Leadership 101 Textbooks: The Black Studies Book: A Black Studies Guide for TeenAgers and Adults and Black Smart. Instructor: Mba Mbulu

Copyright 1996,1998, 1999 ASET, M. Mbulu All rights to everything on this web site are reserved.

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Class #10

The following essays discuss Virtue #8 and Virtue #9. Also included is a brief Conclusion. Read each of them carefully and relate them to the following questions.

(1) Who are YOU?

(2) Why must a Black leader have confidence in your ability to learn?

(3) What is Readiness or Preparedness for Action?

(4) What is general consensus?

(5) What is specific consensus?

(6) The following statement appears below: "At certain times and within certain limitations, what Black People do in search of Our Black Nation is less important than the fact that We do something." Do you consider that a risky statement?

(7) What is the importance of being able to "think on your feet"?

(8) Read the conclusion. Does that help you understand what We should really be focussing on when We speak of leadership?

The Black Virtues: Confidence in One's Ability to Learn
[Each of Us must believe in himself/herself. No one among Us should sell himself/herself short.]

The following quote is from Black Smart, page 132-133:

"YOU are power. The very person who is reading these lines represents a force which can bring about changes that few imagine possible at this time. Don't sell yourself short. Don't doubt yourself.

"YOU have the ability to observe what is going on around YOU. YOU have the ability to hear what people say and compare what they say with what they do. Based on that comparison, YOU can determine if they are serious about what they say, or if they are just trying to run a game on YOU.

"YOU can do what anyone else does. YOU are as intelligent as anyone else is. YOU can observe, YOU can come to decisions, YOU can organize and YOU can act/build. That makes YOU just as powerful as the next person."

The intelligence of Black individuals has been attacked constantly by the forces of white power. The various branches of the white media and, most importantly, white power's educational system, have fabricated Black shortcomings and plunged them into Our psyche. In spite of that, each of Us must continue to believe in himself/herself. No one among Us should sell himself/herself short. We are brilliant people because We are products of an ancient system of excellence. White power is too weak to destroy the excellence that Mother Africa has endowed Us with. Therefore We are, today, just as intelligent as We ever were.

So We must believe in Ourselves, individually and collectively, because Black Power hinges, in part, on the intelligence and abilities of Black individuals. Any individual who harbors doubts about the intelligence or abilities of Black individuals is only capable of retarding the progress of Black People. We cannot afford to accord such a person the title of "Black leader." Top

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The Black Virtues: Readiness or Preparedness for Action

[We must recognize the importance and necessity of organizing, organization, planning and preparation.]

When We have dealings with other people in the world, it behooves Us to make a lasting, positive impression on them. Why? Because their impression of Us will determine how they assess Our objectives and respond to Us as a People. Mastering this final Virtue, Readiness or Preparedness for Action, will enable Us to impress other people in a way that will obligate them to take Us seriously and honor Us with the respect We deserve.

Readiness or Preparedness for Action involves two processes. One of these processes involves laying out plans of action and developing the ability to actualize them. The second process involves developing the ability to "think on Our feet." The processes overlap, but mastering both is critical to those who profess to lead Black People.

The first process, laying out a plan for action, requires research, analysis, consensus and contingencies. I am going to ignore research and analysis at this time because an abundance of each has already taken place. However, it is critical that We get a more functional understanding of consensus and contingencies, so I will discuss each briefly.

When people seek a political objective that is as corrective and far reaching as Black Nationalism, the element of consensus takes on a chameleonic character. As such, in general terms, consensus equates to agreement, but in specific terms, consensus equates to validation. I will explain what I mean by that.

Black leaders must be politically mature enough to agree that Black Nationalism is a legitimate objective of Black People. That is consensus within a general context. When Black People try to determine HOW Black Nationalism can best be realized, Black leaders have to come to a consensus of a specific nature. Black leaders must not make the mistake of assuming that a specific consensus necessarily involves agreeing on a specific course of action that all Black nationalists must adapt or adhere to. That would place too much restraint on Us at this stage of Our quest for independence. Thus, Our specific consensus must revolve around public validation of the various approaches taken by the various groups of Black nationalists. As Our struggle matures, the approaches and groups that prove themselves most efficient and capable will absorb most of the others. As such, the process itself will answer many of the questions that could otherwise frustrate Our leadership, wear down Our resolve and cause Black People to become disenchanted.

At certain times and within certain limitations, what Black People do in search of Our Black Nation is less important than the fact that We do something. We can not spell out in advance all of the correct steps We need to take, but We can popularize Black Nationalism and generate Black nationalist energy if We ACT in some way or another. At this point, each Black nationalist group must determine what its acts will consist of, and other Black nationalist groups and individuals must publicly validate those acts. As long as a group is generating Black nationalist consciousness and energy, no other Black nationalist group or individual should be publicly critical of the methodology that was employed.

Take heed!! It is important that each group have a methodology. A series of random activities is not a methodology. Each act must be part of an overall "game plan" that has been decided on by that group. That "game plan" must acknowledge the general and specific consensus mentioned earlier and outline, in general terms, the agreed upon methodology of the group. Agreed upon contingency responses must be part and parcel of the overall game plan.

A key to being able to actualize Our game plans could be developing the ability to "think on Our feet." "The best laid plans of mice and man oftimes go astray." There will be chaotic and stressful periods when the shortcomings of Our game plans and contingencies will hinder or betray Us. During such periods, We will need to possess such a basic understanding of what We want to accomplish and how We need to accomplish it, that We can improvise without compromising Our objectives or contradicting the principles that serve as the basis of Our struggle. Each Black Nationalist group must prepare its members to think on their feet. They must be disciplined enough to stick with the game plan, but versatile enough to temporarily customize the game plan when temporary customization is necessary.

[More on this subject will be covered in Black Nationalism 102. The initial classes from that course should be available soon.]

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Conclusion

Black People do not need Black "leaders"-- We can lead Ourselves. What Black People need are Black spokespersons; individuals who will accurately represent Our feelings, goals and aspirations. In fact, Black leadership is much too broad, deep and profound to be handed over to a handful of individuals. Black leadership, then, must develop. It must become one of Our cultural traits, one of Our customs, part of the subconscious fabric that defines Us as a Nation of People.

As We take Our destiny into Our own hands, Black leadership will take on its essential qualities, Black Power will emerge as a dominant factor in international politics, and Black People will become the embodiment, custodian and caretaker of reasonable individuals throughout the world. That is how it was when the world was a saner, a better place. That is how it will be again.

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