Dec. 28, 2021

UJIMMA: A Historical Perspective Our Communities Need To Recover, Refocus, and Thrive Collectively

UJAMAA Cooperative Economics 


A Historical Perspective  Our Communities Need To Recover, Refocus, and Thrive Collectively


In 1966, 2 years after the passage of the civil rights bill of 1964, and one year after the passage of the voting rights bill of 1965, American Blacks were still struggling to gain any semblance of significant civil and social rights in these United States. There was a period of community awakening across black enclaves throughout both urban and rural sections of this nation. The defiant calls for Black Power were being promoted from the streets of Oakland, California to Lowndes County, Alabama. The call of momentous social and civil change also came for an integrated society, A society absent from the dictates of a Jim Crow philosophy that curtailed black economic and political growth.  Racially mandated separation was a call from another sector of this nation’s black communities that felt our best bet was not to fully integrate into American society.  Two movements, but the clear objective building black communities fully capable of growing economically.


These two dissident voices were both deemed enemies of the so-called democratic state of American society. Although one, black nationalism was indeed more feared than the other, black integration. Out of these voices of change came a movement that called for a unified love both being black, and expanding black consciousness. We know those historic voices or agents of change now. Names like King, Wilkins, Abernathy, Young, Bond, Rustin, Randolph, Brooke, Baldwin were the voices of racial moderation and racial acceptance. While names like Carmichael, Newton, Seale, Richardson, Sellers, Powell, were the voices of racial defiance against moderation and demanding a need for radical racial change. Throughout all these voices came a black consciousness that created the atmosphere for the creation of a sense of Kwanza, the ultimate celebration and love of one’s blackness. "Say it loud I’m black and I’m proud" embodied both elements of change. 


Although, one group shifted away from celebrating blackness to get to the goal of societal acceptance. The other couldn't truly understand how accepting your blackness and cradling the power of being black meshed with integrating our black culture into white culture could survive. The consciousness of blackness would evaporate and be lost forever in America's black enclaves. The group of dissident voices implored our communities to continue to support and build our black institutions. While the moderate voices were being pulled to support the goal of complete integration. Those conflicting voices created a dual consciousness in many blacks that lead to the destruction of any chance of continued economic development in our black communities. You see integration too many meant the ability now to purchase what had always been denied. White products and goods had been denied and many blacks had been conditioned to believe that inability, and denial was tantamount to racist tactics. Buying black was inferior buying white gave us so-called superior goods and services.


So the conflict of jaded racial thought within black communities began to foster the absence of black economic growth which has led to our present condition today. The lack of economic prosperity in so many of our black communities as these thoughts mushroomed destroyed our black institutions. The racial integration of our communities into the larger white majority had evaporated chances that we could have gained had we collectively decided to feed our black institutions rather than feed the institutions of the white majority race. When our ancestors had no other choice but to buy black because they weren't allowed to buy without facing tremendous racial indignities, we as a people proudly supported our black enclaves of economic growth. We had no other choice. However, the fact remained that many of our black ancestors never truly loved their blackness. Some of our ancestors even felt the need to run away from what we saw as inferior and inferior in themselves as well as other black sisters and brothers. 


So, here our ancestors were caught in between two worlds one that we had been forced to create due to the color of their skins. The other white world which many black ancestors felt held all of the societal riches which we had been denied for so long. So what did our ancestors do? Do our ancestors move to support what rejected them for so long? Do our ancestors had been forced because of racism to stay within the boundaries of past racist patterns or branch out, integrate and leave these black communities?


Have our black ancestral leaders fully capable of continuing to build our black institutions. Stay and develop wealth and cooperative economics in the communities that now have increased funds from those blacks who have benefited from racial inclusion. Well, the majority of our ancestors knew what we had and had already determined it simply wasn’t enough. So the choice was a clear move towards integration and away from any semblance that could be defined as racial separation. The problem is that if integration was truly ever going to work economically for the black community the cooperative economics had to be a distinct two-way street. We had to ensure our economic wealth by getting whites and other ethnic groups to support our existing black institutions. You see many blacks took their dollars to white businesses and that left black economic support of our existing black businesses in serious jeopardy.  These black businesses historically survived solely on those black dollars. Yet, no dollars flowed back into our communities from other avenues and most of the black middle class and black upper-middle-class dollars flowed away from those black businesses and black communities that once thrived solely on this black patronage. We in a sense integrated away our ability to build black wealth because capable black ancestors felt that black patronage had now become instantly inferior. 


The black enclaves that were once the energies of dynamic change and influence became enclaves of disrepair and economic plight. The voices of the integrationists never foresaw that this would occur. They honestly felt that we as a people would benefit from the goals of civil and social equality. They realized too late that equality in an economic sense could never be gained as long as integration was a one-way highway with everything flowing out and nothing flowing back. That’s why now we must awaken our black consciousness to the realization that Black Power, Black Economic Power, Black Political Power shouldn’t be something to be feared. Black Power is something that should have been revered when it was first introduced in the Black Belt of Alabama. 


