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although the NAACP initially sued the lending company for

targeting African borrowers, they later dropped the lawsuit

and made Wells Fargo a lead sponsor for their 101st national

convention in July of this year. . . . 1920 Harlem radical

Hubert Harrison referred to the organization as the National

Association for the Advancement of Certain People.

 

 

The Failure of Negro Leadership

By Benjamin Woods

 

The New York Times printed a revealing article on February 13, 2010 titled “In Black Caucus, A Fund-Raising Powerhouse.” The article discusses the large donations the Congressional Black Caucus receives from corporations, foundations, and wealthy individuals. Moreover, it demonstrates the ongoing intergenerational failure of negro leadership in the United States.

I assert there are three crucial periods in African leadership: 1) the emergence of a “free” northern based leadership in the early 19th century 2) the white appointment of Booker T. Washington as the leader of African America in the late 19th century and 3) the cooptation and incorporation of negro politicians in the post-Black Power era. This essay uses a theoretical framework of domestic colonialism. According to this theory, within a colonized nation, such as Africans in the United States, a portion of the indigenous colonized population is recruited to collaborate with the imperial power.

At the turn 19th century, a free primarily middle class northern African leadership emerged in the United States. At the same time, a new debate among African leaders developed concerning the identity and direction of the African community in the U.S. Unlike previous periods of the movement which advanced militant resistance such as maroons, insurrections, and emigration these leaders began to appeal to the liberal values of the U.S. founding documents and “moral uplift.” Dr. Leslie Alexander, who examines this issue in her book, African or American? Black Identity and Political Activism in New York City, 1784-1861, recently stated on Jazz and Justice radio:

Black leadership in the 1830s and 1840s embraced a particular political strategy known as moral uplift…which states the way for Black people to gain freedom justice equality citizenship etc. is to present to white society the best possible face of the Black community to convince white people of their humanity and worthiness.

A few decades later, Booker T. Washington echoed these statements preaching a doctrine of political passivity, moral uplift, and industrial education. Schools that taught industrial education such as Tuskegee Institute were funded by the leading Northern industrialists such as the Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Vanderbilt for the explicit purpose of producing a conservative negro leadership class.

By the late 1960s and 1970s, African leadership in the U.S. boldly moved in the direction of Black Nationalism, Pan Africanism, and Socialism. Unfortunately, due to their uncompromising stance several visionary leaders were assassinated, imprisoned, and forced into exile by the F.B.I.‘s COINTELPRO. During this same period, philanthropic foundations such as the Ford Foundation under the leadership of McGeorge Bundy financed a moderate to conservative negro leadership.

Today, the result are negro leaders such as President Barack Obama and Mayor Adrian Fenty in Washington D.C. Obama received $745 million in campaign financing, more than any other candidate for U.S. President in history. Although he is virtually silent in response to state terrorism against Africans (ex: police brutality), Obama is vocal in the defense of racist Zionist Israel who murders known pacifists delivering aid to poor, colonized people in the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, Fenty, who raised $3.9 million as of March for his upcoming mayoral race, breaking his own campaign donation record, promotes privatization of schools (charters) and homeless shelters in the U.S. capitol. Privatization has been shown to assist elites, who financed his campaign, to accumulate more capital.

The utter failure of negro leadership in the U.S. not only affects political leadership but also African America’s most revered civil rights organizations. Although the NAACP was primarily started by white liberal Jews and, at one point, was used to watch “negro dissidents“ by the U.S. government during World War I, it is known more for its numerous civil rights victories.

Today they collaborate with companies such as Wells Fargo that target Africans in the U.S. for unaffordable home loans thereby causing one of the single biggest losts of wealth in the African community’s history due to home foreclosures.  For example, although the NAACP initially sued the lending company for targeting African borrowers, they later dropped the lawsuit and made Wells Fargo a lead sponsor for their 101st national convention in July of this year. For this and other reasons, in 1920 Harlem radical Hubert Harrison referred to the organization as the National Association for the Advancement of Certain People.

Several scholars such as Jacob Caruthers, Cedric Robinson, and Sterling Stuckey have discussed the intergenerational failure of negro leaders. However, the U.N.I.A. in the 1920s and the Black Power Movement were periods when Africans had an ideologically and financially independent leadership. In the 21st century the African Freedom Movement must adopt three principles espoused by the esteemed African freedom fighter Ella Baker: 1) working class leadership 2) youth leadership and 3) participatory democracy. These three principles can help us to overcome our current crisis of negro leadership and move in the direction of national liberation and self determination.

