WE ARE AT WAR, WE ARE LOOKING FOR WARRIORS, BLACK FEMALE AND MALE WARRIORS ONLY NEED TO APPLY!

Message to the Black Community and the Black Leadership: We Need A Paradigm Shift

Brothers and Sisters, we must begin to push hard to achieve a real paradigm shift if we are going to have a shot at addressing the issues facing the Black community in America.

We are going to have to take a truly sober approach that is void of any one philosophy, ideology, and/or theory that in order to promote and/or establish unity within the Black community.

By paradigm shift, I mean a fundamental change in how our ancestors and the Black community will be represented and by whom.

I am not talking about some superficial description of unity where all Black people are all doing the same thing at the same time. That’s unrealistic.

The unity to which I refer is one of functionality, where representatives (leadership) from all segments of the community are working together around a common and collective agenda and doing business on behalf of the Black community. We cannot otherwise compete, let alone win.

LET ME SAY IT AGAIN – WITHOUT FUNCTIONAL UNITY AMONGST THE BLACK COMMUNITY, WE CANT WIN! WE MUST HAVE A PARADIGM SHIFT.

What could we possibly could be waiting for when you consider the state of the Black community? Where is the energy to unify the Black community or is that impossible?

We must wake up to our reality and stop looking at television.

We must look at our job situation; our finances; our families; our neighborhoods, etc. and then we will see the real story.

I have been screaming about the ramifications and the perpetual undermining of real Black progress by the disturbing imbalance of wealth and income disparities, coupled with the mass incarceration of Black men at epidemic proportions.

While there is limited individual and isolated economic growth amongst some Blacks, as a group, both locally and nationally, the Black community is losing significant social economic ground and the sad reality is that there is nothing in place now to defend and possibly stop this decline.

In addition, we now find ourselves in an environment with the following:

• Shrinking public resources, specifically in the areas of our greatest needs (i.e. health, education, social services, economics, etc.);

• Significantly diminished public opinion against the use of public policy and resources to correct the legacy of slavery (i.e. many previous ”affirmative action” gains are being challenged in court today);

• The Black community appears to be more disunited and too politically weak to mount any real challenge in spite of the fact that Blacks hold political positions;

• There is little or no evidence of any movement that is directly connected to the civil rights and/or political movement the 60s and 70s;

• The Black community lacks the very little organizational capacity to challenge many of the issues facing them;

• Media blitz of Black inferiority and the exaggeration of Black problems which cement the self-fulfillment prophecy. Many Black and non-Black Americans now believe this is “the way it is;”

• As a result of chattel slavery, Jim Crowism, and now the powerful industrial prison complex, along with a number of systems that reflect numerous structural deficiencies, the Black community remains very emotionally sick without the aid of any therapy, counseling, and reparations; and

• Few have championed a campaign against our cultural crisis, which continues to be weakened by self-destructive and abnormal behavior that is now being modeled by so-called Black entertainers and adopted by our youth.

This abnormal behavior has become normal for so many Black citizens that our collective immune system (culture) is under attack.

I asked you where is the organized effort to address the issues facing the Black community (i.e. mass incarceration of Black men; failed education system; demise of the Black family; increased growth of families and individuals living at or near poverty, etc.). There is none. Why?

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I contend that too many Blacks, even those that are better educated, don’t know what time it is.

They don’t know their history, so they can’t know what’s going on.

Unless something is done now, the future of the Black community in America will be forever and permanently damaged.

No excuse is good enough for our community not making the paradigm shift that is needed to save ourselves.

Yes, this is going to be difficult because Black people have all of the individual and collective challenges that any other group has. No one is immune to the challenges of life.

Blacks have their share of good and bad within just like every other group. However, in spite of the fact that we have our own life issues, we still must overcome them and initiate a movement to support change for the future.

We have to strengthen our resolve to achieve functional unity.

I too have and continue to experience all of the struggles that one can achieve without dying and as they say “if it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger.”

Blacks should be the strongest people on the planet and we can’t allow the challenges of life to get in the way of what needs to be done to strengthen our communities.

Brothers and sisters, I’m no motivational writer or speaker, but it is my hope and prayer that you become motivated to follow this call to action which is motivated by faith and facts.

Some have equated organizing our community to “herding cats.”

Why do we have this negative distinction?

I’ve personally committed the balance of my life to doing just that – achieving functional unity for the Black community and I hope others will do the same.

When I’m feeling doubtful and overwhelmed, I ask myself where this passion comes from. Why me, and am I even capable of such a heavy task.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I will never know why, but this entire issue has forced me to study our condition in a way that I could never have imagined and the message that I convey to you is undeniable and irrefutable. I have both history and today’s conditions, which supports my position.

So I’m asking our Black leaders to support me in creating a cooperative leadership that takes into account our aggregated talents and strengths and minimizes our faults and weaknesses; a leadership that will serve with dignity and honor the future Black people; a paradigm shift that will BREAK THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CHAINS THAT KEEP US FROM BELIEVING THAT WE CAN DO THIS (BLACK INFERIORITY).

WE MUST KNOW MORE ABOUT OUR HISTORY AND THE MIND THAT HAS MADE US THEIR ENEMY.

Since the 15th century (past 600 years), Europeans have steadfastly held the belief that it is their divine right to rule and govern African peoples, ad infinitum.

Europeans have not only proceeded to colonize the entire Black world but, more importantly, they also have colonized information about the world – making Europe the subject of world history and the total defamation of Africa and African people.

Africa will forever be defined as the Dark Continent and its people as cannibals, savages, uncivilized, backward and primitive, devoid of knowledge and culture, with evil traits and desires.

Nothing could be further from the truth because Africa is the “Mother of Civilization” and has arecorded history of nearly 100,000 years with Africans being pioneers of science, religion, chemistry, mathematics, education, astrology, philosophy, architecture, agriculture, medicine, government, etc.

