3.19.2010

The Black Agenda: Do we really have one? What is the solution? Take another look at The Millions More Movement model.


The Black Agenda.

Do you even care about discussing that anymore? Like others, have you moved on to "something better"?

Some people think there is no need to even discuss a Black Agenda because we have President Barack Obama at the "head" of the United States. Some others thought all of our problems were going to dwindle away over this last year. Even more, we thought that the Sun was setting on racism in this country. By now you have received a rude awakening and if not, you will snap out of it real soon. Minister Farrakhan has said

For generations we Blacks have seen many solutions put on the table, countless books placed on shelves, numerous think-tanks, thousands of conferences, marches, sit-ins, protests, speeches, chanting, rallies, websites, talk shows, international gatherings, and more. I know I am missing something but you get the point.

It seems like we have tried everything, right? No! The one element missing from all of this has been what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said is "more powerful than a nuclear bomb" and would "solve 95% of our problems": UNITY.



During my personal journey as a young soldier in the upliftment of our people, I witnessed via television the historic Million Man March in 1995.

In 2000, I attended the Million Family March along with my classmates from Prairie View A&M University. It was during that time that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan along with a multi-spectrum of leaders drafted
THE NATIONAL AGENDA: Public Policy Issues, Analyses, and Programmatic Plan of Action 200-2008. Have you ever read it? Please do. We have not exhausted its content.

Then in 2005, I again stood on the Washington Mall and witnessed the
Millions More Movement launched. Again with Minister Farrakhan as the catalyst, all of our Black leaders developed the platform of the Millions More Movement which said in part:

"It is time for our leadership to stop thinking and acting solely on behalf of our churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and organizations. It is time for us as leaders to come together and begin to think, plan, and act on behalf of the whole of our people.

Each leader has gradually come to the conclusion that no one organization or leader can solve the many problems we face. Each leader and organization has done the best it could working on its agenda and programs – yet, the masses are slipping further behind.”



The concept was/is to develop ministries, but not religious in meaning but service. In this model all of our people can unify in their various fields of interest to solve the ills of the people. I helped to facilitate the Houston chapter of the Millions More Movement from 2005-2008 and I bear witness that this model is THE answer. Many may dispute but this model brought every Black organization we had to the table working together. But lack of consistent unity, poor follow up with ideas, egos, and other things caused it to dwindle away. I take the blame in part so getting it started again has been heavy on my heart the last year -- I need to do something about it.

But the question I pose to you is do you even care anymore about a Black agenda? I do. It's not reverse racism -- that's an immature expression attached to the need for a people to do something for themselves just like everyone else has. We should not apologize nor hang our heads for loving our people. The Black Agenda is still relevant but without the element of unity it's just a bunch of talk. Plus we should not be looking to others to give our agenda their stamp of approval.

Tavis Smiley: We Count! The Black Agenda is the American Agenda

Another public forum is about to take place on Saturday, March 20 hosted by radio commentator Tavis Smiley. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has been invited by Tavis Smiley to join him and other national black leaders for this public forum on the "Need" for a Black Agenda.




We're all aware of the public dispute between Tavis Smiley and Rev. Al Sharpton regarding President Barack Obama's stance on the Black Agenda.


I won't use my blog to dig off into that disagreement but I will ask you to read the the latest cover story of The Final Call Newspaper which addresses it at Debate rages about holding first Black President accountable.

This forum by Tavis Smiley will be televised live on C-Span from Chicago State University - Patricia A. Jones Convocation Center, 9501 South King Drive, Chicago, IL 60637 at 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. CT with a press conference at 12:20 p.m. CT. Admission is free to the public on a first come, first served basis. All attendees must register @
WWW.TAVISTALKS.COM.

I will be tuning in and listening specifically to what Minister Farrakhan has to say.....time dictates the agenda and he is the man of this time.









5 comments:

  1. As far as responses go, I can't really do better than Ta-Nehisi Coates. He writes:

    I don't know what a "black agenda" is. I can think of very few policies which I would say are good for black people, but aren't good for most of America. I think Tavis would agree. (His site says "a black agenda is an American agenda." But that only raises another question: why would we call it a "black agenda?" Surely changing the way we approach incarceration would help black men, but were there no black men in this country, we still would do well to think about how we incarcerate people.

    I'm at a loss to see what we gain by simplistically racializing problems that may well have a racial component, but aren't wholly, and in many cases even mainly, racial problems. To be clear that component should be called out. But it seems you implicitly alienate allies when you claim that broad problems are the property of specific communities.

    Moreover, you do the work of your adversaries. Nothing would please them more than for America to think of incarceration as a "black problem" to be addressed by a "black agenda." People hear "black issue" and they feel relieved--"Oh well, it ain't my problem." Except that it is. And we should make them aware that it is.

    In my opinion President Obama having a black agenda definitely strikes me as poor strategy. An effective policy maker knows that you're more likely to achieve your policy goals if you align the interests of a broad coalition, or at the very least do not mobilise significant opposition.

    Emotionally it can be a tough sell, I am the first to argue in intimate circles as to "Why do Blacks have to be the bigger people?" "Why isn't it enough to just talk about American history and outline the legitimate reasons for policies that benefit black people? Why can't we point to past wrongs and say that we are working for policies of corrective justice?" I absolutely get the anger and frustration.

    Doing things like avoiding the word "welfare" is not a direct challenge to the prejudiced thinking that changes the meaning of "welfare" to something like "taking money from hard working whites and giving it to shiftless blacks".

    However I would argue that if the goal is policy that benefits ordinary black people, being mindful of the biases, fears and interests of potential opponents and acting accordingly is not weakness.

    Nadja (@nadjbk)

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  2. I for one am tired of forums. Brother Jesse just mentioned an interesting point about ALL of the things we have done and I thinkthe Nation of Islam has brought the best agenda, platform, program...whatever you want to call it, to the table in my opinion.

    And get this, I AM NOT IN THE NOI! But look at the progress they have made not only in this country but around the world since Elijah Muhammad and now under Min. Farrakhan. That's not to say other groups have not done anything, because I would be an IDIOT to say that but I am just looking at the most effective approach.

    Now as far as the Million More movement model I didn't agree with all of the points in it but i can agree that the model works because I was apart of it in Dallas/Fort Worth area. It took off and everyone enjoyed displaying their gifts in unity. We should take a look at it.

    So all that to say is we as Black people don't need to keep searching just put into practice what we have already placed on the table. We still, in my opinion have not lived up the pledge at the Million Man March....one of our biggest problems is that the Creator has used leaders such as Min. Farrakhan to usher in great ideas but we sit on our hands expecting them to do everything...then we complain or point fingers when stuff die out. NO, WE ALL HAVE A ROLE TO PLAY.

    Ok, I'm through...thanks for the post Brother Jesse

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  3. Unity is THE agenda. if we do that we will be father than where we are....also like you brother jesse I am more interested in hearing what you alls leader farrakhan has to say because his latest webcasts opened my eyes to alot of stuff. that man has the answers in my opinion.

    keep up the great work. your blog is the truth

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  4. I like the post and also the Millions More Movement also helped us link up with our Latino family...it's a great model and it works.

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  5. Brother Jesse, this is fantastic (as usual)

    I plan to attend the event tomorrow and I come with mediocre expectations. I feel this way because although they say this is not "State of the Black Union", there appears to be no deviation from that format in "We Count: The Black Agenda" (or whatever it's called)

    We need to stop publicly admitting to what we will do. Everybody who hears us is not our friend. They can use that information to thwart some of our strategies. If we want to advance, we must work on ourselves first and then the world will respond to us.

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