew the art of deflection, mastered by white supremacists who benefit from the deterred gaze. To be pro-black to is become immersed in functionality, not individuality. Specifically, to be pro-black to devote your life to explicating how whites are yet again employing black bodies as agents against one another. In short, to be pro-black is to be inclusive. It is encompass sexual orientation, gender, socio-economic status, and education under the umbrella of blackness.
Mental liberation enables the conscious to see past the divisive attributes created by whites to foment black confusion. Blackness then becomes exposed as a construct to which the conscious can mold as they please.Many pro-blacks see themselves as an empty canvass to be painted by their own brushes. In reworking a black identity, the conscious black removes their collective self from their binary oppositional placement alongside white people. Their existence and ideology has nothing to do with whiteness, and everything to do with assembling the displaced pieces of the African diasporic puzzle.
Pro-blackness blackness does not crush everything in its path to advance. True greatness, and blacks are the epitome of such greatness, does not need to strategically obliterate competition, simply because there is none.
All of Africa’s children will not find their way back to their mother, a mother who while still beautiful, is incessantly raped, bludgeoned, infiltrated, and colonialized just like her children. But physically being in Africa means nothing if your mind is sullied by a European mindset.
Africa in the metaphorical sense, is what the continent was in the centuries preceding the 15th century. It is with those who built the pyramids, the kings and queens of our past, our oral history encoded the whispers of the winds. Africa is in the sphinx, in David Walker’s Appeal, in the unpublished and unwritten slave narratives, in James Baldwin’s essays, in Toni Morrison novels, in conscious fashion, indie films, in Malcolm X, Dr. King and Fred Hampton speeches.
I may never set my oversized feet on the continent, but that is neither here nor there. Africa to me is a place in my heart that pumps what W.E.B. Dubois referenced as “the hot dark blood of my ancestors.” Africa is a state of mind that allows me see melanin as not only redeeming but unifying.
Africa is not one place. Rather, Africa has a place within all her children scattered throughout the diaspora.
Black Power ❤