"You're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem" Eldridge Cleaver 1968
Here is Chancellor's Master Plan, and I urge everyone that reads this to use this as a blueprint to finally come together and organize as a people. This is nothing complicated it is very simple; we must do the work that Men and Women do when their own liberation is in their hands. How long must we continue to beg and plea for things that a people must do for themselves? Is it that we have been brainwashed so long that we cannot remember what we once were? I always stated that it is the BLACKMAN that is the most feared man on the planet for the simple reason of what we once were. It is not by accident that our history has been left out of world history, for if you knew, what and who we once were, you might rise up to be that people once again. Which is why your history must be a history of slavery and a history of having no major accomplishments in world history?
The Shape of Things To Come: A Master Plan
IT HAS BEEN PREVIOUSLY STATED IN SUBSTANCE THAT:
although the African people may continue their present course of weakness on into the future with thousands of un-unified organizations, powerless and, therefore forever dependent like half-men and half- women unable to use their own brains, although this tragic situation may continue into an uncertain future, we say, it can never be said again that such a hopeless situation persists because no member of the race or any group has ever studied the principal problems and the obstacles to their solutions based on history, and then offered an overall plan as one of the possible lines of march out of the morass. For there have been a number of plans. The weakness of some is that instead of being presented as a proposal, a point of beginning for the express purpose of making such revisions of amendments as the people thinks best, they are too often presented authoritatively as fait accompli, a reflection of the leaders ego, infallible wisdom and power.
In this section are the specifics of a MASTER PLAN. It is to be the functioning framework of a unifying Race Organization of a kind never presented to the black race before. To make all of this crystal clear, what is meant by race organization, how it will differ from anything attempted before, and what should be some of its guiding principles and understandings are enumerated below. For emphasis, a few of the most important propositions are necessary recapitulations of points already presented in preceding pages.
The main focus here is on Blacks in the United States because, whether they know it or not, they are in the very best situation to be the lead-off example for the whole African world.
Race Organization here means a nationwide organization of Blacks only. But it means much more: the organization should be so structured through all elements of the black population, and on an active membership so vast that it would go far beyond the accepted scientific criteria for determining the wishes of a whole people. In other words, the first objective would be to have a representative scheme of organization that would, beyond all doubt, be the voice of Black America; and to keep this an actual fact by periodic polls as crucial issues affecting the race as a group arises. No such organization ever existed among us; hence, no real unity exists among us.
Far from being a separatist movement, as these terms are generally understood, the organization would be cooperative in the fullest and most humane meaning of that word. For the black masses are not going to give up their 400 years of investment in America400 years of investments in blood and labor to build up its present great wealth they are not about to separate, migrate anywhere, leaving all those centuries of toil as a free gift to the whites. This means that we shall continue to battle for equal employment and advancement throughout the United States and in every area of the nations life, the expansion of voting and elections to public office and, in general, the exercise without exceptions of all the rights and duties of other citizens.
This also represents our conviction that the black masses will not be seriously influenced by the pipe dream of a separate, independent Nation or Republic within the territorial confines of the United States. They have too much common sense for that, and would reject such movements in sheer self-defense even if the whites withdrew and. turned over five Southern states for such a purpose.
Negro integrationists would oppose this, of course, but for an obviously quite different reason. Their drive is to break up existing black communities and scatter the people among hostile whites.
Great nationwide organizations of Blacks, therefore, would be in the only possible position to cooperate and work out common problems with whites as equals, and this is from a position backed by organized power, the only position respected at this stage of human development.
It was stated above that we would continue to push for equal employment and political opportunities on all fronts. The sadly missing link, however, is that we ourselves have done little to create employment opportunities. If we say that, as a race, we are too poor to engage in productive activities that would create thousands of jobs for our young people, if we continue traditional pleas of poverty, our total spending of nearly 200 billion dollars each year rises up to call us liars! We are able.
