Lines”: 50 Solutions To “The Black Dilemma”
to solving any problems in the collective black community is correcting the
mental and physical state of Black America. The figurative state of Black
America is reflective of literal state of Black America’s health and mindset,
both of which that causes us to think and act in ways that are
counter-productive, at best, or destructive to the notion of unity in our
It is time for us to admit that black people, in our current condition, are (almost) as sick, physically and mentality, as the forces that created our societal circumstances. If you want to lay it at the feet of “the white man,” then so be it. He certainly has done (and continues to do) his share.
But I’m not so sure we can blame the white man for all our problems anymore. For instance, the white man doesn’t make us over-eat to the point that obesity has become a pandemic in the black community. With the average black man 20 pounds overweight and the average dress of a black women being a size 22, can we really say the white man is making us eat much of the “slave foods” (truly a vestige of slavery when we ate the scraps from the master’s table) that have now became the “delicacies” we call “Soul Food? Does the white man make us kill ourselves in the streets of America to the tune of close to 100,000 over the last 20 years? Does the white man make us sell dope to our people, or leave our women, or beat our seniors, and I can go on and on….
The argument could be made that racial circumstance makes us “do what we have to do to survive” or make us so “frustrated” that we turn on ourselves. The response to that, of course, would be, “Isn’t that part of the plan? Genocide is genocide, whether it’s orchestrated or self-inflicted. The point is the black “mindset” must be adjusted for us to fight that fight, and our health must become our wealth to the point of where we value it more than the things we kill ourselves over.
That being said, some of our solutions must address our heath status. Here goes;
that most black people need some kind of counseling (healing) to
exorcise ourselves from the demons that centuries of racial hate (white on black
and black on black) has produced. Black
America has serious self-esteem problems that, even when we succeed, cause many
of us to hate each other and separate from the condition of the masses of our
people. We can’t run from each other, and help each other at the same time. Nor
can we ignore the condition of the masses. Nor can we wash the black off. None
of us can escape the condition of the least of us.
Stop hatin’ on each other. Jealousy keeps
us suspicious of each other, and envy is
the mother of murder.
is the environment under which our enemy operates, and confuses us to who our
real enemy is. As long
as black people are hatin’ and killing on each other, we cannot see the enemy
from without due to the confusion caused by the enemy within.
time for black men and black women to call a truce. All
black men are not triflin’ and all black women are not mean and evil. The
dysfunction of the family that now has the new “black family” being 59% single
female-headed households stems from the dysfunction of the black male-female
relationship. The black community has lost its balance because the black family
has lost its balance. We have to restore the black family unit where both men
and women are present. Black
relationships don’t have to be traditional to be balanced, but
every household must be covered…
become a community that raises (takes
responsibility for) our
children again. We
can’t leave it to just the child’s parent. When we see children do wrong, the
community must correct them in the absence of their parents. Parents must give
permission for the community to correct their child. And when their parents
don’t know right from wrong, the community must embrace the fatherless and
motherless child. “It takes a (whole)
village to raise a child” must become more than a saying.
restore a position of prestige to our seniors where
they can pass the best of our history to us, and help guide us through this
storm. No race
can survive without tapping into the wisdom of its elders. Young
men for war, old men for guidance. Young men don’t get to be old without
guidance. Our community mothers must teach our young ladies how to be women—not
hoes, not b*tches, not rumpshakers, not shooters—women. We need
the guidance of our elders.
change our dietary habits to extend our lives. How
can we say we’re no longer slaves, but continue to eat slave foods that put
African Americans at the top of every major health affliction; heart disease,
hypertension/strokes, diabetes and certain cancers. The
common denominator is our obesity. Blacks
eliminate race health disparities. Then we must
exercise regularly. Good
health is the first step to black recovery.
eliminate stress from our lives. Stress
complicates our poor health status. Stress relief comes in many forms, from
prayer to mediation, to exercise to soothing music. We must find our quiet space
body and spirit can
come together and guide us in a constructive manner. Stress is the
silent killer amongst us and makes
us intolerant of each other.
way to make a difference. Not
just by writing a check, or having your job buy a table to the local black
organization chicken dinner. Give time, money and resources to, at least, one
activity or organization that is really making a difference. We can feed a child
for a day, or teach a child to fish where they can feed themselves for life. The
state of our communities are what they are because not enough of us do our part.
If we spend as much time helping people as we spend fighting for positions of
recognition in our social organizations, all our problems would be solved. It’s
time to end tokenism. Each
one, reach one, teach one, then save one. That’s
what we used to do. If all of us just saved one…we could save them all. It’s
better to be heard in private than to be seen in public.
Stop making excuses for why we can’t do
anything “as a people.” (Believing) past
efforts failed, doesn’t mean future efforts can’t succeed. Nobody is going to
save Black America, but Black America. If we
don’t believe we can do it, nobody else will. Let’s
“just do it.”
Let’s start listening to each other, and
accept valid criticisms. Black people are too damn sensitive. Sometimes,
criticisms aren’t valid, but letting people express themselves (sometimes)
serves as a bridge to better communication. We need to check each other
sometimes, but we
don’t need to always be checkin’ people and we don’t always have to be
a sophistication to our interface that
allows us to disagree agreeably, and move ahead.
These solutions were meant to help us deal better with each other. The third ten will focus on our politics and our spirituality. Hold on to your hat—I feel a hellava holy roller comin’ on.
Anthony Asadullah Samad is a national columnist, author and managing director of the Urban Issues Forum. His new book, 50 Years After Brown: The State of Black Equality In America can be ordered online. He can be reached for comments at www.AnthonySamad.com