If you integrate into something and get little or nothing back in return then you simply are making something you wanted to be weakened stronger and something you had weaker. We as a black populace did that to ourselves. Now is the time to reverse the cycle and move towards some defined method of cooperative economic development that will be designed to benefit us, Because we have indeed done more than our share to benefit those who continue to oppress us. We need to stop rolling down a stream of neglect and gather our resources to gain access to the rivers of black prosperity.

Dec. 27, 2021


A historical perspective of Ujima when Jim and Jane Crow were directing the hate, racism, and terror on our black ancestors they still sought the goal of community collective growth. Forced by white society to live outside the norms of American society. It was essential to work as collective groups to fight the perils that comprised America’s bigoted system of institutional racism. My original intent this morning was to ask this question. How has the infusion is the third principle of Kwanza, Ujima, revealed that collective principle in our black communities? To recognize collective work and responsibility. We must understand the historical strength of collective work and responsibility that was practiced by our ancestors. If you knocked on doors in our nation's black communities and ask this question, can you comprehend the significance of Umija? Could the black residents in those homes, flats, mobile homes, apartments, and condos identify ten black historical black people who impacted the development of economic self-sufficiency in our communities? The most interesting aspect or addition to those questions would be that you would need to exclude any person who was in the arena of entertainment or sports.


The institutional racist design that existed in so many of our communities created a sense of ignorance of the vast achievements of those who have sought and fought to overcome so many obstacles to attain and seek independence for themselves and others. We must deliver that important knowledge of historical significance to our youths. Where should we direct the teaching of this knowledge? It must be delivered in our homes and community institutions. Beyond learning those spinning moves on the courts, or taking knocks upside the head on football fields, or unmasking unknown rapping talents, or hoping to be identified as the next Denzel Washington or Halle Berry. We must deliver the knowledge of Ujima. If the imaginary Wakanda is to become a real-time Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, or Chicago. Those black babies we teach the philosophy of Ujima could strive to be business owners and/or wealth builders. Our babies could own their destiny rather than have their destiny controlled by others.


However, a funny thing happened on the way to complying with that essay or provoked thought. My google search came up with the term Colored Farmers Alliance. Which I must admit I was ignorant to up until that very day of the search in beginning this essay on Ujima. I was a business major from an outstanding HBCU and I always thought I was well versed in our people’s historical past. Yet, never did I realize that only 20 years after coming out of the bonds of slavery, southern blacks created this organization to assist their brothers and sisters of color. The CFA provided aid and assistance in building farming interests within the black farming communities. The CFA helped sick and disabled members manage the difficult times faced because of racial bigotry. The CFA also taught orderly principles of political economics. Within a short period, the Colored Farmers Alliance had nearly 1.2 million farmers and farm workers on its membership rolls. The organization also aligned its resources to create a publication, as well as having regional and local conventions and sponsoring many black educational initiatives. Let me say it again the Colored Farmers Alliance had 1.2 million black members in southern states shortly after our ancestors were released from the chains of slavery. You must understand also that a significant majority of these CFA members were unable to either read or write. Yet, our ancestors understood by aligning common interests they stood a chance of maintaining a growing viable black community.


Another interesting point of note the Colored Farmers Alliance worked with a white counterpart organization, The Southern Alliance. The goal was to unite both black and whites on common points of interest. For instance, developing price points for seeds to maximize profits from their crops. This southern alliance led to the Populist Movement and the National Populist Party. Can you believe in the belly of the so-called southern beast in the 1890’s whites and blacks were working together? Now, you know that wasn’t going to go over well with those established southerners who didn’t anticipate nor accept any degree of progressive racial cooperation. Those white elites in racist power-driven southern establishment knew that this collective movement had to be derailed, and derailed quickly. So just as happens in most cases those in power sent one of our own to extinguish the flames of community engagement. Booker T. Washington, probably thought he was doing right by his people. However, he was simply a pawn in stifling any attempt for blacks to get a leg up economically in those southern states. Poor black and white farmers collectively worked together to amass control of the agricultural market. No way was this effort going to be given life, the fact of the matter is that teaching poor whites to hate and terror blacks were the goal of the elite white landowning power brokers. Even Booker T. Washington played a hand in the destruction of the Colored Farmers Alliance which I found quite surprising. 

The United States Supreme Court 1896 decision enacted "Plessey vs. Ferguson" that enshrined separate but equal into law. 