When you don’t know your history you become a victim of the media and educational blitz of white supremacy and black inferiority, which is maintained through their education and religious systems.

The primary weapon used by white supremacists to perpetuate and maintain the myth/big lie of European supremacy and white privilege, invincibility, and to maintain the myth/ big lie of Black inferiority and nothingness is education (miseducation).

The entire education systems was designed to subordinate, exploit, and create mental confusion and an absolute and total dependency of Africans on Europeans to produce people who would participate in the process of European colonial rule.

Blacks would participate in the process of their own oppression.

The secondary weapon Europeans have used to perpetuate and maintain the big lie is through religion.

Ask yourself, if you were the devil/big lie, where would you hide?

Religion is the perfect vehicle, because once religion becomes an acceptable tradition, a lie can then be covered within the spirituality of a tradition making it virtually impossible for anyone to question the validity of what’s being taught or question the lie. The big lie is that God, the Creator of the heavens and earth and everything in between, is white.

This lie was fabricated as part of white denial of its own heritage.

How can white people claim that Blacks are an inferior race while, at the same time, worshiping a person of color?

The Black man in America has received a double dose of emotional and psychological damage due to nearly 400 years of chattel slavery and Jim Crow terrorism, which produced a natural desire to be educated by a corrupted education system and a civil rights movement that produced the ultimate emulation.

Malcom X once said, “Anyone who takes their children to the oppressor to be educating is a fool.”

Isn’t this exactly what Blacks have done in America? So what were we taught?

We were taught a European- centered education instead if an African-centered education and the result is a stronger belief in white supremacy.

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Black history, which most of us don’t know, is our connection to our ancestors.

As a people, we must examine how we got here and what these journeys looked like. We must examine how we survived and what that means to us today.

We must ask ourselves how our ancestors responded and at what costs.

We must examine how thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and our overall feeling about “self” has been acquired.

Do we know why we think the way we do? We must also come to know that while we have a big role to play in the self-determination of Black people both individually and collectively, we have been victimized in the worse way possible and now we carry the burden of a “victim’s guilt.”

Knowing your true history is the only real anecdote for alleviating victim’s guilt and, if we are unable or unwilling to begin this pursuit, at least we should resist anything that could institutionalize our children who are being traumatized daily.

Sometimes the message is outright white supremacy (there are thousands of these messages) and you, by default, must represent Black inferiority.

Example: If you say that “white is right”, then, by default you are saying black is inferior.

Sometimes the message is outright Black inferiority and there are thousands of these messages, which, by default, infer white supremacy.

Example: if you say that you need a good education to get out of the hood then by default you are saying better educated people live in superior neighborhoods and white people are frequently better educated.

It becomes extremely hard to overcome the barrage of white supremacy and Black inferiority messages when you don’t have an independent education and religious source.

The paradigm shift must directly address the legacy of slavery (structural racism) and the culture of failure.

The paradigm shift must involve a strong and massive effort to de-Europeanize, de-mystify, detoxify, and de-brainwashing our subconscious minds and the rebuild a sense of Black pride (say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud).

I’m not talking about a song; I’m talking about a movement towards selfvaluation and the pursuit of knowledge, restoration of the Black heritage and addressing our collective hurt and pain (therapy) which includes:

• Celebrating Excellence in the Black Community – This is why the Black communication tools are so critical (i.e. Black radio, newspapers, TV, etc.) so that we can promote and market the good that is taking place in our community;

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Support Black Cultural Organizations and Culturally Enriched Events – We must rally around and elevate our Black cultural organizations.

The strengths or weaknesses of these organizations reflect the position of their community.

Neighborhood festivals, music concerts, poetry, spoken word, barbeques, parades, etc. must be expanded and increased because all of them provide to the masses of Black people a sense of pride and comfort especially when there is an 24/7 bombardment of negative stereotypes of Black inferiority.

• Black Education Studies – We must have Black studies for children in our schools but more importantly, we must have an independent pathway for adults to study Black issues beginning with formal classes; book clubs; study groups; conferences, expert lectures, and group counseling for the hurt and pain that Blacks have been told to get over with.

• Address Structural Racism, Discrimination, and Bias – Working with all of our civil rights organizations (i.e. NAACP, NAN, etc.) to address structural racism and negative media stereotypes.

Today individual racism is very hard to prove because you must uncover what’s in the person’s heart.

However, institutions don’t have hearts but they reflect the climate and culture of its leadership and in addition to the racist outcomes that the institutions demonstrate, if there is obvious bias within the institution and amongst its leadership, this is must be challenged.

The paradigm shift for the Black community is a new approach to leadership.

Unfortunately, as part of the massive programming of white supremacy and, by default, Black inferiority, Blacks have downright rejected or have not supported Black leadership.

As part of our experience in America, we have been encouraged to suspect Black leadership.

Black leaders have not been able to work with each other.

This has existed since we’ve been in this country.

When we have supported Black leadership, it is because white media has approved them and we are made to believe its okay to accept them.

Black leadership must be independent and not beholding to anyone except the needs of the Black community.

I personally question anyone that calls himself a leader of Black people and isn’t prepared to speak out against oppression of Black people.

Even the human body is designed with leadership (we have a body with feelings and emotions but it is our head that is responsible for leading the body).

We must acknowledge that every people need leadership and even the leaders’ need leadership.

The Black community can’t survive without leadership nor can the Black leaders optimize their potential without collaboration.

Unfortunately, years and years of free agency, with no centralized system of accountability has led to everyone doing what he/she believes is right while functioning within an environment of systemic chaos.

This is why the conditions facing the Black community are increasing and, even more harmful is what we are passing down to the next generations as operational models of absolute dysfunction.

