As we enter a New Kwanzaa Season, we must remind ourselves of the continued challenges that we face. The fundamental issue that Africans in America must face is centered around the continued assault by the systems of racism and white supremacy that keeps us in bondage, servitude, and often times, confusion. What is at stake is our survival as a race of people. We must come to grips with the following challenges as we enter a New Kwanzaa Season.
Family Development: There is no question that the African in America family is in major disarray and is in need of major repair. Without strong African in America families, raising and nurturing our children, the future will remain bleak. Families are the foundation for the survival and development of a people. African men and women need to close ranks and reestablish the tradition of strong Black families in America.
Economic Development: Many Africans in America women and men continue to remind us that we earn in excess of 600 billion dollars a year in this country. The tragedy of this economic potential in the African Community in America is that the overwhelming majority of this income we earn, we spend with other people and not with our own. Other people still continue to dominate and maximize profits from our communities for their own advancement. When are we going to stop this awful practice of allowing other people to benefit from the dollars we earn?
Political Development: We have often said that politics is the science of who gets what, when, where, and how. And in this regard, we should recognize that the white power structure and its Black allies are doing everything possible to rupture our continuing movement for Black political empowerment. In electoral politics the lessons are clear. Personality clashes and individual personal conflicts have no place in the world of politics! The only thing that matters is what is best for African people in America. If we don’t remain unified politically, we will not benefit from our efforts to increase Black political power in Chicago or in any other cities in which we live.
Cultural Development: Why should other people profit from our artistic and creative endeavors? It is clear that we are a creative people with a unique culture of our own. However, in this area the writers, poets, musicians, dancers, singers, actors, etc. must strive to control what we create and the entire African Community should aggressively support their efforts.
International Affairs: We must work harder to support the struggle of our brothers and sisters in Africa, the Caribbean, and South America in their continued liberation struggle for land and independence.
Historical Discontinuity: It appears the more we are oppressed under the system of racism and white supremacy, the more we forget our history. One generation from the next has difficulty remembering our great struggles, battles, and movements.
Harold Cruse points out in his book, The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, “The farther the Negro [Black person] gets from his [her] historical antecedents in time, the more tenuous become his conceptual ties, the emptier his [her] social conceptions, the more superficial his visions.”
It must be clear, at this point in history that African people need to determine for ourselves solutions to the many serious problems we face. We should realize going into this New Kwanzaa Season that no one will do for us what we really need to do for ourselves.
It is time we begin providing for ourselves in all areas of life. No longer should we listen and adhere to how other people define us and our struggle. Accomplishing the objective of elevating our struggle to a higher level will require that we become more skilled in organizing our communities toward our liberation and freedom.
As an old African proverb points out, “Those who are dead have not gone forever. They are in the woman’s womb. They are in the child who whimpers.”