(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Sometimes, when witnessing the basic apathy of too many Black folks in this country, it is tempting to throw one’s hands in the air and say, “Forget it.”
Fortunately, there are numerous Black folks who are involved with and contributing to our economic, cultural and political interests. They are most definitely positive Black folks in action. They are the kind of people the great journalist/historian, Lerone Bennett Jr., was referring to when he wrote, “Given the way we were forced to live in this society, the miracle is not that so many families are broken, but that so many are still together. That so many Black fathers are still at home. That so many Black mothers are still raising good children. It is the incredible toughness and resilience in Black people that gives me hope.”
Those tough and resilient positive Black folks in action include the following:
James Clingman and Bill Reid whose writings about economic affairs regularly warn us that we are not making maximum or even minimum use of our individual and collective economic resources. The basis of their positions is that until we do so, we will not empower ourselves in any real way.
Joomay Odongo, who is a pivotal figure with the emerging, visionary Pan African Federalist Movement. It is based on the proposition that only the continent of Africa, assisted by Africans in the diaspora, can effectively negotiate with the continent of North America (aka USA) or the sub-continent of China. Anything else is basically just blowing smoke.
The Brothers and Sisters who founded and support the Ujamaa School in Northwest Washington, D.C. Some of their students recently participated in a tribute to Carter G. Woodson. Their drumming was both very moving and very inspirational. The response to the young drummers and the other students in attendance clearly showed the value of an Afrocentric education.
Haile Geroma, who produced and directed the masterpiece film, “Sankofa.” What made Haile’s film so important and unique was its focus on the enslavers’ attacks on the minds of African people as well as the physical attacks. His Sankofa Café is an absolute cultural haven for serious people of African descent from throughout the world.
Shirikiana Aina who produced and directed the engrossing and invaluable film, “Footprints of Pan Africanism.” The film shows Pan Africanism in action by featuring black folks from the continent of North America who actually moved to Africa in the late 1950s and 1960s to actually participate in its emergence from European colonialism.
Dr. Indira Etwaroo who is executive director of the Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn, New York. She has made that space into a compelling center where one can receive a total Black cultural experience. In January, she provided that experience for over 30 black theatre and dance students from a dozen colleges and universities.
Thomas Muhammad, whose documentary, “Malcolm X: Impact on the Black Power Movement,” provides an opportunity to learn more about Brother Malcolm from primary sources such as Earl Grant, one of his top aides who knew him better than anyone else still around; Calvin and Eleanor Sinnett, whom Brother Malcolm called the night before he was assassinated and Joanne Bland, who as an 11-year old marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on Bloody Sunday and who heard Brother Malcolm speak in Brown’s Chapel, the headquarters for the civil rights cause in Selma.
The Rev. Howard-John Wesley, the pastor of historic Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. His is noted for delivering modern-day Bible-based sermons with an old school style. The compelling young pastor is, in every sense of the word, a communicator par excellence.
The Howard University Students who, instead of heading to a beach or other hot spots during spring break, participated in the Alternative Spring Break Project. They travelled to numerous cities and towns in the United States, Haiti and Puerto Rico to assist people in need. That was a righteous move.
A quote attributed to Nelson Mandela says “A good head and a good heart are a formidable combination.” The tough and resilient positive black folks in action cited above have that formidable combination.
My plan is to do one such column in each quarter in 2018. If a reader wants to submit a candidate, please send me the name and accomplishment.
A. Peter Bailey, whose latest book is Witnessing Brother Malcolm X, the Master Teacher, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.