I believe there is a critical vacuum in Afrikana communities, but I have cone to believe it’s not so much in leadership as in the lack of ability and understanding of the need for INSTITUTION-BUILDING and ORGANIZING and collective agenda setting. We have lots of would be generals around. Just no armies and no battle plans, as if we expect the war to be fought successfully by a group of individuals against systems. And then we errantly call for more generals.
Ill take a school, a business, a farm, and some land over another Malcolm, and so I think, would Malcolm since he understood that leadership arises from collective nationbuilding. It does not precede it. You meet your leaders when you see them leading and not before. In the absence of an agenda or any real building, you do not have leaders, you have talkers.
We have more Eurocentric academic credentials today but with an amazingly low degree of collective consciousness and self knowledge. We are collectively most qualified to build with the master’s tools, not understanding that they are calibrated and honed for the task of building the master’s house, not for that of ameliorating our own homelessness. Audre Lorde said as much.
Leadership in the absence of collective consciousness and self-knowledge, which can and will only come through communal socializing institutions, will automatically default to “black face” since there is no corporate body behind its rhetoric.
Without the people there is no nation. The people ARE the nation. Leaders arise from the nation to build not the nation itself but institutions to sustain and nurture it, defend it, and wield its collective power.
The notion that we need leaders before action is directly contradicted by our experience in, for example, desegregation. King did not start desegregation. The masses built institutions to struggle for it and King came to power from the institutions from the people as one spokesperson for their aspiration. Bus boycotts, sit ins, they all precede the coming of King to lead them.
Slaves wait for leaders to free them or kings to rule them. Sons and daughters of God do the work of God and recognize leadership and designate leaders IN THE WORK.
Where there is no agenda for the work, there will be no leaders in the work, their presence being moot. This waiting for leaders is part of Eurocentric philosophy. It is called the messianic complex.
Shaka did not create Zulu resistance. The resistance provided a framework for his wisdom and skill to elevate to the fore.
It is in war that you find out who the best generals are. If you’re not fighting, listening to those who designate themselves generals for military strategy is a fatal mistake.