Those who wish to engage in private enterprise for their own personal benefit will always be free to do so; and there will always be some pride in pointing out this or that rich black capitalist. When we consider the welfare of the whole community, however, we are getting back to a basic African ideology, which is that of the individual. The Organization will be a national community made up of the numerous black communities. In demanding rights it will also assume the races responsibility for creating some of the opportunities itself. The most crucial point to be considered and remembered is the vast difference between what the Blacks do as a race, from the viewpoint of world opinion, and what a black individual does.
Not unity just for unity, but unity for great achievements, not one of which can be realized without it.
The first great understanding should be that the unity we seek cannot be achieved by organization alone. Even an organization of several million members will have no lasting basis for existence unless the total membership is mutually and individually involved in activities which each feels is important and will be directly beneficial to him all in his own lifetime. Direct membership by families may turn out to be more important than one based on a federation of existing organizations. Actual unity will be achieved, not by preaching, pleading or exhortations, but almost unconsciously as people work together for mutual benefits to each other and the advancement of the race as a whole. Meaningful, practical activities which involve even children in attacking the problems of their race will be the cement which we call unity.
The second great understanding should be that economic activities are so fundamental in any truly upward movement, so clearly indispensable at this stage in history, that it should be unnecessary to state it even. The still existing slave mentality causes millions of us to shy away from this basis of life itself because it requires more initiative, training and work, and less talk than politics. Consequently, the overall picture we present to the world is that of a race of dependent job seekers, ourselves unable to engage in the large-scale production of any of the necessities of life, whether they are the shoes and clothing we wear or the food we eat.
Hence, the billions of dollars we spend each year, just in these categories, we eagerly give back to the whites to strengthen their power over us while becoming richer and richer at the same time.
Economic development activities are direct survival activities, the means of existence helping to provide the means of existence. It is as simple as that. The main goals of a great unity movement can never be reached unless the Organization has its own self-generating financial resources to protect, defend and promote the interests of the race. Organizations which must be subsidized by government and foundation grants to exist are not in an independent position.
The third understanding should be clear that all community enterprises, contrary to capitalism, will be owned and operated by the people in the community, that they will be the shareholders, that all the trained personnel in each store, plant or any other enterprise will be shareholders (and, therefore, part owners) of such establishments, that all profits will belong to the people, but full responsibility for the first class service, efficiency and general business management will be that of elected managers, and not the general membership.
Finally, the scope and nature of the proposed Divisions in the last section of this work will doubtless make even clearer the real significance of a nationwide organization. For, in addition to the work involved in raising not just the hopes, but the level of life of those lower down, equally important would be what this massive consolidation of unused power can do in the following areas.
1. It can influence American foreign policy and actions in regard to crucial matters affecting African nations just as effectively as American Jews can influence this countrys relations with Israel. And, as another example, it could have stopped the use of millions of black taxpayers dollars to help Portugal suppress the Freedom Fighters in its African empire. If a deaf ear is turned to such protests, several million Blacks could pledge to withhold the payment of taxes until all armed assistance for the war against Africans ceasessomething a disunited people are helpless to do now. This would be real Pan Africanism.
2. An overall race organization can deal more effectively with some important problems at home and more effectively than any smaller, independent group can do nationwide. The higher rents and higher prices paid for goods and services in inner cities than those paid in the affluent white suburbs this open yet silent war against the Blacks is being accepted because we are helplessly disorganized. The studies have already been made. The facts have been established. What the people need is a national defender to further expose and attack this and other fronts of the silent war that are quietly being carried on each day against a now helpless people, many of whom are not really aware of its extent.
3. It can carry on a nationwide education program directly into the homes, reversing the poor and deprived homes negative outlook to a positive one. Heading the information agenda would be a focus on those death-dealing diseases which impair both mind and body in the diseased wombs of mothers. The widest information should be given on the fact that ignorance or indifference to personal health can result in children being born mentally and physically retarded, and thus handicapped for life not by genetic preconditions but by the acts of their parents. Home studies for the entire family can be promoted, and the Home Beautiful can become a principal aim in every black community.
