ourblackproject

Ferguson: One Year Later

I am proud at the attention Ferguson brought to race relations and institutionalized racism that we face in America. It sparked a conversation I would not have dreamed of two years ago, as I lived comfortably in my “post-racial” bubble. 

Although proud of our unity, what are we going to do next now what we have spread awareness and captured attention? Marches? We’ve covered that in Ferguson. Uprisings? We had that in Baltimore. Through those actions, we are seeing some officers being indicted but that is only a small step. 

Now that our voices are being acknowledged, it is time that we use our power to move towards creating a lineage of change. The reason white supremacy is so powerful is because it has maintained the ability to gain money and control through exploitation, primarily of our black people.

Next Black August, we shouldn’t only be celebrating a year of marches but a year of boycotting white business and supporting black business. The news should be covering the drop in revenue at Walmart, Target, McDonalds, etc. There should be a new wave of Black Panthers emerging to protect and serve our communities. This is what we need. 

Black people in the last 50 years since integration have become more assimilated than ever. After Malcolm X and King’s assassination, that lack of strong community leadership hurt us. We’re in a position now with so many wealthy and educated blacks that could spawn a successful community but everyone is caught up on living in material abundance.  

Work for a check from the white man, to spend money on the white man’s products, to not know if tomorrow a white man will kill you. We are all guilty of this. Society is set up in such a way it is hard to avoid this cycle but we must fight against it.  But we have to. We have to relentlessly fight for our own strength and power. We, as a community, have to push ourselves to a new limit to see the kind of change we need.

We will not see the progress we want until we push ourselves to live a life of inconvenience. We need strong leaders who keep our message clear and actions precise. We need blacks in positions of wealth and influence to abandon their lives of excess to invest in making stronger black communities.We need support from prominent black organizations to echo our message throughout our communities. We need our own spaces.  We need the love of one another. 

Malcolm X said it best, “integration won’t work”. He is absolutely correct, why are we are begging the white built system to accept us, when we can build a system of our own. We need to turn our success and talents inward to exalt each other. White supremacy has the ability to maintain and protect itself through using us. By supporting each other’s interest and advancements we can create our own system.

It will not be an overnight process but we need to start a foundation. Think of America in the early 1800′s; the industrial revolution. That is the type of overhaul we need in the black community to bring us out of bondage. White supremacy loses nothing over indictments and burning insured buildings. We need to drain their main power source; money. 

This is my challenge to myself and others within the movement. With social media we are all “activists” but it’s time to push ourselves to starve white capitalism. Our fight is over 600 years in the making. We have seen this same formula in the past; a boiling over of rage leading to small compromise then decades past and we’re back at square one. We have access to enough information to know what our next step needs to be. We cannot retreat for even a moment in this fight.

The key to our freedom lies within us; we hold the power. We have to create this lineage of progression within our communities now or our grandchildren will be fighting this same battle. 

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It was Sonia Sanchez who said, “The black artist is dangerous. Black art controls the "Negro’s” reality, negates negative influences, and creates positive images.“ 

Black contemporary art has met resistance from the white dominated art world. An arena that limited itself from a diverse aesthetic of culture and vibrancy. Galleries of ”white walls, with white people, drinking white wine.” 

Yet, black artists continued to produce,whether accepted by the white dominated art world or not, and produced some of the greatest and memorable pieces in contemporary American art.

The Our Black Project

The Our Black Project is looking for submissions - video, text or pictures - that document your journey to self discovery and the love of your individual notion of Blackness.

The goal of Our Black is to build a collection of narratives(visual or words) that reflect the diverse experiences of Black folk, one which could be used to better understand the complexity, depth, and challenges of Being and living Black. We want to share your stories for others to learn from, grow from and most importantly, heal from. We want to hear all the different ways that Blackness overlaps and interplays with other aspects of your life and identity.

What are some experiences that have stayed with you living as a Black Woman in America? Or your experiences and struggle as a Black Man in America? What have you experienced as Black LGBT? Or with with your Multi-Racial Identity? Have you been ostracized or judged for never being Black Enough? Have you experiences differed as an African immigrant or 1st generation American from those of you African American peers?

We want to know all of this and more. We hope that you can share some of your life experiences so that others can relate and learn from. We accept pictures, writing and video narratives!

Our Black Project Team