by Kenray Sunyaru
As a conscious Black man I’ve learned from my freedom-fighting Forefathers that my legacy and purpose - ‘spiritual-political’ birthright is to seek my divinity by becoming ‘godlike’ and to serve the Black community through implacable leadership to gain self-determination.
As Black men if the Creator created us in His image, likeness, and freewill – ‘divinely endowed’, so why are we accepting racial oppression and not claiming our divinity and self-determination?
Brother Malcolm X once remarked: “The Negro revolution is controlled by ‘foxy white liberals’ – by the government. But the Black revolution is controlled only by God! What did Malcolm mean the Black revolution is controlled by God?
From my perspective the Black revolution - our human rights struggle for self-determination is God-given as Malcolm also stated: “Afro-Americans, like all other people have human rights which are inalienable. This is, these human rights cannot be legally or justly transferred to another. Our human rights belong to us, as to all people, through God, not through the wishes nor according to the whims of other men.”
Martin Luther King similarly echoed Malcolm’s sentiments when he remarked: “The tendency to ignore the Negro's contribution to American life and to strip him of his personhood is as old as the earliest history books and as contemporary as the morning's newspaper. To upset this cultural homicide, the Negro must rise up with an affirmation of his own Olympian manhood. Any movement for the Negro's freedom that overlooks this necessity is only waiting to be buried. As long as the mind is enslaved, the body can never be free. Psychological freedom, a firm sense of self-esteem, is the most powerful weapon against the long night of physical slavery. No Lincolnian emancipation proclamation or Johnsonian civil rights bill can totally bring this kind of freedom. The Negro will only be free when he reaches down to the inner depths of his own being and signs with the pen and ink of assertive manhood his own emancipation proclamation. And, with a spirit straining toward true self-esteem, the Negro must boldly throw off the manacles of self-abegnation and say to himself and to the world,
I am somebody. I am a person. I am a man with dignity and honor. I have a rich and noble history. How painful and exploited that history has been. Yes, I was a slave through my foreparents and I am not ashamed of that. I'm ashamed of the people who were so sinful to make me a slave.Yes, we must stand up and say,
I'm black and I'm beautiful,and this self-affirmation is the black man's need, made compelling by the white man's crimes against him.
Malcolm’s quotes highlights the external aspect of our human rights and the Black revolution and King’s quote reflects the inner Black revolution that addresses internalized racial oppression. As Black men we are not claiming our divinity and self-determination because we are not aligned to our freedom-fighting Forefathers nor do we have allegiance to them.
Indeed as Black men we cannot claim our divinity and self-determination until we first unleash ourselves from the binding constraints of white male paternalistic power. To do so we must go inward as King said and sign our own self-emancipation with the ink of loyalty. Once we sincerely sign our own freedom – then upon this signature foundation we declare our intention to be free and sovereign; Malcolm X declared this intent when he said: “We declare our right on this earth, to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.”
Declaring ourselves to be sovereign Black men who retain full rights and responsibilities; power and authority over ourselves and our reality founded upon the principles of self-respect, self-governance, self-responsibility, self-defense, self-generating capacities, self-sustaining life force, and righteous self-correcting processes as we return back to wholeness and balance.
A true sovereign Black man embodies and lives upon these principles, and honors the life force (endowed divinity) and equivalent foundational principles in all other Black people. We must take full responsibility for all our thoughts, acts, deeds, and manifestations.
Upon this inner emancipation foundation we become free and sovereign men who will no longer accept being controlled by outside oppressive and exploitive forces; and upon this foundation our individual reality will begin to rearrange itself to accommodate this new found freedom that will be influential on the larger whole of Black people who can in turn begin to entrain itself around the center point of such higher organizing principles as we come more fully freer unto ourselves.
In closing, Malcolm X said - “Nobody can give us freedom; nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man you make it or take it! Once we accept these words from Malcolm in full earnest then we can begin this process of gaining sovereignty. This is all that is required - the rest that follows constitutes the details we must develop.