4. It can oversee the welfare of the race by maintaining a check on the extent Blacks are secretly used exclusively as guinea pigs in dangerous experiments by various medical projects. Neither the Tuskegee experiments nor the number of our people who needlessly suffered and died from them must be passed over as an unusual and isolated incident. The many years the government and the doctors were able to keep this
particular secret should be a matter of grave concern. It is also important to know to what extent Negro physicians participate in such experiments. For, of course, no one should be asked to believe that such experiments could be carried out on Blacks in such large numbers, and over such a long period without any black doctors knowing about them.
5. Such a race movement would be superficial indeed if it proceeded without its principal foundation, which is the ownership of vast tracts of farm and timber land in various parts of the country. The current ideological cry of We must have land! is valid only if we answer the question, for what purpose? or to what end? Our sloganeers rarely explain the slogans. But land is for production. And its ownership and use will become more and more necessary for survival since even now 75 percent of the American population is concentrated on only 2 percent of the land in cities and towns. Land should be for a more abundant life, carried on in large-scale production programs such as cattle ranches for beef, hog farms for pork products, turkey farms, poultry and eggs, vegetables of all kinds, corn, rice, wheat, etc., etc
6. It can have, on behalf of the race it represents, a Central National Bank, as the peoples national depository and central financing, agency; a national auditing and accounting service; a general insurance system covering especially those categories where Blacks are arbitrarily denied protection or charged much higher rates than those paid by whites; home improvement, building and small loans could all be handled by community credit unions, organized on a somewhat different basis than existing credit unions. For one thing, all community credit unions in various sections of a city would be united as one to reinforce each others services when needed.
7. It can give new hope and a new sense of direction to the thousands behind prison walls and, in time, practically empty the prisons of those convicted of crimes for which the whites go free. The important thing, however, is that the youths, men and women coming out of prisons would have something to come to: training and retraining for their much needed service in helping to build and advance themselves as they build and advance their race. They have never had such an Opportunity.
8. The great change in outlook and the new inspiration that would come to black children and youth are immeasurable. Just to know that their parents are engaged in, and actively a part of a great movement will give a new sense of worth and dignity. No longer will it be necessary to shout in unison, I am somebody! For the children of janitors, trash haulers, maids and parents in similar occupations will regard them with pride and in a new light. We are great if we are an active part of a great movement.
Up to now black children have been badly cheated. They have never had the inspiring reasons to study and advance which are constantly before the eyes of white children. And this central fact of difference has led me to suppose that some Providential favor must have enabled the black students of the world to do so well in the face of it all.
Finally, and obviously, none of the above can be achieved on a nation-wide scale without a nation-wide movement of several million members, organized as a race, working as a race for its interests as full- fledged American citizens.
How To Begin - And By Whom ?
In the section titled The Liberation of Our Minds, the
various factors which explain the generally dependent disposition of African
people today were outlined in some detail. They reveal the tragic extent to
which a dominant group can shape and control even the thinking of the
suppressed group. This meant that, unlike other peoples the Blacks voluntarily
remained mentally enslaved even after their physical emancipation.
That Caucasianzation of the Blacks was so well done over so many centuries that it is doubtful if real liberation of our minds will be achieved in this generation. Yet the black youth in the 1960s brought about the greatest reversal of the races attitude toward itself that had ever been achieved before. There is, therefore, no grounds for despair and much ground for faith if we understand that total liberation will be slow even with the best efforts and that there will always be those who have the white viewpoint on race and will never abandon it. These cannot stop the onward march of the whole people to human equality and dignity.
But who will begin to lay the first stone in the foundation of the greatest movement, for racial unity and power ever undertaken? And how might such a task begin.
Some of us, who would otherwise be naturally expected to lead off, have already spent so many years in studying the history of the crisis and analyzing the problems that we are now near the end of our journey, and must pass the undertaking to those able to carry on., like every great movement, will be initiated by just one individual. No great gathering or crowd starts a movement. Quite the contrary, when the many assemble it is because someone has already begun. One person has already thought matters through and resolved that a beginning must be made. He should not be the usual leader whose fiery denunciations of wrongs against Blacks may be counted on to stir emotionsand that is all.
