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 #6

The following essay discusses Virtue #1, Control of Thought. Read it and relate it to the following questions.

(1) What is the difference between thought and thoughts?

(2) What is self?

(3) How is Control of Thought achieved?

(4) Why is it important that Black leadership and Black People understand human shortcomings and human conflict?

The Black Virtues: Control of Thought

[We must be the makers of Our ideas.]

Control of Thought is the single most important Virtue in the human political arena. Control of Thought is the key to open mindedness and independence, and the stepping stone to each of the other Virtues. However, Control of Thought does not revolve around thoughts, but thought processes, thought analysis, logic and practicality, some of the telling prerequisites to thought.

Control of Thought will help Black People develop the mental and spiritual strength to assert Ourselves and compete effectively.

What are the keys to Control of Thought? I will discuss four of them at this time. They are (1) Knowledge of Self (2) Unbridled Appreciation of Self (3) Knowledge of Others and (4) Obtaining a fundamental understanding of the human shortcomings and conflicts that have dominated people, groups and nations.

Knowledge of Self

What is self? For the purpose of these lessons, self is the past, future and present of an entire mass of people. Self is a people's collective actions, outlooks and development; a people's cultural and ontological totality. Self is much more than an individual could ever be. Thus, self is the group reality each individual should strive to understand and represent.

This is the self that is referred to in Chapter 1 of Ten Lessons: An Introduction to Black History. I will cite a section from that book.

Knowledge of self involves knowledge of yourself and the people you are part of (racially, ethnically and nationally speaking). "This type of knowledge is important because people in different parts of the world develop different morals and values (concepts of right and wrong) because they are challenged by different threats or obstacles to their survival. You have to understand what forces were operating that prompted your ancestors' actions and development because that is important to helping you understand yourself and what you should be about." Top

Unbridled Appreciation of Self

Unbridled Appreciation of Self sounds exaggerated and pompous, but it is far from that. Unbridled Appreciation of Self is simply loving and valuing the race of people you were born into. You do not have to chant "Black Power" or "Black Is Beautiful" slogans, or flaunt "Blackness" to show your unbridled appreciation of your essence. Unbridled Appreciation of Self will take root naturally as you internalize positive images and thoughts and allow them to become part of your subconscious reality. Once you appreciate Self on a subconscious level, the decisions you make, the positions you take and the way you relate to each and every element of your environment will reflect that Unbridled Appreciation of Self that you have internalized.

It is natural for people to appreciate themselves; as I just stated, appreciation of self is a reflection of one's subconscious reality. Not surprisingly, though, most Black individuals will have to relearn to appreciate Black People, the Black race, what Black People represent and what Black People "bring to the table." That is because white power has programmed Us to hate Ourselves. That programming has to be undone. Fortunately, We do not have to establish unprogramming classes as a separate or unique field of study. All We need to do is realize that normal people appreciate themselves and establish appreciating Ourselves as an objective. Unprogramming Ourselves will take place as a matter of course while We relearn to appreciate Ourselves.

Loving and valuing who you are, where you came from, what you have accomplished and what you are capable of accomplishing; that is what Unbridled Appreciation of Self is all about. Any Black person who lacks this quality is not capable of adequately representing the reality and aspirations of Black People. Keys Top

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Knowledge of Others

"Understanding the different groups you come into contact with is a key to being able to act [and think] intelligently. You have to know what forces shaped other people in order to determine their capacity for acting in a certain way (humanely or inhumanely, for example). Because people/groups develop differently, their values are likely to be different and their assessment of what actions are appropriate for a particular situation is likely to be different. In order to properly prepare yourself to deal with other people and defend yourself against other people, you must know what to expect from them. Understanding their development is a key that will enable you to anticipate their actions and reactions and enable you to keep their effect on you to a minimum.

"In order for Us, Black People, to act [and think] intelligently, We must know who We are and who Our enemies are. We must know who to look to for guidance and where We should not look for sincere support. One of the reasons We don't unite as We should is because We don't know who We are and We act like We don't know who Our enemies are." [Ten Lessons]

Black leaders must know who Our enemies are and where We should not look for sincere support. That is essential. Knowledge of others helps Black leaders avoid looking in the wrong areas for sincere support.

Black People must be the makers of Our ideas. That quality that enables Us to resist the direct and indirect suggestions of others is Control of Thought. That quality that enables Us to resist the political propaganda of others, be it in the form of news reports, entertainment, or education, etc., is Control of Thought. That quality that enables Us to discover the source of ideas and recognize which are actually Ours is Control of Thought. Each and every legitimate Black leader must possess Control of Thought. Keys Top

Obtaining a Fundamental Understanding of Human Shortcomings and Conflicts

[In addition to what is written below, pages 8-18 of Ten Lessons: An Introduction to Black History should be read.]

Superior intelligence is not the exclusive property of any given group of people; the overall correctness of one group's philosophy on life is equal to that of any other group. Likewise, superior accomplishments are not the exclusive property of any given group of people; what one group accomplishes requires just as much genius as the accomplishments of any other group. And, superior objectives or intentions are not the exclusive property of any given group of people; what one group seeks to make of its immediate surrounding and "the world" is just as legitimate as that of any other group.

Superior intelligence, superior accomplishments and superior objectives are three of a hoard of indicators that demonstrate how pervasive human shortcomings are. Even superior human intelligence is too meagre to perceive all of the relevant factors that need to be perceived. Even superior human accomplishments are tiny when viewed from the overall scheme of things. Even superior human objectives are clouded by lapses in logic and emotions, and practically doomed by the inability of humans to guarantee the outcome of their efforts. In the light of such shortcomings, it behooves each group to try to control as much of its destiny as possible. Why? Because those who do not control their destiny will be at the mercy of the human shortcomings of a different group of people.

Each group of human beings is equally capable of steering humankind in the right, or wrong, direction. Those who possess knowledge of self are ever aware of this. Thus, those Black individuals who consider themselves "leaders" recognize that Black People are just as capable of leading humankind as any other group of people.

Nowhere are human shortcomings more evident than when different groups of people interact with one another. The result is almost always some degree of conflict. Thousands and thousands of years ago, constant human conflict was understandable because people were largely at the mercy of Nature and only slightly knowledgeable of each other. Today, different groups of people are only slightly at the mercy of Nature and possess extensive knowledge of each other, yet human conflict continues to be a dominant theme. At some point, a change will have taken place, and conflict will cease to be a major factor in human relations. Unfortunately, We have not reached that point yet.

Until humanity reaches that point, Black People must be able and willing to supervise human conflict. We, Black People, must be able and willing to defend Ourselves against all other groups of people and lead the crusade to reduce the impact of conflict on human relations. Because human conflict persists and is so prevalent, it is safe to conclude that there is something about conflict that human nature does not find repulsive. If it persists, if it is pervasive and if human nature does not find it repulsive, We must manipulate it to the best of Our abilities; from the most advantageous vantage points and toward the ends that We have determined are most pressing.

Because of Our intelligence, Our accomplishments and Our objectives, We are as qualified as anyone to supervise human relations. Because of Our intelligence, Our accomplishments and Our objectives, Black leaders should recognize that no one is able to supervise human relations better than Us. Keys Top

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