If we keep doing the same thing, we will get the same results (nothing).

We need a paradigm shift.

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Our Leaders told us to Unify.

This article focuses on an earlier phase of the movement. Two United States Supreme Court decisions—Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896), which upheld “separate but equal” racial segregation as constitutional doctrine, andBrown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) which overturned Plessy—serve as milestones. This was an era of stops and starts, in which some movements, such as Marcus Garvey‘s Universal Negro Improvement Association, were very successful but left little lasting legacy, while others, such as the NAACP‘s painstaking legal assault on state-sponsored segregation, achieved modest results in its early years but made steady progress on voter rights and gradually built to a key victory in Brown v. Board of Education (1954).

After the Civil War, the US expanded the legal rights of African Americans. Congress passed, and enough states ratified, an amendment ending slavery in 1865—the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution. This amendment only outlawed slavery; it provided neither citizenship nor equal rights. In 1868, the 14th Amendment was ratified by the states, granting African Americans citizenship. All persons born in the US were extended equal protection under the laws of the Constitution. The 15th Amendment (ratified in 1870) stated that race could not be used as a condition to deprive men of the ability to vote. During Reconstruction (1865–1877), Northern troops occupied the South. Together with the Freedmen’s Bureau, they tried to administer and enforce the new constitutional amendments. Many black leaders were elected to local and state offices, and many others organized community groups, especially to support education.

Reconstruction ended following the Compromise of 1877 between Northern and Southern white elites.[1] In exchange for deciding the contentious Presidential election in favor of Rutherford B. Hayes, supported by Northern states, over his opponent, Samuel J. Tilden, the compromise called for the withdrawal of Northern troops from the South. This followed violence and fraud in southern elections from 1868–1876, which had reduced black voter turnout and enabled Southern white Democrats to regain power in state legislatures across the South. The compromise and withdrawal of Federal troops meant that white Democrats had more freedom to impose and enforce discriminatory practices. Many African Americans responded to the withdrawal of federal troops by leaving the South in what is known as the Kansas Exodus of 1879.

The Radical Republicans, who spearheaded Reconstruction, had attempted to eliminate both governmental and private discrimination by legislation. That effort was largely ended by the Supreme Court‘s decision in the Civil Rights Cases, 109 U.S. 3 (1883), in which the Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment did not give Congress power to outlaw racial discrimination by private individuals or businesses.

 

Please listen to the lost of our Warrior, most don’t overstand what our Grandparents and Great Grand parents our Fathers and Mother’s went though, they never gave up on fighting for freedom, but the youth today are afraid to fight the beast…  If we die, let us die because we stood up against the beast for the well being of our Children, like our Ancestors did in time pass….

Friends of the African Union Call TOPIC: FORMATION OF NATIONAL BLACK COUNCIL OF ELDERS

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Mwalimu W. Kabaila 

Friends of the African Union Call
TOPIC: FORMATION OF NATIONAL
BLACK COUNCIL OF ELDERS
When:
Date and Time: Friday, April 15, 2016 9:00 PM Eastern Time!!!!
Duration: 1.5 Hour
Audio: FreeConferenceCall.com

Dial-in Number:
Description: United States 1 (712) 770-4010
Access Code:
761568
3nd DRAFT OF PROPOSED FORMATION OF A NATIONAL BLACK COUNCIL OF ELDERS
Mission – To engage in, aid and assist the building of a National Movement and Network of Council of Elders whose role and function will be to provide spiritual guidance, formulate policy and to develop programs and projects which contribute to the growth and economic empowerment of the African American National Community.
Purpose – To build Council of Elders in every locality where blacks inhabit in this country around foundational Principles of Unity and Principles of Cooperation which provide an over-arching ideology for the collective mission of building a National Community and unifying with our Global family in Africa, and the rest of the Diaspora. These principles can be found in the Kwanzaa Accords to which the FAU and CAP signed onto in 2013.
Definition of National Black Council of Elders – Elements
1. The first and foremost priority for a Council of Elders is to be Caretakers, Gatekeepers and Stewards of African culture in all of its many and diverse manifestations, i.e. its values, principles, progressive rituals, traditions, history, paradigms, cosmologies, worldview, languages, indigenous industries, dances, songs, cuisines, political, social and economic theories and practices, and most of all the integrity and control of our African Land Base, Mother Africa. In these areas, the COE must be uncompromising, determined and vigilant.
2. The Council of Elders shall be made up of Women and Men who have proven long term commitment and capacity to preserve, promote and protect the interests of African people, and who have the proven ability to maintain their integrity, intellect and involvement in the affairs of the Black/African Community. These elders must be able to establish a degree of stature and respect in the community, in order to build and maintain Unity, Harmony, Balance, Justice and Order in our Local and National Communities.
3. The Council of Elders will provide Leadership and Governance of Black/African Communities as one of its key roles and responsibilities will be to design, manage and institute policies, programs and projects which build and advance the best interests of our people and communities. Key areas are Health and Wellness, Housing, Education, Youth, Women, Defense, the Elderly and Disabled. Another key area is Industry Growth and Development to insure Economic Development and Job Security. In this capacity the COE must also develop the resources to build the Institutional Capacity and Structures which will ensure Economic Empowerment and Cultural Growth.
4. The Council of Elders shall create, facilitate, and provide guidance and direction for Institution Building with special focus on Key Growth Industries. Such industries shall be inclusive of, though, not limited to African centered Education, Redefined Health Care Delivery System which emphasizes Holistic Approaches, Agricultural Programs which prioritize Food as Medicine and Medicine as Food, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), Sustainable Energy, Waste and Water Management, Trade and Commerce, Manufacturing, Cultural Travel and Tourism, Community Security and Defense, Creative and Cultural Production (Dance, Music, Theater, Drum, Performing Arts, Literature, Sport, Technology, Fine Art)
5. As Dr. Maaskelah Khemet outlines in her book, “Calling the Elders”, the COE will mandate Commissions to carry out certain policies, or to do research in order to formulate policy, programs and projects which advance the interests of our communities, thus allowing the Council to fulfill its role and function as a governing entity in our National, Regional and Local communities. Please refer to Dr. Khemet’s book as it provides a workable model and paradigm for the work required of the COE.
6. The Council of Elders will also be responsible for establishing policy for forming alliances and coalitions with groups outside of our community in furtherance of our community’s collective goals and objectives, as well as our short and long term interests, as the Council defines them.
7. The Council of Elders as a governing body, is mandated to represent the collective interests of African descendants in the US, encourage and support the building of COE’s in other countries where African descendants inhabit, and build a communications and networking structure with these entities. The COE is also mandated to represent the collective will and aspirations of African descendants in international bodies such as the UN and African Union, as an act of Self Determination, and allying with groups like CARICOM, which represents African Descendants in the Caribbean Region. As a governing body, the COE can also initiate and mandate the formation of a Diasporan Commonwealth in association with other Diapora peoples, which will represent the interests of the Diaspora as a whole, and not just disparate groups. The COE can also mandate a Commission which will present the best options to revive the Fihankra Tribe established in 1994, and which all African descendants of the slave trade have a right to belong to, given all such diasporans an organic relationship with our Motherland, with land set aside for those wishing to repatriate.
8. The COE will establish guidelines, policy, procedures and protocols for the resolution of community conflicts and seek agreement at local and national levels to serve as an Appeals Court and Supreme Court for any behaviors personal and/or organizational, which cause community disharmony. As the COE is the Stewarts of Community Values as embodied in the Nguzo Saba and Ma’at, it shall also have the power of being the final arbiter or mediator in disputes.
9. The above, are all elements and rationale supporting the formation of a National Black Council of Elders, but the most significant is that a COE provides a context and the structural capacity for African Americans to step on the World Stage as a Free, Proud and Productive people. We, as a people, and a National Community have a unique historical contribution to make to Global African Liberation, Human Freedom, and Human Progress. Our organizational efforts will not only bring our people closer to liberation, but bring the whole of humanity closer to full and final Human Liberation, such that all of our children can walk in a warmer Sun, truly for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