Notes

Alexander, Leslie. (2008) African or American? Black Identity and Political Activism in New York City, 1784-1861. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

Allen, Robert. (1992) Black Awakening in Capitalist America. Trenton, NJ: African World Press.

Lipton Eric & Lichtblau, Eric. “In Black Caucus, a Fund-Raising Powerhouse.” New York Times. February 13, 2010.

Ransby, Barbara. (2005) Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.

Robinson, Cedric. (1997) Black Movements in America. New York: Routledge.

Stewart, Nikita. “D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty surpasses 2006 fundraising record.” New York Times. Friday March 12, 2010.

Stuckey, Sterling. (1987) Slave Culture: Nationalist Theory and the Foundations of Black America. New York: Oxford University Press.

Watkins, William. (2001) The White Architects of Black Education: Ideology and Power in America, 1865-1954. New York: Teachers College Press.

Benjamin Woods can be contacted at benjaminwoods1@yahoo.com.

Source: BlackAgendaReport.  This article originally appeared on Mr. Woods’ web site, FreeTheLand 

posted 14 June 2010 

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Unedited video supports Sherrod’s claim she wasn't racistThe full, uncut video of a federal agricultural official's NAACP speech purporting racial scheming, told a different story than the barely-three-minute snippet that cost her her job. Despite admitting in the edited version of the taping that she once withheld help to the couple on the basis of race, Shirley Sherrod was defended Tuesday by the wife of a white Georgia farmer. Sherrod, "kept us out of bankruptcy," said Eloise Spooner, 82, of Iron City in southwest Georgia. Spooner, in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, added she considers Sherrod a "friend for life." She and her husband, Roger Spooner, approached Sherrod for help in 1986 when Sherrod worked for a nonprofit that assisted farmers. Sherrod, who is African-American, was asked to resign Monday night by a USDA official after videotaped comments she made in March at a local NAACP banquet surfaced on the Web Atlanta Journal / NAACP / Politico / Politico 2

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jayne cortez and the firespitters—there it is

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Guarding the Flame of Life (Kalamu ya Salaam) / Toni Morrison Presses For Writers' Freedoms (audio)

Black Intellectuals Have Abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Rights Era

Reviewing Houston A. Baker's Betrayal of Black Intellectuals

New Orleans Jazz Funeral for tuba player Kerwin James / They danced atop his casket Jaran 'Julio' Green

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Remarks by the President and the First Lady at Presentation of the National Medal of the Arts and the National Humanities medal.—November 5, 1998—THE PRESIDENT: Near the beginning of this century, W. E. B. Du Bois predicted a "black tomorrow" of African American achievement. Thanks in large measure to Henry Louis Gates, that tomorrow has turned into today. For 20 years he has revitalized African American studies. In his writing and teaching, through his leadership of the Dream Team of African American scholars he brought together at Harvard, Gates has shed brilliant light on authors and traditions kept in the shadows for too long. From "signifying monkeys" to small-town West Virginia, from ancient Africa to the new New York, Skip Gates has described the American experience with force, with dignity and, most of all, with color. Ladies and gentlemen, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Applause.) The Medal is presented.)—clinton6

The Signifying Monkey: Towards a Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism (1989)
Colored People: A Memoir (1994, memoir)

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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A Hubert Harrison Reader

Edited by Jeffrey B. Perry

The brilliant writer, orator, educator, critic, and political activist Hubert Harrison (1883-1927) is one of the truly important, yet neglected, figures of early twentieth-century America. Considered "the foremost Afro-American intellect of his time," Harrison, "the father of Harlem radicalism," combined class consciousness and race consciousness in a coherent political radicalism which stressed the revolutionary importance of struggle for African American equality, emphasized the duty of all workers to oppose white supremacy, and urged Blacks not wait on whites before taking steps to shape their future. His efforts significantly influenced A. Philip Randolph, Marcus Garvey, and a generation of activists and "common people." Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918 (By Jeffrey B. Perry)

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America.

