I must be forthright and state that I believe public protests and marches should be at best a minimal portion of strategies aimed at liberating Black America. A century ago, public protests and marches were a phenomenal way to inform naïve whites of bigotry, racial discrimination, and institutional racism, the need for such measures are long gone as all Americans realize that we have a Race problem in this nation. The historical record indicates that over the past half-century public protests have failed to make significant strides toward solving the underlying catalysts to racial inequality. Put simply; the typical march for racial justice amounts to little more than our people talking loud and achieving nothing.
Although I hold fast to the belief that marches such as the March for Racial Justice and the March for Black Women planned today in Washington, D.C. will fail to make a tangible difference in the plight of black people in America; there is a silver lining to be found regarding the latter. To the chagrin of many who oppose black liberation, it appears that a segment of African-American women have channeled the spirit and intelligence of their brave sisters of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, and the Black Liberation Army and realized that black women have tended to exist in a peculiar space that lends itself to political invisibility.
Consider for a moment that it is common for the needs, wants, and particular issues facing black women to be muted by their identity. Unfortunately, black women are too female to be adequately represented in the male-dominated African-American freedom struggle and too black to be centered in a women’s movement that disregards the pernicious evil of racial oppression. Verification of such an assertion is found throughout the entire feminist movement that has “welcomed” black women into their fold under the condition that they must adopt a pre-existing agenda that has nothing to do with their particular needs, wants, and desires. The issues that matter most to black women conflict with the “white world supremacy” that provides great privilege to white women; it is, after all, their first inheritance as an America.
In many ways, it should be difficult for anyone who has any love for black women not to applaud this courageous decision by march leaders to articulate a political agenda that highlights peculiar issues that will never be found within either the African-American freedom struggle or the feminist movement. This decision should ensure that black women are no longer eclipsed by an African-American freedom struggle that accentuates racial matters at the cost of ignoring gender issues or a white female-headed feminist movement that will never work toward eradicating white supremacy.
Although I know that many black men will shudder at the prospect of black women having a separate political agenda, they have little to worry about as African-American women have historically supported the African-American freedom struggle. I am confident that the March for Black Women will not change that fact. The alluded to fears should be quieted by the reality that politically astute, courageous, disciplined, and educated black women are central to the creation of and the maintenance of an active black community.
Failure to understand this fact dooms us all and ensures that racial disparities will continue unabated. And that is a reality that all of Black America should consider revolting.
Dr. James Thomas Jones III
© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2017