I am reprinting this post in its entirety. It is of vital importance that we all pay attention to what is going on under our very noses, with our consent - to some extent - the decimation of our communities, our living spaces, our culture - deliberate dismantling of the Black communities - and we're allowing it to happen.
Many will say it's not true - but by our very inaction, concomitant with our verbal consent, we have brainwashed ourselves into co-signing the demise of our neighborhoods. Not only are being pushed out by egregious rent increases, we are not doing what we can to prevent it; and neither are our elected officials. What good are they if they are not going to be the ones to prevent this from happening. There is a disconnect between what they say they are about, and what they actually do. But just as bad is the fact that we, in the majority in many cases in our own communities, are not taking action - civil and legal - prevent rampant gentrification and desecration of our homes.
Read the article - it's not just Harlem - it's a national move to push Black people out - and we have to be as vehement about not letting it happen! There is an organization called Save Harlem. There needs to be an organization on a nationwide level called SAVE BLACK PEOPLE!! Because we are under siege - physically, mentally, spiritually, psychologically, environmentally, politically, educationally, financially, morally - and we've been buying in to it, or cowering from it. It's not just to say "Black Lives Matter." We have to make it matter to ourselves. And we have to stop operating in the victims' role.
I wrote an article 4 years ago entitled, "Gentrify it Yourself." It was aimed at Black people utilizing their creativity and skills to clean up, improve and control their own communities, instead of allowing their surroundings to degenerate to such a level that it looked as if we had no sense of our own humanity or self worth. We sometimes allow our neighborhoods to deteriorate to such a level of squallor, and then blame others for not cleaning it up for us, that those looking at us from other cultures view us as either subhuman, or depraved. It's not that we don't know how to do the improvements; it's that we have become so subconsciously mired in the mentality that "they don't want us to have this or that" that we have become paralyzed by our own cynicism.
If Black Harlem is dying, it's partly suicide and partly murder - genocide. We should not be helping them destroy us. The same is true for Black America; Black Africa; Black South America; the Caribbean. We've always had the wherewithal to work for them - do their dirty work; we now have to take those same muscles, powers, and creativity and build for ourselves. The buck has to stop right here - we are either going to survive and surpass or go out of existence.
It would do each of us well to stop vetching and pick up the autobiography of MARCUS GARVEY - and begin to take huge lessons from his example and apply them to our situations right now. In New York, Philadelphia, Connecticut, Baltimore, DC, Virginia, Chicago - UP YOU MIGHT RACE - YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH WHAT YOU WILL! If anybody should be honored and remembered this Memorial Week end, it must be Garvey. Take his techniques, methodologies, examples, and begin to apply them, teach them, share them, utilize them - make them work now - or you will see more and more buildings, communities, and neighborhoods and lives destroyed by these racists.
And this time, we will all be Garveys - so it won't be so easy to pick us off the way they did our original, valiant leader.
Stay Blessed &
Invisible Man: A Memorial to Ralph Ellison by Sculptor Elizabeth Catlett, 2003. Riverside Park at 150th Street, in Harlem. Joseph Michael Lopez for The New York Times
NOW THAT YOU KNOW - WHAT ARE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT???
ECLECTICALLY BLACKStay Blessed &