 Booker T. Washington worked hard to destabilize the Colored Farmers Alliance which set the stage for Jim and Jane Crow, by destroying the black and white alliances manifested between southern black and white farmers. Well, looking back historically is all about looking ahead for black community growth. Can we as a people imagine now 131 years later since the founding of the Colored Farmers Alliance no other alliance has been as successful as the CFA?  Could another alliance be created, “The Black Alliance of Urban Redevelopment”? Hey, our ancestors could hardly read or write and barely had clothes to cover their bodies. Yet each of these 1.2 million black souls understood only by uniting together they could positively impact their pocketbooks They had to unite collectively and focus on common goals. The dream was to build better tomorrow for themselves. They simply weren’t mature enough critical thinkers to understand how their actions would shake up the apple cart of the elite southern aristocracy. These Black Farmers and Black Farm Workers also didn’t understand how one of their kind could be used as a racist tool against this alliance of common interests. 


My personal feeling is that Brother Washington truly didn’t understand the depth or breadth of what he was encouraged to stifle. Our community now has the educated people resources to build such alliances for the betterment of the communities in which they live. Heck, what we don’t need is single voices calling out for engagement or waiting for that single leader to make this case. What is that common saying?  “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”.  Well, brothers and sisters we indeed have been falling for quite some time; just waiting, waiting, and waiting for the next leader to take us to the promised land. Well, my Black Brothers and Sisters in you, yes within each of you is that leader. We need a collective group of individuals willing to work collectively for a common good. Within each of your hands, each of your minds, and each of your souls is the power to redress and address our common concerns through collective positive action. My God, if black folks 20 years removed from the chains of bondage can align for common goals what is our excuse? The spirit of The Colored Farmers Alliance lives within each one of us we simply just need to unleash it. Happy Day Three of Kwanzaa Ujima, Ujima, Ujima.


Dec. 27, 2021


Today is the second of Kwanza and “dang-nab-bit” I am super excited because today’s theme revolves around YOU. You see can meet the challenges presented by those Goliath issues that may take you off track with a healthy, and I mean a healthy dose of inner-faith. Positive affirmations are really like a daily prayer? No, it is sometimes confused with prayer to whom ever you worship, but these affirmations are “to you, and by you”. Positive affirmations to me are the action of talking directly, vocally, and internally to your inner conscious. You see YOU are the most powerful entity on this planet. You are indeed more powerful than any titan of industry, or elected leader of a government. YOU, if you can AFFIRM, YOU can indeed crack any damn barrier that is presented before you. 


The fact of the matter is that each of us is born unless disabled mentally with the most powerful instrument known to mankind. It isn’t artificial intelligence it’s actual reality brain intelligence. We simply don’t understand our unique abilities that are in fact superhuman. You are the X-Man embodied in your own physical self.  You don’t have to pay ten dollars to see the fictional X-Men. All you need to do is look in the mirror of your mind every day. You see the powers you have would astound even Professor X or Magneto. You have much more within yourself but that self must be fed with affirmations otherwise you live your life hesitating never taking those bold steps forward. What happens is that over time our belief in our super brain power is extinguished because we listen to those outside forces and we forget to concentrate on our internal brain resources. That is why you must AFFIRM because it CONFIRMS to that powerful brain of yours that you haven’t given in to the doubts, disbelief, and negativity that the world presents us on a second by second basis.


You remember as a kid believing in the impossible? Remember, being able to actually visualize the auras of the people around you. You and I could see the energies reflected in each other. We seemingly gravitated to those emitted energy sources when we selected friends and identified family members. We also were enabled with the ability to see if someone emitted negative energy. We did this subconsciously without thought. However, over time our brain packed away these skills because he either ignored them or reasoned that they were separate and apart from us. We unintentionally, maybe in some cases intentionally diminished our own brain power. Well, it’s time to revive and thrive make haste not waste and chase and paste the thoughts of renewal across the landscape of our personal engine of success today. Everyone in my age group remembers if they lived and followed sports THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME, Muhammad Ali. Well, some people thought Muhammad Ali engaged in his affirmations before his fights to build interest. No, Muhammad Ali understood that if he could speak it out loud to himself and to others he was telling his subconscious the final verdict even before the trial had even started. He spoke to his mind and his mind spoke back to him letting both know everything was going to end up just like he said it would publicly in his affirmations. You see, Ali’s power was not just in his physical abilities. Although those abilities were unique and fabulous. Ali. had what many of his opponents didn’t have “mental superpowers beyond measure.” 


Whatever you tell your subconscious on a daily basis, your subconscious without a filter believes initially. It is only when those affirmations are confronted with past experiences, and all the other negative filters we develop over time. That the affirmations start to dwindle away into self-doubt and the so-called dreaded reality checks. This is when disbelief sets in and what you were so sure of moments, even seconds ago moves into the darkened room of never going to happen.  That is why Nick Cannon, whom I have never met but now have great respect for talks to himself in an affirmative way every day of his life. The saying was it’s cool to talk to yourself as long as you don’t answer. Well, that’s a fallacy. That fallacy was created by a negator, a dream thief, a dream extinguisher. You should not only affirm to YOU but when the BIGGER YOU answers that being your subconscious mind. You must definitely answer back to soldier and strengthen that affirmation. The more those affirmations are confirmed the more likely that you move closer to your desired objective. 