 

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PRINCIPLES OF UNITY
1. Unity – Operational Unity, or organizing around our common goals, objectives and aspirations. Agreeing to disagree on those matters we may differ on, but moving forward promoting a positive Agenda which brings our people together towards a common end.
Levels of Unity
A. Self
B. Family
c. Community – where you share values
d. Neighborhood – where you live
e. Nation – Our National Community
f. Diaspora
g. Global African
h. World
2. Self Determination – The right and responsibility to exercise our sovereign right to determine our own identity and destiny as a people and national community, especially where our rights are continuously violated and disrespected by the dominant society.
3. Collective Work and Responsibility – The recognition that Nation Building is a shared activity and endeavor, even a duty, as a member of the African Community. This duty requires a commitment to the Rescue, Restoration, Reconstruction of African values, institutions, monuments and most importantly, the the African Personality which Franz Fanon refers to.
4. Cooperative Economics – This principle is grounded in the African concept of communitarian values, which determines that wealth is shared for the betterment and enrichment of the entire community, and not for a small elite.
5. Purpose – Our purpose is the vocation of building a National and Global Community which not only houses our collective aspirations, but allows for us develop and defend our interests as we define them, as a self determined people.
6. Creativity – This principle has social and sacred meaning, as it refers to the quality of the community we seek to build, which is many African societies, meant “To Bring Good to the World”. Thus, it is our task to leave the world more beautiful and beneficial that what we inherited.
7. Faith – Faith inspires, uplifts, elevates and sustains us as we engage in the process of restoration and reconstruction of our values, culture, institutions, lives and the paradigms which our Ancestors laid down for us to follow. It is grounded in the belief that we struggle for a more perfect and righteous world, and that within this endeavor, we, at the same time, create a New African Man and Woman.
PRINCIPLES OF COOPERATION
1. Mutual respect for the autonomy of each organization and entity to enter into this formation.
2. Respect for agreed upon rules of order and decorum when engaging in common action, in meetings, conference calls, and personal interactions.
3. Respect for the diverse value orientations and interests of persons and organizations, even as we engage in the process of merging our values and interests into a mutually agreed upon set, which moves our agenda, goals and objectives forward in a positive manner, in order to achieve intended results.
4. Commitment to engage in the sharing of resources, skills and talents which allow us to coordinate, cooperate and benefit from the unity we build and establish.
5. Sharing in the responsibility to be productive in the interest of our larger community, and to work in tandem with other generations, that we may learn from each other, in love and struggle.
6. Whatever ideology brought you to the table, leave it at the door, for our common goal is to formulate and design a Common Mission, and that mission should be our focus when we sit at the Round Table. Allow your ideology to keep you inspired when you go back to your respective organizations, but in a United Front, let our common goals guide our actions, strategies and deliberations, as we are ONe.
7. All potential for conflicts to arise, must be addressed as soon as they arise, and escalation cannot be tolerated in the interest of Community Harmony. Where any conflicts may arise between or among groups, factions, communities, entities or persons, each must submit their grievance(s) to a Conflict Resolution Board within the Council of Elders who will convene to either mediate or arbitrate such grievance in accord with the values of the African Community. African social order is not based on a system of laws, but founded on a set of Sacred Values and Principles which establish Social Harmony. When such Harmony is thrown out of Balance, Order is Re-established, and Justice served, by arriving at a Balanced Judgement based on Truth, Propriety and Reciprocity until Harmony is brought back into Balance. This is the way of our Ancestors.
STRUCTURE AND ORGANIZATION
The structure and organization of the COE must be done is such a way that is allows for maximum participation from all community persons as we all work to achieve our common goals and objective.
The following structure for COE is borrowed from Dr. Maaskelah K. Thomas’ book, “Calling the Elders”
A. Presiding Elder – One chosen to announce decisions made
by Consensus
B. Elders – Generally from 60 years and up, but for this formidable period, we will allow age 55 especially for those who may have certain needed skills and/or ties to the community.
C. Associate Elders – 50-59 yrs.
D. Scribes – Assistants to Elders and can be from any age group and who can provide consult on any range of issues.
E. Simba – 18-49 yrs. (Warriors, Apprentices, Nation Builders)
F. Wanafunzi – 3 – 17 (Students)
G. Watoto – Birth – 2 yrs.
Emissaries – (Wajumbe) Those who go into the community and bring back information from various sectors for the Elders Circle.
Commissions

