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 #8

The following essays discuss Virtue #4and Virtue #5. Read each of them carefully and relate them to the following questions.

(1) If the human struggle is the most important struggle, what is the relevance of the Black struggle?

(2) What does identifying with the higher ideals in life enable Us to do?

(3) What is the danger of establishing ideals that are beyond Our scope of understanding?

(4) What is evidence?

(5) How does evidence manifest itself?

(6) What is the importance of being able to differentiate between evidence and something that looks like evidence?

The Black Virtues: Identity with the Higher Ideals in Life

[Our philosophy on life and what We attempt to do must not be limited by the circumstances and conditions under which We live.]

The struggle of Black People is a legitimate struggle, and Black Nationalism is a legitimate objective of Black People in the United States of America. However, the human struggle is a much loftier endeavor than the Black struggle. The Black struggle and Black Nationalism, then, are not ends but stepping stones. Unfortunately, due to the reality of white power, they are necessary stepping stones.

We have to be careful; We cannot lose sight of the fact that the human struggle is the most important struggle. However, Black People have to realize that We cannot make essential contributions to the human struggle until We have developed the ability to define terms and situations and dictate parameters. Black Nationalism represents the development of those abilities.

Identifying with the Higher Ideals in Life enable Us to keep a straight head about the role of human beings in the overall scheme of things. Human beings belong to a world, the human world belongs to a universe, and that universe belongs to a collection of universes. There is therefore an order in effect that is too powerful for Us to dominate or direct and too complex for Us to master intellectually. We have to make Ourselves content with playing the role We are capable of playing, and making every contribution possible to the harmony that has been mandated by the supreme powers.

But, We must not get carried away; We must not establish ideals that are beyond Our scope of understanding. We understand only a handful, if any, of life's complexities, but We do understand life's simplicities because We experience them each and every day. We understand that life is valuable. We recognize human suffering and understand that it should be eliminated to the best of Our abilities. We understand that people need to be loved, recognized, held in esteem and appreciated. And We recognize that people need the basics' like food, clothing, shelter and the opportunity to pursue happiness. These type ideals are within Our reach, and We should never lose sight of them, never cease to seek them.

There are other ideals that are beyond Us, beyond Our abilities, beyond Our scope of understanding. We can think about these from time to time, but Our energy should be invested in identifying, identifying with and working to realize those goals We are capable of attaining.

Our philosophy on life and what We attempt to do must not be limited by the circumstances and conditions under which We live. Our leaders must recognize that. The circumstances and conditions under which We live are much too tiny, much too inconsequential in the overall scheme of things. Therefore, Our struggle must have a higher objective. However, Black leaders must remember to not put the cart before the horse; that would doom Black People to immediate failure. Black leaders must also remember to not put too heavy a weight on Black People's back; that would grind Us to a halt and crush Us. And, Black leaders must remember to not invest critical time and energy into ideals that are too high for Black People to reach. That would doom Us to futility. Top

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The Black Virtues: Evidence of Having a Mission in Life

[We must be about an objective, and what We-- each and every one of Us-- do must be a reflection of what We say We are about.]

Evidence! That is the key term in this Virtue. What is evidence and how does it manifest itself?

Evidence is both a quality and a quantity. Its strength lies in its qualitative essence, the reason for its existence. As such, evidence is not visible to the eyes, but it is as clear as day. Evidence can not be smelled, but every breath fills the nose and lungs with its flavor. A person can not reach out and touch evidence, but crashing into evidence is like crashing into a steel wall.

How does evidence manifest itself? Evidence manifests itself as a quantity; something people can point to, put their fingers on and identify in tangible ways. Evidence manifests itself as deeds, actions, sacrifices and obligations fulfilled. But more importantly, evidence manifests itself as an aura, an air, a "presence." That is the evidence, qualitative essence manifesting itself as an aura or a presence, that this Virtue rests on.

Evidence cannot be "planted", but people very often mistake something that has been planted as evidence. When Black People assess individuals who claim to be Black leaders, they must be able to distinguish between those whose evidence is real and those whose "evidence" has been planted. Failing to make that distinction could result in Black People being led into a mode of conduct that will do nothing but frustrate Our objectives and discourage Us from seeking what We should be seeking.

Have you ever noticed?... some individuals have a glow about them. The glow is not caused by the products they put on their faces, the clothes they wear or any external factor, but by the light that shines deep down inside of them. That light is a guiding light, and it defines their values and priorities. That light is the idea around which all of their thoughts revolve. That light is the energy source that enables them to initiate activities, persevere and accomplish whatever they accomplish. That light is the generator of the evidence that they have a mission in life.

We must be about an objective, and what We-- each and every one of Us-- do must be a reflection of what We say We are about. Serious Black individuals will reflect what they are about effortlessly, as a matter of course. They don't have to jump up and down to draw attention to themselves. They don't have to "wag their tails in somebody else's face" in order to "prove" how Black they are. Nor do they feel obligated to placate those who are not worthy of being placated. Their only motivation is their mission in life, and that mission will define who they are and generate ample evidence of what they are about.

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