As we have seen in Part I and II, the economic position of the African-American community is deteriorating instead of improving and dying instead of growing. The reason why this tragic decline is taking place stems from a lack of social consciousness and social cohesiveness. Social consciousness and social cohesiveness can only be achieved with intra-racial integration. It can not be achieved by any other means.
Since 1865, not one African-American organization, group or religious body has deemed it necessary to advance the idea that African-Americans should integrate with themselves. This simple course of action has been neglected and intra-racial integration has been taken for granted. This oversight has plagued the African-American community for 142 years. For 142 years after slavery, the vast majority of African-Americans are still obsessed with inter-racial integration and not intra-racial integration.
It seemingly never occurred to African-American leaders that their superficial togetherness was not born out of choice, but out of subjugation, political repression, social segregation and economic oppression. Therefore, lacking viable means to interact for mutually beneficial reasons, skin color and slavery became the commonality that brought people together. These are not strong enough reasons to unite the vast majority of African-American people.
Under the barbarism and cruelty of slavery, African-American ancestors were stripped of self knowledge, cultural heritage and identity. Therefore, to assume solidarity because they are considered “Black”, is equivalent to assuming Europe is united because they are considered “White”. This is obviously not the case.
Therefore, the African-American leadership never suspected or even entertained the possibility that tribal differences, cultural influences, regional differences or intangible sociological or psychological factors might have survived slavery and..could be acting as an unseen barrier preventing social cohesiveness and cooperation. Because of this oversight, methods and procedures were never developed to achieve social intra-racial integration and unification.
If we exclude the “Black Muslim Movement” of Elijah Mohammed, we can safely state that for 142 years, the primary thrust of African-American leadership has been and still is focused on societal acceptance, racial integration and equality with White America and not with equality among themselves or within their own communities. Since Civil Rights, African-Americans have been moving out of their communities in record numbers, as soon as they are financially able to do so. Therefore, the best minds and the most capable have taken their talents and abilities elsewhere.
Consequently, no one within the African-American community implemented corrective measures that could address dormant differences within the community itself that would engender more responsive interaction, enhanced social consciousness and social cohesiveness. Identifying and alleviating differences that could hinder group growth and development was never an important consideration during the formative years of the African-American experience in post Civil War America. At least there is no written record of such programs or actions undertaken by past or present African-American leaders.
Because of “Jim Crowism” and “Southern Baptist styled Racism”, self examination, self fulfillment and self gratification were subverted. So complete was this subversion…that self esteem, self worth, rational thought, scientific investigation, self awareness, social consciousness and social cohesiveness were and still are virtually non-existent within the African-American community.
As this mental retrogression increased over the years, African-Americans became even more dependent on ministers and preachers for leadership and guidance. This is why it was so easy for ministers to lead the “Civil Rights Movement”. It was in the church that the myth of racial solidarity began. The forced togetherness of the congregation struggling to reap rewards in “White America” was mistaken for social integration. This is probably the primary reason why intra-racial integration was never given serious consideration by African-American leaders. The closest African-Americans ever came to confronting their own racial differences was during the Marcus Garvey “Back to Africa Movement” of the 1920’s and his “Negro Improvement Association”.
Since Marcus Garvey, no African-American leader has put forth the idea that African-Amercans should and must integrate with themselves first. Social intra-racial integration is the only way to resolve dormant differences that might have survived slavery and achieve social cohesiveness that is vital for secular economic and institutional growth and development.
It is conceivable that these cultural and socio-psychological differences might have been passed down through the generations. It is also quite conceivable that these deep rooted differences within the African-American community have gone unnoticed by even the most astute investigator and observer of the African-American experience. To integrate, means to make into a whole.
Without this commitment to integrate with and among themselves, African-Americans will remain fragmented and separated with no real leader to bring them together as an economic or institutional force. Current African-American leaders have it backward. They sincerely believe political power is the key to economic power. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Money fuels politics, just like it fuels everything else in America and anywhere else in the world.
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