Concessions, Applause, and Book Plugs…The Black Agenda Conference…

Nothing makes my day better than spending it in the neighborhoods of the black community, listening to arguments about Jay-z, and brothers from St. Louis reminiscing about how the bloods and crips first came here. The height of the day was hearing brothers discuss the murder of Hitman-T at eighteen, and his body being expunged from the ground, and left on his mother’s doorsteps. Yeah, great way to start your day off on a positive note.

So, once I returned home, I was excited to read my e-mail (we might as well just start calling it g-mail…it is coming) and my DMs (Direct (Private) Messages from my twitter account), and find a set of videos left by a good brother of mine, and a sister asking me to watch The Black Agenda that was recorded early today. From listening to old gang bangers, to listening to older black politicians and academics. Yeah, my life, right?

The theme was “We Count”, and Tavis Smiley was sitting at a round table(enough of the subtle gestures already guys…) with the likes of Rev. Jesse l. Jackson, sr., Minister Louis Farrakhan, Michael Eric Dyson, Cornel West, Angela Glover Blackwell, Michael Fuantroy, Dr. Julianne Malveaux. They were affectionately referred to as Tavis smiley and the Panelist…I thought they were going to dim the lights, and drop a few highlights on them while the music began to play…instead, Tavis asked everyone to hold and pray. Thank you. I didn’t know if Michael Phleger would be able to hold a note. Oh, yeah, Michael Phleger was the one who gave the invocation, yeah, the white Michael Phleger gave the invocation for the Black Agenda…yeah.

It was hosted by Wayne Watson president of Chicago state university(affectionately known as CSU…Geez, guys…who’s writing this stuff…), and before the marquee guests appeared he asked the students to participate in the 2010 census. Now why would he bring that up? When have you ever heard someone talk about the census? He states that participation in the census will help the federal government allocate funds to the black community…

I was so glad that Jesse L. Jackson was the one to make the comments about the moral center, and the black agenda being the moral agenda…I’m not going to say it…well…maybe the good Christian monogamous brother believes he is Abraham…

The gist or the overall theme of the conference and much of all the panelists’ discussion was that the American Black Agenda was the American agenda. I ultimately understood the dialogue, and was glad the dialectic was pronounced. However, I also would like to state that every time American Blacks attempt to depend on the state of White America to heed their call, nothing but concessions amount from the talks. This is still planet earth, and rule number one among the living seems to be the need to demand power, and not ask for it. The hope of better treatment for the millions of American Blacks in this country from millionaires is very strange to me. And ultimately, those who say let your work show, I’m in the belly, and I have been here for the most of my life, and I have never seen you.

I see the gangster discussing how they have shot people and how the organizations of young men in the streets of St. Louis has grown. I hear the pain of the brothers and sisters when referencing work and jobs. I hear them when they talk about the various prisons across the state of Missouri, and how one can avoid the traps. I believe they have taught me more about the black agenda than those who live comfortably working at such institutions as Prince George University, Georgetown, and Princeton, Bennett College for women. I have no compunctions with them discussing moral codes because they also discuss their moral dilemmas. I trust them. And because they see me striving for this degree, while living among them, they trust me as well.