Black unity is a goal many brothers and sisters have been striving to achieve for years and years, the goal to unify all people of African origin under a common goal of empowerment, enlightment, and achievement, among other things. Black unity is something for which white society, in general, is deathly afraid of, and it was the case for a long time. To many whites blacks united would likely mean a terrible onslaught against their society, a society built from the blood, sweat, and tears of Africans for centuries. So, any attempt to empower and unify blacks have been met with oppositional and oppressive wrath from the dominant society almost each and every time.
Is it possible for a massive group of black people to come together again? Yes, but only if a force so threatening and so overtly racist will it be a definite possibility. Even so, we live in a society that stubbornly and even purposely still think so little of us. This society still believes we are less than human or something’s wrong with us even though things are considerably better today than it was in the 1960’s. However, it still continues it’s damaging and destructive oppressionary tactics in more hidden forms. So, until that “force” makes its appearance, what is keeping us from achieving black unity, and can it be possible once again?
One thing that must be clear is that some of us need to understand that black unity does not mean that we share the same ideas or that we agree on everything. Black people are not a monolith. We do not have a “hive mind.” We are individuals, like everyone else despite what mainstream society thinks. So, turning into the Borg from “Star Trek” is not a realistic idea. Still, why can’t we come together as one nation?
Some may point out that it’s the issues and the kind of mindset each of us have pertaining to those issues. We see the world differently and we see ourselves differently. One example is how we see the problems within the black community. Some believe that such issues as crime, the dropout, and poverty rates, have been caused solely by blacks themselves. They believe that black people have a backwards mentality and refuse to take any responsibility for their own crap. Hence, something is obviously wrong with them, and they need to stop blaming society or specifically, the white man. On the other hand, some believe that some issues are the result of this nation’s unchecked history of slavery, racism, and oppression. The problems within poor black communities is a result of history, society’s continuous policies that make life miserable for poor blacks, and the unwillingness to admit its screw-ups. Hence, something is insanely wrong with society, not with the victims.
Another example would be the division of the sexes, a subject not exclusive to blacks but is evident nonetheless. Some black men, more bitter than a bottle of prescription pills, blame black women for the notion of preferring thugs over nerds to having babies out of wedlock by those same thugs. Some black women, some equally bitter, blame black men for dating non-blacks, whites especially, to sleeping with black women while secretly dick-riding brothers on the side.
The second part of the last sentence in the previous paragraph deals with, yet, another example of division in the black community which is homophobia. It’s hard enough being black in a white dominated society, but it’s harder to be black and gay. Some heterosexual men and women tend to distance themselves from their homosexual counterparts. As a result they know little about what it means to be gay which often leads to fear and hate. The black community is no exception. Black men are expected to be as hard and strong as possible, sometimes even thuggish and gangster. Being a gay black male will likely make one a target for hatred from other black males that project those images for fear of appearing soft and weak. Being a lesbian black female will also invite some hatred from straight black men and women. Whatever the gender, homosexuality will invite fear and hatred which will possibly lead to violence and death.
So, how can black people overcome differences to achieve unity? I have some suggestions, but will they work? Who knows.
We need to acknowledge all of our differences and realize we are individuals. We need to understand that we are still living in a white (American) dominated world. We must know that there is nothing wrong with being black. We have to realize that self-hatred still exist, and learn ways to cure that illness. We need to understand the kind of society/world we live in. We must not learn who we are from the radio or the television. We have to stop blaming whoever and whatever because blaming will not get anyone anywhere. Besides, most of us know who and what is responsibile and why. We have to stop looking to white people as models of humanity (Some of us still do that). We have to redirect our power into empowerment and enlightenment to build our own “nation”. We must realize that if your rich, middle-class, or poor, light skin or dark skin, to white society you will always be a nigger. Most of all, we have to create plans that will not be destroyed by opposing forces.
Unity is possible only if we, as people of African descent, really want to make that choice.