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These are established for the expressed purposes of gathering information and/or formulating or designing policy on any given issue, as designated by the COE.
Round Table
The Round Table allows for interaction with the wider community on any range of issues, such as homelessness, drugs, criminal justice, abuse, etc. This would include community and/or civic organizations which may specialize in these key areas, and there in a need for coordination or utilization of resources.
1. National Formation – responsible for sending out the call for COE’s in each community. Establishing community standards for how local and regional formations can carry out their role and function in the interest of the masses. Formulating Planning goals and Policy objectives which can be implemented at the local levels. Engaging in Fund raising for all levels, and in such areads as Research and Development, Peace and Security, Industry building, Police Abuse, and Prison Resettlement. The National Formation must have commissions and/or ministries in all areas of life of our community, i.e. Finance, Banking, Shipping, Tourism, STEM, Health, Education, Agriculture, Transportation, Rights of Passage, Youth, Women, Men, Diaspora Relations, Continental Relations, Ambassador Corps, Manufacturing, New Industries, Sustainability and Conservation, Ecology and Permaculture, Energy, Spiritual Development, History, Cultural Arts and Enrichment, Planning, Governance, Family Relations, Collective Concern, Defense and Security, Physical Training, Housing, Communications, Media, Public Relations and Journeying (Psychology). The National Council of Elders should be mandated to assembling experts and professionals in each of this areas of interests, and to provide the proper forum for them to interact with each other where necessary, in a multi-dimensional way. It should also set up for inter-generational and multiple localities to interact and engage with other on a regular basis, for mutual benefit.
This body, then, can hold yearly Conferences or Conventions which are made up of a General Assembly of official delegates who vote on Policy, Proposals, Programs, and Projects.
REGIONAL COUNCIL OF ELDERS
Regional formations are intermediaries between local and national COE. Regional formations should hold meetings and/or mini conferences on a quarterly basis to address regional issues which can be resolved at the local level, or which need to be taken to th National for further engagement at that level, or Globally to such bodies as the African Union.
LOCAL COUNCIL OF ELDERS
Local COE will work to address local issues and concerns of their respective communities, though in concert with the value orientations within the Principles of Unity and Cooperation. In this manner, we create community standards for this valuable institution, and build a basis for establishing a network of COE which have the capacity to serve as Community Governing bodies and representing the collective interests of the masses of our people in their localities. These COE formations would also be involved in the AU Legacy Project of feeding in the the National Data Base of Skills, and of organizing volunteer corps for a variety of purposes based on need. The local COE would also be mandated to mobilize and organize communities on a block by block level, thus, encouraging mass participation in the decision making process affecting the lives of each of our communities.
COMMUNICATIONS
Communications is a key element in any organization, and involves networking within with other COE around the country, This can be done by conference calls, quarterly meetings, and yearly conventions. Media and Public Relations must be informed on every aspoect of the organization in order to deceminate correct information to the public at large. Emergency communications lines should be opened in event of any kind of disaster. The COE must be prepared to utilize all of the new technology available for education, virtual learning, job training, medical diagnosis, etc.
RESOURCES
1. Material – physical equipment, etc.
2. Financial – Loans, Proposals, Angels, funding sources, etc
3. Skilled Personnel – Trained and skilled people for all necessary functions as they arise. This is the reason for having a data base.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN COE AND COMMONWEALTH OF THE DIASPORA
1. Gatekeepers – One of the most important roles and responsibilities of the Council of Elders is to serve as the Sacred Gatekeepers of our African Culture, Traditions, Values and Principles.
2. Community Builders – COE seeks to build the Local communities from the ground up, starting with block clubs, community groups, professional associations, faith communities, politicians, business people, unions, etc. The COE provides a framework for all community entities and stakeholders to network together, formulate strategies, develop programs and projects and to support implementation of same.
3. Nation Building – As the result of networking at the community level, each community can, then choose representatives and/or delegates to the National Congress, which, too, will formulate policy, programs and projects on a National level, and which support Community Building on the local level.
4. Congresses – Each Congress is a National entity which represents a National Community, whether it be a nation state such as Grenada, Barbados, or Jamaica; territories such as Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands; or National Communities which exist within a nation state, such as in Canada, US, Columbia, Nicaragua, France, Mexico, etc. Each of these entities will select Delegates to represent the interests of their respective communities, and the collective interests of the Diaspora as a whole.
5. Commonwealth – The Commonwealth will be designed to represent the interests of the entire Diaspora, as a whole in International Circles and on a Global level. In this respect, the Commonwealth will have defined governing authority in its representations of the collective and communal interests of all African Diaspora Descendants of the African Slave Trade.
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COMMONWEALTH OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA
ARTICLE I- NAME
The name of the organization shall be the Commonwealth of the African Diaspora as an Ohio Unincorporated Association.
ARTICLE II- PURPOSE
The purpose of the Commonwealth of the African Diaspora is to build the global African Diaspora community made up People of African Decent both in their home countries and beyond by hosting and promoting networking in business through the Friends of the African Union Chamber of Commerce, and by advancing key initiatives within the global African Diaspora community based on the actions of the African Union and our Unified Congresses.
The Commonwealth of the African Diaspora is being created for the creations of a conscious capital culture in the people of the Africans Union’s Sixth region. The Commonwealth of the African Diaspora will operate at its highest potential as the global African Diaspora community made up People of African Decent the global African Diaspora community made up People of African Decent.
ARTICLE III- MISSIONS
The Commonwealth of the African Diaspora will build a 21st Century New African World Order based on an African consciousness for the high purpose of sustaining the African people through conscious leadership of the peoples assets that supports conscious a culture. Through African stakeholder integration the people of the African union and their allies will have broadband interconnect with a global best practices distance learning and education capacity that supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2020.
The Commonwealth of the African Diaspora will build on the principles proclaimed in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its determination to promote the implementation of the International Covenants on Human Rights and accepting the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review as a tool in the Declaration on the Establishment of a New Asian African and People of African Decent International Economic Coalition on October 15th 2015 at the United Nations in NYC.
Elements of African Diaspora Commonwealth
1. Unification of Diaspora Communities, Nations, Territories and Islands. The system of unification is to be determined by a congregation of Congresses from each Community/Nation in which delegates will arrive at a system to be approved by a General Assembly of the Commonwealth Communities.
2. Shared History
3. Shared Life Chances and Circumstances
4. Shared Culture and Values
5. Economic Empowerment via Cooperative Economics (Ujamaa), and Shared Markets
6. Shared Principles of Governance based on African Paradigms such as Mbongi.
7. Shared Future based on Common Vision and Aspirations to Build a New African World Order, founded on our Collective and Sovereign Interests.
ORGANIZING CONCEPTS
3 Levels of Community Involvement
1. Mobilize – marches, petitions, sit ins, etc
2. Organize – involve and engage people in organizational structures, designed to provide solutions on a practical level, and where achievement of goals and objectives can be measured.
3. Nationalize – Engaging in a Sankofa Journey back to an African identity and personality which supports the building of a Global African Nation, and New African Man and Woman to inhabit it.
3 Ends of Culture
1. Identity – Who are we? Africans in America
2. Purpose – What to do? Build a Global African Nation
3. Direction – How we do it. Council of Elders, Congress, Commonwealth, African Union (AU), Global African Nation.

