Just A Thought...What Ever Happened to the Freedom Movement?
by Rick Adams
THIRTY years ago the Nation was rocked by urban insurrections. "I'd rather be dead in my grave, than live as a slave", the refrain was a common one heard in the protest marches and demonstrations of the 1950's and 60's."I woke this morning with freedom on my mind", went another song. The question today is what was on the minds of Black people when they awoke this morning?
WHEN was the last time you took part in a discussion about Black Freedom? Have you even heard a discussion by people of African descent about freedom? On the edge of the 21st century, what constitutes freedom for Black people?
AN oppressed and exploited people, who do not even think about freedom, will never be free! A people, who have not defined what it means to be free, will never be free! How one defines freedom determines the goals of the freedom movement and the strategies used to obtain them. Africans must decide two things freedom to do what, and freedom from what?
THE "from what" is relatively easy to answer. We want freedom from poverty, hunger, unemployment, underemployment, homelessness, disease, ignorance, racism, false imprisonment, and violence. The problem is who has devised the definitive master plan to deliver us from these all too common evils? The Nation of Islam (NOI) has a plan. The National Urban League (NUL) has a plan. The National Rainbow PUSH Coalition (NRPC), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), the National Coalition Of Blacks for Reparations in America (N"COBRA), the Republic of New Afrika (RNA) and others all have a plan for Black uplift. The questions of the hour are; when are we going to have a consensus plan for the race? and when is such a plan going to be one that Black people wake up, with it on their minds?
ANSWERING the "do what" is distinctly more difficult to realize. Are we struggling for a good job, a big car, and a home to call our own? Are we struggling for integration into suburban communities and majority Euro-American public schools? Is a colorblind society desirable or even possible? What should be the nature and substance of our relations with Africans throughout the Diaspora?
CERTAINLY acquiring material comfort and financial wealth is desirable, in fact as Marx so aptly observed; it is the "motivating force of history". However the materialistic, selfish epoch we find ourselves in is spiritually debilitating, and destructive to ethical values. Our freedom cannot be defined as simply the fight to accumulate greater numbers of inanimate objects and fatter bank accounts. We must include a quest for the progressive "perfectibility" of the total human being. An authentic liberation movement must seek the creation of a spiritually mature, intellectually developed, ethically motivated man and woman for the new millennium. A new Black consciousness movement must fuel a new awareness of who we are and what our responsibilities are as creations of families and societies. A value system that would make child and spouse abuse, murder, burglary, rape, lying and stealing relatively rare occurrences is what we should strive to achieve. To do anything less is to fail.
THE year 2000 must signal the beginning of the "African Century". One broad based collectively supported African Freedom Agenda needs to be developed. All organizations must be aware of the plan and most importantly consciously adopt those components of the plan that mesh with the purposes of each organization. All children would be taught from the age of comprehension the plan and their individual responsibility to and role in supporting it. All national, regional, state and local conferences would have their programs revolve around an assessment of their progress in implementing the plan and how their future group efforts can serve to further the African Freedom Agenda. All families would daily, weekly, and monthly gather to review their family and individual roles in the achievement of the plan.
ASSEMBLING one universally accepted plan would not be easy. A formula for an inclusive series of local, state, and regional, congresses, leading up to a national ratification congress will be required. Black community plebiscites should be utilized where desirable. Delegations to these congresses would be proportionately and democratically determined.
IF following the proposed rough draft seems like a pipe dream, I have only one question for you; Why? I am sure that the framers of the constitution and structure for any nation in existence today, faced similarly skeptical reactions. The Zionist with their dream of realizing a new Jewish state of Israel faced immense opposition and disbelief. Dr. King when he articulated toppling Jim Crow Apartheid through nonviolent civil disobedience was discounted by many. As the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey would say; "Up you mighty race, accomplish what you will!" Hey it's JUST A THOUGHT...