Black Liberation Ideologies and Solutions: An analysis of Black Nationalism, Integration and Electoral Politics, and Social Capitalism
Robert L. Harris, Jr.
Thesis DT 3.5 2004 H634
viii, 130 leaves; 29 cm.
For centuries now, Africans (now African Americans), have been struggling to liberate ourselves from the oppressive forces of White America; countless battles have been won, but the war seems infinite and White supremacy remains the victor. Racism has become nearly invisible; White domination has been legitimized and Black dependence and subjugation increasingly accepted and normalized. Our oldest enemies have become our closest friends, so long as we continue to supplant our African identity and ethos with an American identity and Eurocentric worldview, and remain economically dependent upon White America. For some, Black Liberation has been reduced to full acceptance by White America. Yet liberation entails far more…
What is frustrating is that the solutions to Black Liberation have already been discovered, defined, and even applied; Black geniuses have already laid the foundations. The problem is that separate components of the solution have been promoted as panaceas and viewed as oppositional instead of complementary, which makes for division instead of unity. In addition, the Unite States government has worked diligently to thwart the development of many of these solutions, and to repress those who intended to implement them. Because racial oppression is all encompassing, the liberation of Black Americans and the larger Black world will require a multitude of strategies in simultaneous operation. Black Nationalism, Integration & Electoral Politics, and the economic systems of Socialism and Capitalism are all relevant to the attainment of Black Liberation. So is action, for words without action is simply talk. This thesis analyzes the liberation philosophies aforementioned and synthesizes the most beneficial elements of each ideology into a single composite philosophy articulated as Social Capitalism.
Today economic dependence and powerlessness – which translates into economic exploitation and African American community underdevelopment – is the most debilitating obstruction to Black liberation. Economic independence, the key to self-determination, remains the unfulfilled – but critically necessary – objective of the Black Liberation Struggle. This thesis addressed this problem and offers solutions for economically empowering Black Americans and our communities, seeking instruction from the well-developed Black Liberation Tradition, and utilizing the resources and wealth African Americans already possess.
We must come to understand that racial unity and organization is the ultimate and unavoidable pathway to economic empowerment and Black Liberation; Strength lies in collective action. Lerone Bennett forewarns:
The most immediate and urgent task in the Black community is the creation of unity therein. This is our most urgent task because the basis for our weakness is disunity. The White man is strong not only because he has his own strength but also because he has our strength, which we refuse to use. Is the lesson of history is that only the strong can be free and that the oppressed must unite or perish, then we have no alternative except to link hands on the basis of our common hopes and our common graves.1
Black economic and cultural solidarity must take precedent over ideological solidarity. Once African American wealth is amassed, the masses can dictate the course of African American development. The duty of Black leaders then is to facilitate the desires of the masses and to offer ideologies that best assert their expressed will.
1 Lerone Bennett, Unity in the Black Community (Chicago: Institute of Positive Education, 1972) 1.