QUOTES FROM BLACK WOMEN TO INSPIRE YOU

At some point, we all need a little pick me up. Each of these quotes by notable Black women will provide you with inspiration and help you seize the day.

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. –Harriet Tubman Tweet This

What God intended for you goes far beyond anything you can imagine. –Oprah Winfrey

I did what my conscience told me to do, and you can’t fail if you do that. –Anita Hill

Life is very short and what we have to do must be done in the now. –Audre Lorde

It’s not about supplication, it’s about power. It’s not about asking, it’s about demanding. It’s not about convincing those who are currently in power, it’s about changing the very face of power itself. – Kimberle Williams Crenshaw

Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts. –Nikki Giovanni

Don’t feel entitled to anything you didn’t sweat and struggle for. –Marian Wright Edelman

No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you. –Althea Gibson

As you become more clear about who you really are, you’ll be better able to decide what is best for you – the first time around. -Oprah Winfrey

We can say “Peace on Earth.” We can sing about it, preach about it or pray about it, but if we have not internalized the mythology to make it happen inside us, then it will not be. –Betty Shabazz

It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it. –Lena Horne

It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences. -Audre Lorde

There’s always something to suggest that you’ll never be who you wanted to be. Your choice is to take it or keep on moving. –Phylicia Rashad

Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself. –Alice Walker

Give light and people will find the way. –Ella Baker

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.  -Oprah Winfrey

All great achievements require time. –Maya Angelou

The kind of beauty I want most is the hard-to-get kind that comes from within – strength, courage, dignity. –Ruby Dee

Service is the rent that you pay for room on this earth. –Shirley Chisholm

Related: How to Trust Your Vision, Even When Others Don’t

The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely. –Lorraine Hansberry

I get angry about things, then go on and work. –Toni Morrison

Just remember the world is not a playground but a schoolroom. Life is not a holiday but an education. One eternal lesson for us all: to teach us how better we should love. –Barbara Jordan

Sometimes it’s worse to win a fight than to lose. –Billie Holiday

Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals. –Dorothy Height

When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. -Audre Lorde

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. – Marian Wright Edelman

You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas. – Shirley Chisholm

Grab the broom of anger and drive off the beast of fear. –Zora Neale Hurston

How simple a thing it seems to me that to know ourselves as we are, we must know our mothers names. -Alice Walker

Learn to be quiet enough to hear the genuine within yourself so that you can hear it in others. – Marian Wright Edelman

I am deliberate and afraid of nothing. -Audre Lorde

I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver. -Maya Angelou

If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it. – Toni Morrison

Just because I have my standards they think I’m a bitch. –Diana Ross

Your silence will not protect you. -Audre Lorde

There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made. –Michelle Obama

Cease to be a drudge, seek to be an artist. –Mary McLeod Bethune

I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves. -Harriet Tubman

Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place. -Zora Neale Hurston

Don’t be afraid to feel as angry or as loving as you can, because when you feel nothing, it’s just death. –Lena Horne

Is solace anywhere more comforting than that in the arms of a sister. -Alice Walker

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. -Maya Angelou

Don’t agonize, organize. –Florynce Kennedy

Everything will change. The only question is growing up or decaying. -Nikki Giovanni

