I promised myself that I would remember to balance my blog with long and more concise articles. I realize that certain information should be expressed succinctly.
If I were to ask members of our community about the major issues confronting our people, I’m sure I’d hear a list as follows:
- Academically and culturally bankrupt public education
- Imperialism and Police brutality
- Unemployment, low wages, and lack of economic power
- Little connection to Africa or African-centered culture/history
- Fratricide (Black-on-Black violence)
- Narcotic drug trafficking and other forms of criminality
- Privatized prisons and the mass incarceration of Black people
- Bourgeois values and priorities
- White supremacy
- Broken, disconnected, or dysfunctional families and communities
- Drug addiction
- Black physical and mental health concerns
- Domestic violence, and sexual abuse in our households
- Patriarchy and homophobia
- Little to know political power or representation
And the list goes on, I’m sure. The vast majority of these things are actually symptoms of larger problems that we often fail to address.
Social scientists, nonprofits and governmental agencies – with varied motives – produce large volumes of studies and reports that detail and describe these issues.
Naturally, this plethora of problems compel answers and solutions. And this I’m afraid is where we fall short all-too-often. Our responses to these social, economic and political ills often do not effectively address and resolve these concerns.
So here is my short and sweet reminder to my Black community: Acquiring political consciousness, earning diplomas or degrees, exposing conspiracies, gaining an encyclopedia knowledge of ancient Africa, becoming a more spiritual or religious being, buying Black, joining this or that cult, church or organization, debating, protesting, giving speeches, writing blogs, praying, meditating, getting a job or starting businesses …..have their place, (some more than others) but are by themselves, inadequate.
The simple fact is, our liberation requires a coordination of various efforts, consciousness backing them, institutions to promote and facilitate them, and power to implement,support and defend them. This remains our challenge going forward…..To hear this point in more detail, please take time to view the following video of Dr. Amos Wilson:
Agyei Tyehimba is an educator, activist and author from Harlem, N.Y. Agyei is a former NYC public schoolteacher, co-founder of KAPPA Middle School 215 in the Bronx, NY, and co-author of the Essence Bestselling book, Game Over: The Rise and Transformation of a Harlem Hustler, published in 2007 by Simon & Schuster. In April of 2014, he released Truth for our Youth: A Self-Empowerment Book for Teens. Agyei has appeared on C-Span, NY1 News, and most recently on the A&E documentary, “The Mayor of Harlem: Alberto ‘Alpo’ Martinez.”
Agyei earned his Bachelor’s Degree in sociology from Syracuse University, his Master’s Degree in Africana Studies from Cornell University, and his Master’s Degree in Afro-American Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
If you are interested in bringing Agyei to speak or provide consultation for your organization, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.