The one person needed is simply one who is dedicated with a sense of mission for his race, seeking nothing but the opportunity to serve it. There are doubtless countless thousands of such Sons and Daughters of the race, willing and ready, but either not knowing what to do or afraid of their own capabilities, and leaving it to somebody else. Yet all one person has to do is to ask five or six other people to study THE PLAN, and then meet later to discuss it, just five or six persons, not one of whom need to be a big name,
This small initial group of six could have each member become a committee of one, each to nominate three other people to study The Plan before the next meeting, at which time the 18 members could become the nucleus for a general organizing committee. Further nominations to the Organizing Committee should be representative of all groups, students, laborers, clerks, etc., as well as professionals. The representatives on the Organizing Committee may be from national organizations (all Black), or smaller organizations, lodges, clubs, etc.
This core committee, after a series of meetings during which The Master Plan has been studied in detail and revisions or amendments have been proposed for future action, could then proceed to develop and carry out plans for the formation of a national organizing committee composed of representatives from various sections of the country. (Note that even at the outset of organizing, some funds will be required if effective work is to be done.)
The work of the National Organizing Committee would be crucial: It would have to:
1. Summarize the main features of The Plan and outline them in the simplest terms for publication, distribution and broadcasts to the black world.
2. Determine ways and means of funding the organizing procedures.
3. Determine the best general membership enrollment procedures, such as moving state by state, setting a one-year membership goal for each state, instead of attempting to organize throughout the nation all at
4. Divide each state into districts, each with an organizing committee with a chairman; the same divisional scheme for towns and cities, each section having a committee and chairman.
5. Draw heavily on young people, who really started the movement and who should, therefore, be a most powerful force in carrying it on.
6. Conduct in advance a nationwide poll to determine (a) how many black people in America desire the proposed overall organization of the race and (b) how many agree to participate in its activity.
7. Clarify the scheme of organization to emphasize the individuality of membership, i.e., an association or union, etc., may join as such, but its main role would be setting the example for its members who may or may not wish to join; the organization would have its own membership card, and each of its members who joined would have his or her own membership card. In the case of organization by familiesthe most significant innovationeach family would have a family membership card, and each member of the family from age 5 on would have his or her own membership card.
8. Set the national membership goals as 2-year plans, 3-year plans, 5- year plans, etc., but always in terms of millions.
9. Determine time and place for the first general assembly for the formal ratification and launching of action-program.
10. Have an Information and Publicity Committee maintain various media to keep constantly before the people the plans, purposes or goals of the movement, who are doing what, and the progress being made.
11. Propose annual awards to individuals and groups that have been outstanding in their work for racial unity through organized action. (See Note)
Everything in this final chapter, then, is a guideline for thinking and rethinking about how to deal with the situation in which we live. The Plan itself is a proposal. Revisions and Amendments will be proposals, all tentative until approved by the people.
The functioning organization would be under the overall administration of a National Council of Leaders, headed by a National Chairman (following traditional patterns of African Council of Elders). Every state, city or community division would also be organized under councils of leaders.
The organizational structure of the Movement should be by major divisions for the major activities, each divided into departments for carrying on their respective programs. Special study and analysis should be given to each Division and each department coming under it, for there could be no better way to understand the scope and significance of what is presented here. This should be easy for all, because I have not been dealing with idealistic, unattainable dreams or mere academic theories, but very practical, day-to-day problems. In so doing, I have deliberately avoided the academic and often esoteric language of scholarship .
Structure By Divisions
THE DIVISION OF ECONOMIC PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT:
The Division of Economic Planning and Development should be the foundation of the organized efforts and a principal source of support and promotion of the most important activities of the whole race. A guiding principle should be that all promoted community enterprises shall be cooperatively owned and controlled by the people of the community and that each enterprise be under highly trained management and competent service personnel.
A. Department for Promotion of Community Cooperative enterprises:
(1) To conduct surveys to determine what the people want and need.
(2) Soundness of project.