I did my best, and God did the rest. –Hattie McDaniel

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. -Oprah Winfrey

You’re not obligated to win. You’re obligated to keep trying to do the best you can every day. -Marian Wright Edelman

Never be afraid to sit awhile and think. -Lorraine Hansberry

Your willingness to look at your darkness is what empowers you to change –Iyanla Vanzant

Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation. –Coretta Scott King

If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive. -Audre Lorde

I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance. –bell hooks

If you don’t understand yourself you don’t understand anybody else. -Nikki Giovanni

Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live. –Mae Jemison

You never find yourself until you face the truth. –Pearl Bailey

Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all. -Toni Morrison

The greatest gift is not being afraid to question. –Ruby Dee

Related: The Recession Lesson

Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher. -Oprah Winfrey

You know, you do need mentors, but in the end, you really just need to believe in yourself. -Diana Ross

No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow. -Alice Walker

It’s in the act of having to do things that you don’t want to that you learn something about moving past the self. Past the ego. -bell hooks

Each person must live their life as a model for others. –Rosa Parks

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. -Maya Angelou

I don’t believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process. -Oprah Winfrey

Nobody’s free until everybody’s free. –Fannie Lou Hamer

A lot of people refuse to do things because they don’t want to go naked, don’t want to go without guarantee. But that’s what’s got to happen. You go naked until you die. -Nikki Giovanni

The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class-it is the cause of human kind, the very birthright of humanity. –Anna Julia Cooper

Nobody is as powerful as we make them out to be. -Alice Walker

Always be smarter than the people who hire you. -Lena Horne

No person has the right to rain on your dreams. -Marian Wright Edelman

Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment. -Oprah Winfrey

Only by learning to live in harmony with your contradictions can you keep it all afloat. -Audre Lorde

You have a right to your thoughts and feelings. Your feelings are always valid. -Iyanla Vanzant

Never work just for money or for power. They won’t save your soul or help you sleep at night. -Marian Wright Edelman

Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated. -Coretta Scott King

We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated. -Maya Angelou

I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear. -Rosa Parks

Each time you love, love as deeply as if it were forever. – Audre Lorde

A woman’s gifts will make room for her. -Hattie McDaniel

I really don’t think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don’t mind the failure but I can’t imagine that I’d forgive myself if I didn’t try. -Nikki Giovanni

Prayer begins where human capacity ends. –Marian Anderson

I am not going to die, I’m going home like a shooting star. –Sojourner Truth

We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society. –Angela Davis

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. -Alice Walker

I have a lot of things to prove to myself. One is that I can live my life fearlessly. -Oprah Winfrey

Never work just for money or for power. They won’t save your soul or help you sleep at night. -Marian Wright Edelman

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Books for Black Women

Great Books for Black Women and Black Women Writers; Black women poets

Books for Us “B4U”
The list author says: “These are all great books that every Black woman should read. They are empowering and deeply touching.”
101 Ways Black Women Can Learn to Love Themselves: A Gift for Women of All Ages
101 Ways Black Women Can Learn to Love Themselves: A Gift for Women of All Ages
Shake Loose My Skin: New and Selected Poems (Bluestreak)
Shake Loose My Skin: New and Selected Poems (Bluestreak)
Blues Book for Blue Black Magical Women
Blues Book for Blue Black Magical Women
Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit
Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit
Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism
Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism
The Color Purple
The Color Purple
Black Women Writers at Work (Black Women Writers at Work, Paper)
Black Women Writers at Work (Black Women Writers at Work, Paper)
Rock My Soul: Black People and Self-Esteem
Rock My Soul: Black People and Self-Esteem
Salvation: Black People and Love
Salvation: Black People and Love
A rock against the wind: black love poems;: An anthology,
A rock against the wind: black love poems;: An anthology,
The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998
The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998
One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth
One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth
Six Women's Slave Narratives (The Schomburg Library of Nineteenth-Century Black Women Writers)
Six Women’s Slave Narratives (The Schomburg Library of Nineteenth-Century Black Women Writers)
Black Women Writers: A Critical Evaluation (1950-1980 : a Critical Evaluation)
Black Women Writers: A Critical Evaluation (1950-1980 : a Critical Evaluation)
Gender Talk: The Struggle for Women's Equality in African American Communities
Gender Talk: The Struggle for Women’s Equality in African American Communities
"After Mecca": Women Poets and the Black Arts Movement
“After Mecca”: Women Poets and the Black Arts Movement
Color, Sex, and Poetry: Three Women Writers of the Harlem Renaissance (Blacks in the Diaspora)
Color, Sex, and Poetry: Three Women Writers of the Harlem Renaissance (Blacks in the Diaspora)
Soul Talk: The New Spirituality of African American Women
Soul Talk: The New Spirituality of African American Women
Black Women Writing Autobiography: A Tradition Within a Tradition
Black Women Writing Autobiography: A Tradition Within a Tradition
When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America
When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America
Speak, So You Can Speak Again: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston
Speak, So You Can Speak Again: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston
Black Sister: Poetry by Black American Women, 1746-1980 (Midland Books)
Black Sister: Poetry by Black American Women, 1746-1980 (Midland Books)
The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors
The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors
Signify'n Me: New And Selected Poems
Signify’n Me: New And Selected Poems
The Black Poets
The Black Poets

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer

 

Black Womb-man and Man, “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the European Oppressor shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation: be thou faithful (to your nation, your roots, , your Mother and Father, your Aunt and Uncle, your Sister and Brother, your Cousin, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, your Queens and their Families which is your Family , your Daughter’s and Son’shall I go on, yes, Be Faithful to Mother Afrika , Afrika, the true Afrikan Womb-man in Spirit and in flesh will give thee a crown of life.