This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

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Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered

the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It

By H. W. Brands

In Greenback Planet, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands charts the dollar's astonishing rise to become the world's principal currency. Telling the story with the verve of a novelist, he recounts key episodes in U.S. monetary history, from the Civil War debate over fiat money (greenbacks) to the recent worldwide financial crisis. Brands explores the dollar's changing relations to gold and silver and to other currencies and cogently explains how America's economic might made the dollar the fundamental standard of value in world finance. He vividly describes the 1869 Black Friday attempt to corner the gold market, banker J. P. Morgan's bailout of the U.S. treasury, the creation of the Federal Reserve, and President Franklin Roosevelt's handling of the bank panic of 1933. Brands shows how lessons learned (and not learned) in the Great Depression have influenced subsequent

U.S. monetary policy, and how the dollar's dominance helped transform economies in countries ranging from Germany and Japan after World War II to Russia and China today. He concludes with a sobering dissection of the 2008 world financial debacle, which exposed the power--and the enormous risks--of the dollar's worldwide reign.  The Economy

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Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement

 A Radical Democratic Vision

By Barbara Ransby

One of the most important African American leaders of the twentieth century and perhaps the most influential woman in the civil rights movement, Ella Baker (1903-1986) was an activist whose remarkable career spanned fifty years and touched thousands of lives. A gifted grassroots organizer, Baker shunned the spotlight in favor of vital behind-the-scenes work that helped power the black freedom struggle.  She was a national officer and key figure in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and a prime mover in the creation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

 Baker made a place for herself in predominantly male political circles that included W. E. B. Du Bois, Thurgood Marshall, and Martin Luther King Jr., all the while maintaining relationships with a vibrant group of women, students, and activists both black and white.

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 Alexander Crummell

A Study of Civilization and Discontent

By Wilson Jeremiah Moses

The third, and most egregiously neglected Pan African intellectual black nationalist is Alexander Crummell (1819-1898).  Born in New York, brought up as an Episcopalian, as a youth he was introduced to Greek, Latin, and biblical languages thanks to the support of his father, who was born in Africa, a member of the Temne ethnic group. 

 He received his bachelors degree, and passed his examination in classical Greek at the University of Cambridge in England.  In 1853, he took up missionary work in Liberia.  His sermons and addresses are classic illustrations of the Christian Afrocentrism that later characterized the Garvey Movement.   He was a solid advocate of African American political rights.  Gravitating towards high church ritual, he anticipated Elijah Muhammad’s hostility to grass roots black religion, which he viewed as a plantation survival and part of a slaveholder’s conspiracy to undermine the moral and intellectual development of African Americans.

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African or American?

Black Identity and Political Activism in New York City, 1784-1861

By Leslie Alexander

 Focusing on the meaning of African heritage, Black Nationalism, community, and African emigration in New York City during the antebellum period, Alexander provides a compelling argument for the emergence of African heritage and identity and charts the waxing and waning of its meaning in the black community.Leslie M. Harris, author of In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626-1863

“Alexander brilliantly examines this topic for black people in antebellum New York City. . . . An important contribution. Highly recommended.”—Choice

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The Fiery Trial

Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery

By Eric Foner

A mixture of visionary progressivism and repugnant racism, Abraham Lincoln's attitude toward slavery is the most troubling aspect of his public life, one that gets a probing assessment in this study. Columbia historian and Bancroft Prize winner Foner (Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men) traces the complexities of Lincoln's evolving ideas about slavery and African-Americans: while he detested slavery, he also publicly rejected political and social equality for blacks, dragged his feet (critics charged) on emancipating slaves and accepting black recruits into the Union army, and floated schemes for colonizing freedmen overseas almost to war's end. Foner situates this record within a lucid, nuanced discussion of the era's turbulent racial politics; in his account Lincoln is a canny operator, cautiously navigating the racist attitudes of Northern whites, proddedand sometimes willing to be proddedby abolitionists and racial egalitarians pressing faster reforms.

But as Foner tells it, Lincoln also embodies a society-wide transformation in consciousness, as the war's upheavals and the dynamic new roles played by African-Americans made previously unthinkable claims of freedom and equality seem inevitable. Lincoln is no paragon in Foner's searching portrait, but something more essential--a politician with an open mind and a restless conscience. 16 pages of illus., 3 maps.—Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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Related files:  Noise of Class Ideology  Responses to Skip Gates'   The Talented Fifth   Master of the Intellectual Dodge   Gates the Birth Encarta Africana

The Fire Last Time   Cleaver and Gates  Lincoln on Race and Slavery  Skip Gates and the Talented Fifth  Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man  The Post Black Negro   

Atlanta Exposition Address  Bassett On Washington  Booker T & Charles Elliot    Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance     Du Bois; More Man Than Meets the Eye