(3) Ways and means of community financing and securing trained personnel and management.
The community enterprises would be nationwide and, while owned and operated by the people in the various towns and cities, would operate as a nationwide chain of stores and markets for mass buying power and distribution. This would be the system whether the enterprises are food markets, shoe stores, department stores or any other undertaking which can be developed as a chain store system.
B. The Department of Finance, Banking, and Credit Unions:
(1) For promoting a consortium of banks operated by members of the race and the expansion of financing and banking systems. These would be branches of a Central National Bank of the organization.
(2) Credit Unions for individual assistance and building and loan services. Primarily for communities, without needed building and loans services for Blacks.
C. The Institute of Technology and Personnel Training:
This would be a Key program of the movement. For while it would engage in the training of expert technicians for the various fields of operation under the PLAN, a principal objective would be the kind of creative expertise required for large scale manufacturing operations shoe manufacturing; men, women and childrens clothes, hats, underwear, canning; frozen foods, furniture; mattress-making, and other products.
The personnel training sections would have an importance for the race beyond the ordinary. Blacks are generally still quicker and more polite when serving white people. Their attitude toward members of their own race is one of indifference and often insulting. This is known to be true both in Africa and America. Yet this crucial question is not mentioned even in discussion of why Negro business fails. This negative and essentially anti-black attitude of Blacks towards Blacks, a left-over from slavery and our history, must be uncompromisingly and even ruthlessly dealt with in both training and day-to-day administration.
D. Central Office of Accounting and Finance Control:
Here again is an area in which Blacks are weak: money management and control. This Central Office of Accounting and Finance Control would keep a rigorous check on all income and expenditures of the National organization and provide similar auditing and accounting units for the local community organizations and enterprises.
E. Department of Land Reclamation and Farming:
Principal Aim: To secure large tracts of land in various parts of the country to
(1) Raise vegetables of all kinds for the various community markets,
(2) Hogs, beef cattle, poultry and eggs,
(3) Farm homes for persons who would work on the farm and
(4) Country camp centers for rest and play.
Special Note: Without the farm lands we may as well forget about canning and frozen food industries or reducing the cost of living for our people by supplying their community stores with fresh vegetables, meats, butter and eggs from their own farms. Vast land holding is the cornerstone of the Master Plan.
F. Transport and Distribution Agency:
This department would be primarily concerned with long distance shipping from farms, plants and other points, and maintaining the trucks, shipping vans and required maintenance services.
G. Central Purchasing and Supply Agency.
In addition to its obvious functions this department would be responsible for the proper location and supervision of the various warehouses required as the community enterprises expand.
[ of the departments and agencies listed above would be in the Division of Economic Planning and Development].
DIVISION OF POLITICAL ACTION:
(1) Promote and assist voter registration;
(2) Provide profile of candidateslocal, state and national;
(3) Prepare bills and other measures affecting the group for state legislatures and the U.S. Congress;
(4) Liaison with White House
(5) All actions that can be taken through the political process to protect and promote the welfare of Black Americans.
DIVISION OF PUBLIC EDUCATION:
Purpose: To achieve a higher standard of teaching and student achieve ment on every level involved in the education of Black children and youth; and to develop a better system of general adult education in all Black communities. This Division would include:
A. Foundation for directed research, field studies and the training of scholars for neglected areas in various aspects of African life and history.
B. A General Publishing Board:
(1) Textbooks and other works related to progress of the race;
(2) Newspapers and magazines, a professional journal, community-action newsletters, etc.
C. Committee of Visitors. These should be in every community to:
(1) Become acquainted with teachers, students and the textbooks and other learning materials;
(2) To determine to what extent, if any, the anti-African or anti-black feeling on the part of many teachers of black youth may be a hidden obstacle to their progress in school work.
Every Committee of School Visitors should be elected by the people of the community and should report directly to them. But education here means far more than school education. It means spreading light through a comprehensive program into the deprived areas of the community: New standards for better health; better homes and gardens; neighborhood improvement activities; and sponsoring neighborhood conferences on questions of mutual community and educational interest.