So get on board the self-affirmation express, make sure those affirmations are positive. Also, make sure those affirmations are large and in charge. Shoot for the stars doesn't let your conscious mind create any bars. Your dreams my friend are large as the planet Mars. So, write them down, and stack them up and don’t get down and never wallow in doubt. The time is now for you to shout and knock off those negators with the powerful clout of self-affirmation which enhances your self-determination. So go on you Umojans head to that personal space which allows your mind to expand and self-affirm for self-determination.




Dec. 26, 2021

Seeking Umoja All Of Us

“Some whites were willing if not exactly eager to push for civil rights and integration. But national fatigue over racial militancy was setting in. We are all, let us face it, Mississippians. We all fervently wish that the Negro problem did not exist, or that, if it must exist, it could be ignored. Confronted with the howling need for decent schools, jobs, housing, and all the other minimum rights of the American system, we will do our best, half-heartedly, to correct old wrongs. The hand may be extended grudgingly and patronizingly, but anyone who rejects that hand rejects his own best interests. For minimum rights are the only one we are willing to guarantee, and above these minimum rights there is and will continue to be a vast area of discrimination and inequity and unfairness, the area in which we claim the most basic right of all—the right to be stupid and prejudiced, the right to make mistakes, the right to be less and worse than we pretend, the right to be[…]”



These words could have just been published in the December 2021 edition of an online journal as they were published in the mid-1960 edition of The Saturday Evening Post.  These words definitely could have been published in 1921 the height of Jim Crow America, or 1927 and1937 when Black Americans were in mass leaving the bigotry and racial hatred of the south for more of the same hatred in the American cities of destination in the north, midwest and west, 1947 or 1957 when the civil rights movement was in its infancy.  We all must have thought that because of the civil rights movement in the 1960s a change was gonna come. We should’ve overcome the race issue by the 1980s. But each decade that followed the turbulent sixties brought with it racial hatred, racial ignorance, a racial economic disparity that continued to cause divisions in this country. 


Today we celebrate the first day of Kwanzaa, the spirit of Umoja, the energy of Unity. Yet not only are our racial communities divided but ideological divisions within those communities continue to cause additional tension and disruption which minimizes the chance of securing unity of people in this nation, no matter their race, creed, religion.  Shouldn't the day have finally arrived in these supposed United States where people can look past color distinctions, religious distinctions, political distinctions, social and class distinctions, or even economic distinctions?  Umoja, shouldn't be a festive celebration just for people of color. Umoja celebrations should have no bearing on class, race, religion, or political leanings. It should simply be a celebration that stretches across the nation, the globe, and reaches every home in our global human race.  Umoja is a life philosophy that should embody everyone's hope for mankind.  


Yet, as we end 2021 just as we have ended every year in this nation, in almost every nation on this planet we continue to focus on what divides us rather than what unites us. Rather than being Mississippians, we should all seek to gain the spirit of unity. Let's all become Umojians and find purpose in peace, love, humanity, and ensuring that the lesser of us have risen to the level that eliminates hunger, lack of education, disturbing dreams, and shattered hope. I think I will rather be a 2022 Umojian than continue to fester hate and nurture confusion amongst mankind. How about you?

Dec. 25, 2021

Provoked Thought Make 2022 The Year For Dynamic Change

60 Second Thought
"Tomorrow is Today because Tomorrow is Now"
Don't Let Those Dissuade You From Achieving Remarkable Things
"Folks as we drive to maintain, develop or increase true consciousness in a country like America that seemingly works its absolute hardest to motivate ignorance and complacency. Many of those in our communities should know that it will take the strength and perseverance of Job, and persistence and self-belief to overcome insurmountable odds that enabled David to defeat Goliath. So, as you view my posts on this blog know that it has taken me over 67 years to reach this point in life, and I continue to grow on a daily, minute by minute, hour by hour basis. So, all of us must understand that we reach levels of true consciousness at different points during our human existence. If you are feeling overwhelmed don't be alarmed. It just may not be your time or your place. However, if you continue the search you will indeed reach the levels needed to achieve the extraordinary and exceed anyone's concept of ordinary. You each have within you the ability to make significant marks on your communities. Simply choose not to listen to those seeking to dissuade you on the journey. Because there will be those voices that will eventually be silenced, and become mere whispers as the road ahead gets remarkably clear for those willing to take and make the effort for a dynamic existence.