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If “all” women are great, and Black women are women, then Black women are great. Pretend like this is math or something then; set theory, or something. So any statement of “Black women are great” does not infer that White women (or any non-Black women as some non-Black women of colour also are anti-Black and get angry by Black women’s self-esteem) are not great. Obviously this has to be said since some White women cannot function unless always the center of womanhood  and the “default” “woman” while pretending that this center and White supremacy themselves do not exist. Unless I specifically say that a White woman is a self-centered, White privilege unaware or flaunting, arrogant, petulant, cruel, anti-intersectional, entitled, derailing, trolling, plagiarizing, unethical, culturally appropriating, manipulative person, then I am only saying that “Black women are great” when I say that “Black women are great.” Dassit.

And considering that this is in fact life, not a “formula” to determine greatness and that this life includes a history of the utter and complete dehumanization–not just oppression, but complete dehumanization–of Black women into objects for power, profit, and pleasure, then I would think that saying “Black women are great” or any statement similar on a personal blog on a free platform–that is not the mainstream media, that does not alter what a Google search for “beauty” looks like or alters most magazine covers, television shows or films, and any space where “women” are, where “women” usually means “White” (hi Bechdel Test, or like, feminism itself)–would not be so devastating to White women that they pile into my and other Black women’s blog comments sections, DMs, Twitter mentions, emails, and reblog notes (and not even to mention the hell offline) arguing as if beauty and self-esteem are a zero sum game where if Black women have even a modicum of happiness, White women’s lives end. I would think that all of the power ascribed toWhiteness would be sufficient since they cannot even dare to claim (though they often do) that they face sexism alone since Black women are women as well, even if we experience sexism differently because of intersectionality.

This came to mind to me as @thepbg mentioned that her “Black Girls Are Magic” t-shirt (I bought one but haven’t worn mine yet) is being read as “but White girls aren’t.” This came to mind when earlier today @Karnythia sent tweets under the tag #BlackGirlGauntlet when she tweeted “can we talk about what Black girls who succeed go through to get there? Can we talk about the gauntlet Black women run?” This comes to mind to me daily as any whiff of positivity from Black women is attacked, primarily by White women/Black men, but honestly can be by anyone not a Black woman, and even by other Black women who haven’t tried to unlearn the hatred that we are supposed to–even demanded to–feel for ourselves.

Even if I stated that “Black women are perfect” (which I don’t; i.e. I mean something really specific when I write “perfection” on a photograph, which is immediate defiance of the notion that we are ugly) instead of “Black women are great” the privilege ascribed upon White women would still exist. Some of them can easily go to a mainstream media outlet and degrade Black women and then engage in White Tears™ while obscuring their structural power and then call Black women “toxic.” Or they could ignore me altogether since every major space focuses on their existence, not mine. And sure, that existence is very focused where class privilege, education, being cis, thinness and being a citizen is even more privileged. But White privilege does not require any of that to still exist. None of it.

So yeah, here on Gradient Lair, on my blog, and in my life, Black women are great. They are my sisters. My friends. My blog readers. People who have my back offline and online. They held my hand and stroked my hair when my mother died. My mother was one. They are the best teachers that I had in my school days. They are beautiful, diverse, vulnerable, courageous, kind, funny as hell and make me laugh like nobody else, creative, strategic, gifted, special…GREAT. And, I don’t have to personally and individually like or befriend every individual Black woman in order for any of this to be true. That’s what it is ‘round here. Doesn’t mean that I don’t critique us or myself but I completely and utterly reject the notion that I have to dehumanize and degrade fellow Black women in order to be a “truth teller” and “introspective.” Misogynoir ain’t wisdom or insight.

Further, I refuse to tap dance in the Black male gaze and degrade Black women in hopes of attention from men that I don’t necessarily want and who don’t always love me and will even state that they hate me. I refuse to center Black men when amidst Blackness, they are already centered even as we all (yep, all of us Black people, not just Black men) face racism. I refuse to tolerate their misogynoir and from any Black men, not just cishet ones. It’s not okay from any Black men.

I would never, ever go into a White woman’s or Black man’s space where they were speaking positively about White women or Black men, respectively, (assuming that they are not degrading Black women in order to be “positive” about themselves; often they use Black women as their stepping stool to hopes of White male power) and demand that they view themselves as inferior. Why? Because the privilege ascribed upon both of their identities (White and male, respectively) means that I, not them, would be attacked for doing so. And mostly because the idea of doing so is dreadful and cruel. Yet, my existence as a Black woman is so offensive to people that they rail when I discuss oppression that Black women (and other people; I do discuss oppression over a larger spectrum much of the time, even as I center Black women as a womanist) face and they rail when my discussions are too “happy.”

Or I post 3 photographs in a row of Black women where they are beautiful and happy and that’s deemed a problem. (I’ve actually tracked the 3 photograph phenomenon for a year.) Or I am smiling in public. That’s a problem. (Obviously not smiling is deemed a problem too; street harassment.) Confident about appearance? Problem. Confident about intelligence? Problem. The lower your social location is deemed, the more “humility” is demanded. Whomever is oppressed in regards to any facet of identity then the corresponding privileged people demand “humility.” People are so committed to misogynoir that they cannot think clearly. They’re so committed to dehumanizing Black women that they cannot stand that some Black women feel good about ourselves despite living incredibly difficult lives. That’s what’s great about us; the “despite.” This doesn’t make me that dehumanizing stereotype of the “Strong Black Woman” because I do feel; I have feelings. It’s simply what makes me alive and human and real and a full person and I just don’t care how angry this makes people, though I care about what harm they will inflict based on that anger.

I regularly think of the very end of Celie standing up for herself in the film The Color Purple when she says “but I’m here” after she listed every flaw thrown in her face. Knowing that people simply do not want me to exist makes me not only want to exist but truly live.

“They’ll destroy themselves trying to destroy us.”