A Division of Education would justify its existence if it did nothing more than conduct studies as a basis for proposing certain guidelines for the race in the United States. The general confusion and mess-up in the Black Studies Movement, for example, could have been avoided if the young people had somewhere to turn for help in determining procedures and priorities. What united guiding voice was there to advise them that all fields could not possibly or sensibly be started at once; that there were neither a fraction of the trained teachers required nor suitable books or other needed teaching and learning materials?
Only three or four courses could have been profitably started while research and training prepared the way for a real educational experience in others to be started later. Even then, common sense would have dictated that Black Studies can only be carried on in certain schools by certain teachers. To force them into white schools only because they are integrating and find it an expedient policy for the moment is one of those black illusions of achievement that still lead us astray. Equally ridiculous is the assumption that unwilling and uncommitted white and Negro teachers are going to now deal fairly with the very aspects of civilization which they have systematically excluded from instruction all along. If this were not the case, of course, there would be no such phenomenon today as Black Studies.
DIVISION OF COMMUNITY SERVICES
A. Department of Health and Sanitation
1. Council of Physicians, Dentists, Nurses, Medical Aides, and laymen and Home Visiting Nurse Service.
2. Community Clinics.
3. Community clean block and alley program.
4. Better Home life Counseling Service.
5. A Home-Beautiful Program
B. Legal Aid Services: All matters of injustice because of race, and the legal work of the Movement.
DIVISION OF YOUTH ACTIVITIES:
To assume leadership roles in all areas and undertakings for which they are capable. Students and non-students should join hands in the race- building efforts. One of their precious responsibilities should be the Department of Children Affairs (ages 5 to 12) which is in their division. (The underlying idea here is to have specific and important roles for all children and youth).
DIVISION OF PAN AFRICAN AFFAIRS:
This Division would maintain direct contacts and the closest relationship with the people and states of Black Africa, the Caribbean and the other black population centers around the world. The purposes would be specific:
(1) To keep them fully informed on what we are doing and how;
(2) To learn from them what they are doing and how;
(3) To find out what the obstacles are in each black area, including our own, and to counsel together on ways and means of overcoming the seemingly impossible;
(4) To explore for, and then actually determine definite ways for mutual assistance. When this is done, we will have moved from the case of Pan-African talk to the work of Pan-Africa in action;
(5) To trade in the exchange of goods and services, scientific and technical knowledge.
DIVISION OF INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY:
This Division would maintain highly trained intelligence agents to
(1) Check internal subversion and activities of agents placed within the organization by others,
(2) Secure complete records of all persons employed by or connected with the organization,
(3) Promote formation and training of self-protection units everywhere to defend the community against unlawful and unjust raids and other forms of murderous attacks should they occur. This simply means preparedness for defense against attacks by well known and well organized Citizens paramilitary groups.
THE COMMISSION FOR SPIRITUAL LIFE AND ASSISTANCE:
This should be the races Great Commission. Its major tasks would be
(1) To determine the direction of civilization;
(2) To interpret the spiritual as men and women working on the highest level of humane endeavors to understand the meaning of life while trying to improve it;
(3) To enlist the cooperation of white, brown, yellow, red and any and all other peoples of goodwill in an all-out drive for a better world;
(4) To maintain an emergency assistance program for families or communities in distress;
(5) And to assume the initiative in seeking the active cooperation of any and all religious faiths and all institutions which are concerned with improving human relations and, therefore, life itself.
IDEOLOGY AND GUIDELINES:
With the development of a movement of this magnitude, the black people may begin to learn at last how utterly futile it is to grasp as their own the ideologies developed by the white world for the people of this white world. They, the black leaders of a still leaderless yet hopeful people have been, and still are, expecting the solution of the races problems to be handed to them on the silver platters of either capitalism or communism. Elements of both of these systems prevailed in Africa several thousand years before either capitalism or Marxism was born in the West.
