BET recently aired a special entitled “Black Girls Rock.” During the broadcast a number of accomplished Black women and girls were honored for their achievements in a variety of arenas. The great actor, Angela Bassett, received the Icon Award. During her acceptance speech, which generated a rousing standing ovation, she stated, in part, “We have much work to do and, together, we are unstoppable.” Further, “Always remember that our voices, the very power that we hold individually, and all of us collectively, it does matter. Now is not the time to be silent. Find your purpose, pursue it relentlessly, passionately and loudly. Be persistent and win.”
These are powerful words, and they should be heeded by all Black people. It is no secret that all across the planet Black people are being vilified. Wherever Black people and white people reside in proximity with each other, the fireworks seem to happen and Black people end up oppressed. What must be understood is that oppression has two faces: an external one and an internal one. The external oppression comes in the form of economic violence, segregation, and all kinds of mechanisms built into society that serve to hold Black people back. The internal oppression, on the other hand, comes from the psyche of Black people who have allowed the external oppression to generate internal self-hatred. This is why you see Black people bleaching their skins. This is why Black children linger in foster care longer than other children. This is why many Black communities become vulnerable to chaos – too many people don’t take pride in their communities and the people who reside in them, resulting in eventual decay and blight, paving the way for others with the wherewithal to come in and take over. In tandem with the blight we often find high crime rates, challenging employment statistics, school dropouts, high rates of incarceration and other attendant ills characteristic of a victimized population. And one of the reasons there is this stark power differential between Blacks and whites is the advanced use of technology by white people, which keeps people enthralled and gives them a false sense of superiority to observers.
The folly in this kind of thinking is based on erroneous assumptions; though technology can make life easier, it can also bring with it chaos, especially if misused. Look at what happened during WWII when the United States, after a feverish fight to win the war, developed the atomic bomb and decimated Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan.
There is another kind of technology which people of color, and Black people in particular, have been able to wield, but which is often ignored and placed in the realm of naïve superstition: spiritual technology. It is said that this technology is what enabled Toussaint L’Ouverture to defeat Napoleon during the Haitian Revolution.
The foundation of the power that we all have is that of internal spirituality. It is that which has allowed the freed slaves and other oppressed Black people to not only survive, but to thrive in harsh conditions. It is that power that put egg on the face of Adolph Hitler during the 1936 Olympic Games where Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe bested Germany’s finest.
The simple fact of the matter is that the only thing keeping Black people back today is the PERCEPTION that we are powerless. If we pause and look around, we will note that in spite of oppression we have excelled in every field of endeavor. Some of the most powerful people on the planet are Black people who have literally willed themselves to the top. Unfortunately, false news is generated so that these people are often vilified by other Black people who accuse them of being “coons.” After all, the thinking goes if a Black person is successful, he or she had to sell out, because deep inside many Blacks believe they are inferior to white people. Actually, all we have to do is to look at the accomplishments of some Black women like Oprah Winfrey, Angela Bassett, and others, who have achieved in spite of incredible odds. They found the secret: it is through the will and the power of intention that the mind can create reality. For those who understand their internal spiritual power to create their own success, the sky is the limit. Change focus and accentuate the positive. That is the way to success! A Luta Continua.