When you look at the issues that are surrounding black churches, historical black colleges, universities, black Newspapers, even Ebony & Jet Magazine, you have to look at the common denominator among them all. The answer is the NAACP and Urban League. How? Each of these entities are very important and prevalent to either being a force or starting out as Civil Activists (NAACP, Urban League, Black churches and a few of the Black Newspapers), who were voices for the black community. From there, each entity were important as they evolved to become part of the Civil Rights Movement.
What happened next in history was the start of the downfall for all parties involved: the murders of Malcolm X, King, and Abernathy. The effect was not immediate but left an impact over time. The blueprint for how to run an organization was still fresh because there were young, experienced people who lived through various aspects; either from being an activist or being a part of the Movement. They grew up and became a part of the organization. They were all willing to bring in younger folks to train and educate the next generation. This was where the issues started. These issues were not seen publically but definitely were internal. These two organizations were now looked at for leadership. The churches, newspapers, colleges/universities and Jet/Ebony were following their lead.
When they stopped embracing the thoughts and issues of our community, membership dropped. Other organizations popped up and started their own movements and agendas. When they started getting rid of younger talent because they felt threatened or because someone disagreed with our philosophy, the foundation started cracking. At this point, this is what my generation (the late 60’s babies, the original hip-hop kids, the Spike Lee babies) were born into. We are the ones that are looking at a foundation with mad repairs that have to be addressed. We are the ones who face the brunt of black hate from our own people because they mistake our love and passion for each organization as trying to take over. We are the ones, even if we didn’t attend a HBCU, that are trying to defend them even when we know they are wrong.
I know some folks may be reading this and rolling their eyes saying “How dare you, Phinesse Demps!” Or you may be sitting there calling me disrespectful for not respecting what these organizations have done for the black communities. That is far from the case! This is not a complaint against about the work those respected groups have done, but moreso a way to shed more light on the internal issues that have been made more public in recent times.
So what am I REALLY saying? Cut off the head. This is why I blame the NAACP & Urban League. As leaders of the community, as you go, we go…
Thanks to my mentor Mr. Muldrow for encouraging me to never be scared, but truthful.
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