Black people generally could not be expected to know this because, unlike other peoples, they have been completely cut off from their past history and, therefore, are ignorant of their own philosophy of life, ancient religion, institutions which were borrowed by others. What the need now, therefore, is neither Black Capitalism nor Black Communism both of which benefit those at the top and exploit the massesbut what is needed is an ideology of Black Africanism, operating within the framework of the traditional African Philosophy of life and the best of its value system.
A. The Movement will seek to achieve the largest possible measure of Unity in order
(1) To form the power base as the organized voice of the black people in a particular region or nation;
(2) To develop from this position of strength the much needed economic enterprises that will not only create employment opportunities but, being owned directly by the people in the community, will lower the cost and raise the standard of living for all.
There would be a general membership fee. Each community enterprise would be financed initially by the purchase of shares of participating owners. Each share would be at a purchase price in reach of the poorest. Indeed, a special program for share-holding by children should be an important part of the movement. Each share draws a fixed interest as a loan. But, unlike capitalism, members do not vote by shares.
The member who may be able to buy 100 shares has only one vote like the member who could buy only one share. The objective is a mass membership and a mass patronage of their own enterprises. The additional direct benefits are the patronage dividends received according to the amount purchased in a given period. In private enterprise or black capitalism this would be profit that the owner makes. Under communism, it goes to the state. Under our Community Cooperative System, the profit belongs to the people; for the reason for it all is to benefit the people and not to enrich any one person or small group.
1. For a refresher read Chapter VI again: The African Constitution:
Birth of Democracy.
The organization will be based upon the traditional African Constitutional System.
(1) There will be no authoritarian presidents or heads. As in traditional Africa, the king or chief was the spokesman of the previously expressed will of the people and the instrument for carrying out that will; the national head or heads of the organization and the head of every unit thereof will function in like manner:
issuing no important orders or public statements on behalf of the organization or the race it will represent without consent of the Council.
(2) The Organization will modernize the ancient African Council of Elders only to the extent of changing Elders to Leaders in order to admit outstanding young people to membership. The Council of Leaders, therefore, becomes the highest governing authority on each levellocal community, state and nationaleach leader being the elected representative of a constituency to which he is responsible for his actions on the Council. This means that on all highly important matters the leader on the Council does not vote independently according to his individual judgment but must determine in advance the collective will of the people.
(3) The highest officer on each level is the Chairman of the Council. (In traditional Africa this would be the King or Chief, who could neither vote nor actively participate in the discussions, since his principal duty was to proclaim and execute the will of the people as it had been determined by their representatives on the Council.) Within this people framework he is still the chief executive officer.
(4) To enable the people of the community to have an intelligent or informed opinion about matters of importance the principal role of leaders is to study and to institute studies upon the basis of which plans are developed and proposals are submitted to the general membership. The leaders propose. They do not order or direct upon their own authority. A direct medium of communication with the people should be the Community Newsletter.
(5) All officers, even though elected for a specified term of years, should be subject to removal for cause at any time by the people (another African constitutional provision).
(6) The organization itself will be one vast union and no outside organization or union will be allowed to determine its policies, programs or destiny, no matter under what guise or by what approach the efforts are made.
(7) There should be a rigid policy to avoid the development of a top-heavy bureaucracy of high salaried executives. The success of the Movement is going to depend very heavily on the number of people willing to sacrifice in giving some unpaid or not fully paid service. For at least the first ten years this will be a sacrifice train. The big salary boys should not get on board.
(8) The highest legislative body will be a House of Delegates, representing the various major areas or states according to membership. The House of Delegates would meet every five years, but subject to special session call by the Chairman of the Council or Leaders, acting under Councils instructions; or it could be called by the people by a referendum. (This latter emergency would never occur unless the people lost control of their leaders on the Council).
D. Every undertaking is to be preceded by study, training and careful financial planning. There should be long-range and short-range goals. Some goals can be achieved in a relatively short time; some of a larger magnitude will require several years even after the first five million membership goal is reached; and still others can, like the eternal pyramids, only have their foundations so solidly laid by this generation that the Blacks who follow us can continue building on those well laid foundations at the point where our own labors were ended by time.
