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Title of Course: Philosophy 101: "Black Race Matters" Instructor: Mba Mbulu

Textbook: Essays by Mba Mbulu are provided online.

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Read the following Essay. Think about the questions below and explore them more fully.
(1) Is the term Black Smart racist?
(2) What is the difference between being Black Smart and intelligent?
(3) What are the stages that make up the Black Smart concept?
(4) Someone said knowledge has never saved anyone. Do you think the author of this essay would agree with that statement?
(5) Do you understand the bridge the author refers to?
(6) Is this essay relevant to the struggle of Black People in America?

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Class #7 "BLACK-SMART: What Is It?"

In order to struggle effectively, Black People have to be Black-Smart. What does it mean to be Black-Smart? The following brief paragraphs will address that question.
At the core of the concept of Black-Smart is the belief that an individual cannot be intelligent unless that individual acts intelligently. In the West, people are taught that intelligence is a totally mental activity; that a person is intelligent if he or she is able to logically analyze simple and complex concepts and demonstrate that knowledge to other individuals. But such an impression of intelligence is critically lacking, since an intelligent person would not recognize the solution to a problem without attempting to put that solution into effect. Rather than try to teach people to expand their long held understanding of intelligence, we have introduced a new word, "Black-Smart", to represent this concept.
The concept of Black-Smart involves three distinct but intermixed stages. The first is recognizing a set of circumstances for what it is. The second is determining if those circumstances are beneficial and, if not, determining what must be done to create desirable circumstances. The third is acting in a manner that is consistent with what you have determined needs to be done in order to create the desired circumstances. The first two stages do not involve lying to yourself, "tricking" yourself or allowing fear to influence you because objectivity is absolutely essential. Objectivity is essential to the third stage, which involves not just acting, but acting in a manner that is consistent with what you have objectively determined needs to be done.
To be Black-Smart is to possess consciousness. Americans have been taught for centuries that information is power, but that is not necessarily true. An individual can possess all of the information in the world and still not have power, because information is power only if it is exploited properly. On the other hand, consciousness is more akin to power than information because consciousness drives a person to act, and it is acting that results in the acquisition of power.

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Knowing primarily involves the use of physical, emotional and mental energies that are of the passive type. Acting is an entirely different activity. Acting involves the use of physical, emotional and mental energies that go beyond those required to accumulate knowledge. Therefore, a knowledgeable person is not necessarily equipped to be powerful or to acquire power. There is a bridge that a knowledgeable person has to cross first. In the process of crossing that bridge, a knowledgeable person acquires those additional qualities that enable him or her to become an active person, a powerful person.
What does a person learn in the process of crossing that bridge? A person learns about intangibles and develops an appreciation for the roles intangibles play in success and failure. A person learns that the perceptions and analyses of a knowledgeable person and those of a conscious person are prone to differ radically. A person learns that struggle and commitment require much more than he/she thought they required; that perseverance alone can spell the difference between victory and defeat; that there are always independent factors in play that can make an "impossible" outcome quite probable; that the lows are frequent and deep, but always temporary; and that time is always on the side of those who advocate and work for beneficial change. A person learns that willpower and determination are more important than material factors; and that what one has to work with is less important than how one makes use of what he/she has. And, a person learns that realizations such as these are what separate outstanding persons from mediocre persons, and can-do persons from quitters.

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Individuals who are Black-Smart have crossed that bridge. They are able to look at the particulars of a given situation and see possibilities that less equipped individuals are not able to see. They are able to factor in relevant elements that most individuals fail to take into consideration. They are able to see the likelihood of victory where others see the certainty of defeat.
Information opens up the possibility of power. Consciousness drives one to seek that power. Black-Smart is the concept that encompasses both. Therefore, individuals who are Black-Smart, regardless of race, will be of benefit not only to themselves, but to all of humankind.
One of Black People's major recent drawbacks has been Our failure to act in a manner that is consistent with what We know needs to be done. Black People consistently end up participating in activities that can not produce the results We desire. By being Black-Smart, We can eliminate that negative and time wasting tendency.
Brothers and Sisters, Dare to BE BLACK-SMART!

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