Keeping the Idlewild community alive

One begins to wonder whether the American black man has the capacity to create a genuine community. With organs for cooperation and self-help, you strain your ears in vain amid the present black clamor for a small voice saying: “Leave us alone and we will show you what we can do.”

If it is true that the only effective way to help the black is to help him help himself, then the blacks aversion to, or perhaps incapacity for a self-starting, do-it-yourself way of life makes it questionable whether he can ever attain freedom and self respect. One cannot think of another instance where a minority striving for equality has been so deficient in the capacity for mutual aid and cooperation.

The black leaders seem to have little faith in the character and potentialities of the black masses. Their words and acts are largely directed toward non-black America. They do not seem to be aware of the black masses as a reservoir of power and as an instrument of destiny. Almost invariably when a black makes his mark in whatever walk of life, his impulse is to escape his way of life. He sees the black masses as a millstone hanging about his neck, pulling him down, and keeping him from rising to the heights of fortune and felicity.

The leaderships lack of faith in the black masses is dictating the singular pattern of the black revolution. Since the revolution has no roots to the black masses, it cannot grow. It cannot engage in long-range programs which after a period of maturing may yield an abundance of striking results. It goes after immediate, showy objectives. It operates wholly in the present and takes no thought of the future.

In the past, wherever there were many wrongs to right, the one least capable of yielding palpable results was attacked first. One has the feeling that the prospect of black equality would have been brighter had the first target been disenfranchisement rather than segregation. But the black leaders, having no roots and no faith in the black masses, cannot wait for votes to yield results. They cannot heed Nkrumah’s advice: “Seek ye first the political kingdom and all others shall be added unto it.”

Are we as a community moving one step up and falling two steps back? Do we realize as a community what our forefathers sacrificed so we are able to have a centennial and celebrate? Have we deviated from the norm?

This is not just a centennial year. This is an election year. We have to keep the faith and keep hope alive.