This commentary is light reading for a summer Saturday or Sunday morning or afternoon. It is to remind us of the logic of life and to recognize that, if Black America defies life’s logic, then we cannot expect favorable and beneficial outcomes.
We begin by agreeing on a fundamental fact. A question that can initiate a scientific process of discovery is “why?” It may be critical to also ask what, when, where, and how. However, an important saying from the Japanese is (paraphrasing): “If you want to know the depth, breadth, and scope of a ‘thing,’ then ask why and continue asking why until you have exhausted all related questions.”
A good starting point for Black America is to ask: “Why is Black America generally and always at or near the bottom of the socioeconomic hierarchy in the US?” Immediately, we will see that as we seek to answer the question, we must ask “why” many, many times, and that we will encounter the need for knowledge from a variety of disciplines.
Speaking of Knowledge, we cast a first backwards glance to look forward by revisiting a December 2021 commentary from BlackEconomics.org entitled “Knowing.” It is appropriate to consider it here because knowledge is the first and foundational factor on which Black America should initiate our efforts to rise.
This may sound counterintuitive because so many Black Americans, even our most learned, contend that economics or enterprise should be the starting point for our rise. This calls us to conduct a second backwards look while looking forward by considering a BlackEconomics.org April 2023 Analysis Brief entitled, “Economics Before Education?” In it we argue that we will fail if we do not build our foundation on “right knowledge” that results from right (Afrikan centered) formal and informal education/learning.
This brings us to the end of this commentary by leading us to the recent release of a new and free publication, Long-Term Strategic Plan for Black America, which was developed by a Long-Term Strategic Plan (LTSP) Panel of Black American grassroots activists. BlackEconomics.org’s key contributors participated on the LTSP Panel.
The publication provides a 100-year plan that is expected to culminate in Black America enjoying a much-elevated status in the US across the breadth of our socioeconomic requirements.
We urge that you place the LTSP publication on your “must read” list for the remainder of this summer. If not the full 133-page volume, then at a very minimum, please read the five-page Executive Summary. The Long-Term Strategic Plan for Black America, to our knowledge, is the first systematic attempt by Black Americans to provide detailed strategic guidance on how Black America can address our shortfalls in all socioeconomic requirements that we are likely to confront over the next 100 years, and to account for how we should address the period thereafter.
As LTSP Panel members, we can assure you that the Panel prepared this new and free volume by addressing a very long series of questions—most of which began with the simple word, “why.”