Sankofa Study Circle

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Trayvon Martin: A Moment or a Movement


by Salim K. T. Adofo
National Vice Chairperson
National Black United Front


Since the murder of Trayvon Martin and non arrest of confessed killer George Zimmerman, people of African descent in America, have taken to the streets in mass numbers. Black people of all ages, politicians, entertainers and professional athletes have all expressed their feelings towards this blatant and consistent disregard for the value of Black life. The question for Black people in America is, will the death of Trayvon Martin be a moment of temporary protest, or the catalyst for a legitimate movement for Black people to obtain state power. The answer to this question lies in who is controlling the information and direction of the energy Black people are putting into the issue.

Up until this point it has been the power of the people that has forced mainstream America to pay attention to this issue. It has been the power of the people that has forced the state attorney of Florida and the Sanford, FL chief of police to step down. It has been the power of Black people taking to the streets, consistently, that is now forcing the state of Florida to decide whether or not George Zimmerman will be indicted. It has been the will of Black people using social media, their spiritual and community organizations to spread the word and information about the actions that are taking place around this issue. This has proven to be important because if left up to white America or mainstream Black organizations funded by white corporations, this would not even be an issue.
Mainstream Black organizations funded by white corporations at times, do not want direct action or confrontation, they want back room deals and negotiation. They do not want to lose their corporate sponsorship or status and will not be able to represent the interest of Black people unconditionally. Press conferences and symposiums at prestigious universities are only tactics, but not a movement. In order for this to become a movement, it must continue to be in the streets and lead by the people. No longer can the direction of Black people in America be decided by a few handpicked mainstream "go along to get along" leaders. For this to become a movement, there must be an organized, no compromise, no sellout, no back down, program of action, formulated & led by the power of Black people. Black people must be willing to go the distance, which will include bold actions and critical sacrifices.
To quote Frederick Douglas, "If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."

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