On Black Unity and Individuality

October 12, 2018

 

When discussing the subject of disunity, which inevitably arises when discussing issues concerning Black people with Black people, I find it is ever more incumbent upon us to recognize our own "individuality" within the context of building and uplifting. Our "connectivity" with each other, as evidenced by our reaction to Kanye, and which by the way, is never considered the very essence of our  collective "unity," sometimes disables us, in the sense that we think we can do nothing for ourselves without the collective "unity" of EVERY SINGLE BLACK MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD being a part of that which we are doing for self.

 

In fact, to consider one's self in our community is frowned upon by many.

 

While we wait for each and every Black Man, woman, and child to "step up to the same plate," seemingly before we even step up to it ourselves individually, it generally results in nothing getting done for the individual or the community as a united collection.

 

Make no mistake, individuality is a privilege in this country. It became very prominent during the 1970s, called the, "Me" Decade, as a way of contrasting "people" from the 1960s," when the country was involved the movement for Civil Rights. I call it the "White Differentiation Era."

 

As part of concessions made for losing Whiteness as a state of being through the advent of the "Colorblind Post-Racial paradigm shift," the White Supremacist power authority provided the substitutes: natural, neutral, and normal for "white" and "individuality," to ensure that individual, biased behavior would now drive all notions of racism and could then be shared as the individual behavior of both Black and White alike, even as the system, with its institutional structure remained in the background, running unabated.

 

White people exercise their privilege of "individuality" in various ways, and save their "institutions" as the container for their "collective unity," e.g., politics, business.

 

Through no real fault of our own, however, many of us  may see individuality among us as selling out from our collective unity. It may even be the case in some instances, since generations and circumstances have served to create a negative image for use of individuality by Black people.

 

Years and years ago, when I was an MGT in the Black Muslims, one of the pillars of Elijah Muhammad's movement was, "Do for Self." It meant exactly what it implied. Each person do for self. We understood it as unselfish, because it wasn't selfish. It wasn't bootstrapping, either. It meant "looking in the mirror" and realizing one's own humanity. It meant finding *yourself* and then reaching another. It meant we can drive down different, individual avenues to arrive at our united destination, instead of waiting for that hero "beyond the Thunderdome."

 

 

____________________

The Doctor is in.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/why-were-1970s-dubbed-me-decade-250190

http://www.ushistory.org/us/58d.asp

 

 

 

 

 

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