By Terry Allen
First of all, thank you for responding to my last column, about controlling our narrative and honoring Congressman John Lewis “Good Trouble” and President Obama’s charge for us not to turn on each other when it comes to race and privilege. I heard you loud and clear. The message I got was “this dialogue must go on!” So here we go with Black Card 201. Let’s continue with the original request, we must now make this moment a movement so we will not have to revisit this again. Let’s expand on that right now. Let’s add more strategies to the rules of engagement. The focus today will be reducing the self-hate and increasing our self-power. It is written “self-hatred is a pejorative characterization of persons who are judged to hold members of their apparent identity group to a higher standard of behavior than those not in that social group.” Also, it is the definition that is generally taken to mean an internalization of the prejudices of a dominant culture against African American members belonging to the same African American culture.
If you want to see the power of self-hatred visit any beauty supply store in our community and greet the owners. While self-love is defined as regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic). You need an example: just walk around inside Akwete Tyehimba’s Bookstore and strike up a conversation with any of the regulars who drop in. We must collaborate including all facets of our intra-diversity with Godspeed. We then can maintain this global momentum, so the movement takes permanence. We must stop ostracizing gifted and capable African Americans who are not getting a seat at the table from their own peers. So, here are my additional actions for us to create the permanence of a movement.
1. Establish and fund a well-built think tank organized for culturally-competent research with the objective of providing advice on a diverse range of policy issues, economic parity recommendations and inclusion products through the execution/sharing of specialized knowledge, also, it should advocate and open the door for the activation of networks including the coveted supply chain and distribution lanes. The voices of Black economists have been largely silent from any commentary on both pandemics, racial and viral. The Economic Policy Institute stated that not a single Black economist was recognized as an expert contributor to the economic issues grappling our community although we have above-average expertise on mobile payments to workers, solutions to the widening racial wealth gap, and the pandemic’s impact on marginalized communities. MY CHARGE: Re-establish the Metropolitan African American Think Tank now.
2. Un-erase current history books & curriculums which are filled with incomplete revisionist stereotyped western thought and infuse a Black cultural history school inside the nation’s teaching institutions and in our Black churches that inserts truth-infused facts, evidence-based timelines; as well as inclusive of all races that shaped American History. In other words: Everyone needs to know that Charles Drew who was a pioneer of Blood plasma storage and Gladys Mae West, who was a mathematician whose technology helped develop the current GPS system; are both Black. So, join me and my Good Trouble mentoring program for young Black men and women. Those are my thoughts. Now yours? Stay tuned for BC301.
Please email me at the paper. Terryallenpr@gmail.com.
Terry Allen is a multimedia journalist and board member of the National Association of Black Journalists.