AN AGENDA FOR BLACK WOMEN
A PATH TO EMPOWERMENT
This Women’s History Month, I call upon each of us to play a greater role in the sociopolitical and economic progression of women. I call upon each of us to play a participatory role of changing outcomes and the expansion of influence of women. There is a call upon us to take up the mantle and swing forth the doors of liberty and justice for all. That call starts with those that give birth the nations. Women.
We are in the midst of several movements simultaneously whether we are cognizant or unconscious of them. The Second Civil Rights Movement. An Ongoing Feminist Movement. The Organized Labor Movement. An Orchestrated Cultural Enlightenment. It is going to take women, black women, to make dreams a reality. It is going to take black women to fuel the engine of change. It is going to take black women to right our wrong. It is going to take women for their mobilization and maintenance.
An Agenda calls on us to gain greater ground in our networks and restore what is broken and bewildering our beloved communities. Our collective voices are that of victory. They speak to our legacy of leadership, the origin of our ideology, and our desire to improve the plight of a people. Therefore, we must act upon the words of Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm of being unbought and unbossed, and take it a step further to be unrelenting, unassailable, unfurled, unfettered, unabashed, and unequivocal.
We must walk in our purpose and not look back. This nation, this world needs a bold new power structure. It must be one that is redemptive, reformative, restorative, and revolutionary. With the black woman at the helm, she will charge forward mightily.
For a conglomeration of reasons, I wrote An Agenda that speaks squarely to black women. I felt the powers that be are not listening and operating with the black woman in mind. Although, she as nursed and reared their children. She has saw her family separated. She has been lashed and saw her men lynched. She has been battered, brutalized, and victimized. She has loved and lead a people under the harshest conditions. She has done more than sang, prayed, prepared, and played. She has risen to the heights in her field. She has brought a folding chair; as well as, sat in prominent positions. She has made strides that are complex and unconventional. She has been a champion and led by her conviction.
An Agenda For Black Women: A Path To Empowerment And Transformational Change is a supplement and, in part, seeks to supplant a discourse around socioeconomic and political problems that plague women of African ancestry in the United States. The text strives to create a conversation, establish policy positions, and advance meaningful and sustainable change. Its scope and solutions are national with an aim to shrink the historical and ever-present achievement, opportunity, gender, and wealth gaps.
History and our political stakes in America pressed me to produce this work. Non-whites are under the greatest attack in a generation. We are losing ground on every plane and on the global stage. We must call for a new agenda to be crafted and executed. We are not a monolithic group in philosophy, religiosity, spirituality, status or the like, but we are able to coalesce around a set of principles to move a people forward forever and backwards never. “We must respond in our own way, our own terms, in a manner which fits our temperaments. The definition of ourselves, the roles we pursue, the goals we seek are our responsibility” (Ture and Hamilton, 1967).
Our experiences in this land and internationally are not new. We, too, are weaved into the tapestry of this world. In the spirit of Dr. W.E.B. DuBois, the problem in the twenty-first century is the color line. Our agenda is both African centered and American. It is universal and local. It is far reaching. It is timely. It is prophetic. It is liberating.
We have come to a point where race consciousness moves us beyond labeling. It introduces a new game board. It is no longer about changing white folk’s minds. It is about changing and challenging our collective mindset. It is about a people dedicated to destroying the myth of black inferiority with a powerful new platform (Burrell, 2010).
A transformation is coming. We must set our aims high so that we may be emboldened and become steadfast, stronger, and more empowered. We must learn that everyone cannot go everywhere with us. Everything and everyone have a limitation. We must use logic and let it reign as we love, lift, and lead our people.