I recently stumbled across a 1967 Newsweek cover titled, “Which Way for the Negro Now?” Internally, we have always struggled with taking a united approach to moving our people forward; this is due mostly to slavery. Today, the white media would never consider asking where Black America is going in this manner. Instead, the wording or phrasing is much similar to “The State of Black America,” or “Black America trends.”
For many white people, their view of Black people is binary; for others, their views are exactly what the cover shows: complex. Regardless, white people want a say in the state of Black people. Traditionally, white people have attempted to control all aspects of our lives: history, community/social, political, and economies. However, as the American demography increases in the number of ethnic minorities, the power seems to be shifting.
At this point, where we go is up to us.
The restoration of our histories and development of our communities and economics are the best way to tell our diverse stories. Stories that can we used to show how we got here and map where we are going. History can be best sought by education, know your roots and understand the forces that led to the downfall of some of the world’s most elite people.
As for mapping our journey forward, it’s about the collective. It’s about being in unison on the most fundamental values and then choosing your path. You get to decide if you want to be a Martin, Floyd, Roy, Stokely, or Whitney as the cover lays out. For the ladies, you get to decide if you want to be a Shirley Chisholm, Rosa Parks, Nina Simone, Angela Davis, or Madam CJ Walker.