And something along this line must be the PLAN. This must be the vision. It is obviously not for the Overnight quick-up and quick-down boys. This is for black men, women and their children who seek to find the lost path of their forefathers and start the upward march once again.
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The final great issue, then, involves the African race alone. The dismal View from the Bridge was reached after a long journey through the centuries. The outlook is distressing because somewhere back down the line of time the effort to advance toward a higher order of life, in something called Civilization, by ever widening the gap that separates men from beaststhis effort failed. And it failed because in his sudden and amazing successes in science and technology man outsmarted himself, concentrating almost entirely on his mind power at the expense of his humanizing spiritual power, becoming not the master of his machines but their servant; and, in the process of acquiring seemingly limitless power, this segment of the human race became as soulless as its machines and began to destroy or conquer other peoples, seizing their lands and their wealth while reducing them as nearly as possible to a state of perpetual dependency. In all this the black people of the world still find themselves in the worst situation of all. The question of today, now, is what are the black people themselves going to do?
Those who make a profession, and money, by playing on the emotions, screaming utterly futile invectives and denunciations, these will continue to do so. And those who still preach integration and :"brotherhood with the whites will keep on marching, singing and praying, not to God, but to the white man, for they are still unable to understand that white America had generally condemned and rejected this peace-loving, brotherly approach of Martin Luther King long before it murdered him. This present course of a fragmented and unorganized people, if followed, will find the succeeding generations of Blacks as weak, leaderless and powerless as they are today.
For their present road is the easy road: mass meeting .big conventions, protest resolutions, and splitting up to follow this or that leader with the greatest gift of gab, all leading exactly nowhere. But to get down to the hard and persistent work of actually doing something oh, now we will come to the parting of ways the mere talker may retreat.
It seems to be the general view throughout the black world that polls and other data show that whites are hostile to any kind of movement by Black's for equality, peaceful, non-violent or otherwise; and that this hostile anti-King climate produced his murderer as its representative.
All talk about Black Power is empty until we begin to make Black Power a reality in the only way it can be done, and that is by building, step by step, a race organization so great that it will not only be the voice of a united people but will carry on efficiently an economic development program to assist their advance on all other fronts.
The organization-for-unity PLAN presented in this final chapter is an effort to answer the question, Which way, you still enshackled Blacks?to answer in specific terms and in some detail. It sets forth rather clearly one way out. It will be simply great if someone comes up with an even better plan for racial unity through action. Whatever is proposed must be a grand design. Nothing else will serve. It must be bold, daring; an effort of unheard-of audacity by Blacks, and one that will bring forth the enemys scream of Utopian, too unrealistic, or just another grandiose dream. This enemy, and let us not forget it for a single minute, is deeply entrenched within the race as well as outside. This means that we must face up to the fact that we have problems of a kind and obstacles to overcome which no other people have.
The tasks we now face will test this genius of the black race. The Blacks in the United States are in the best position as a lead-off example for the rest of the African race. For such a movement would further change the course of history and inspire black youth everywhere, along with their elders, with a new vision, a sense of direction, and the kind of outlook that gives meaning to study as the source of inventions and new discoveries.
The challenge to the Blacks on this continent is to overcome the centuries of their own American version of tribalism and disunity. It is their greatest challenge in this era of perpetual crisis. They will accept it if they have come to understand at last that equal rights and equal justice will never come from appeals to the mighty, and granted as an Act of Grace, but only from their own position of power and influence which develop from a united people engaged in great and vast undertakings of their own. If we fail to accept this challenge at this critical turning point in our history, we will have proved ourselves unworthy of having any descendants, and our very names should be forgotten by themor cursed by the farthest generation.
"If The Race Is Incapable Of Unity, It Is Incapable Of Survival As A Free And Equal People, And Will Deserve All The Iniquities Imposed Upon It. For It Will Have Proved Beyond All Question That It Is Indeed Unfit To Survive As A People Free And Equal In Every Respect Whatsoever With The Other Peoples Of The Earth." Chancellor Williams
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