The plight to find our place; The Civil Rights political psychosis – Junius Williams
I’ve met this great man when I was assigned at a hospital working as a contracted Facility and Environment of Care Manager in the mid 90’s. This was another time marked with notable upsurge in Afrikan rage due to the OJ Simpson trial and it’s overtones. Although our meeting and conversation was brief he left an indelible impression on me as a passionate man willing to do what was needed for his people.
It reminded me to a great extent of the same rage we had during the Civil Rights era with a notable difference of our parlay into the influences of local politics. At this point I was still a man trying to find his footing just having reconstructed my life from the emotional, spiritual and physical damage that chemical dependency had wrought.
Of course having an undeniable experience with the riots of 1965 and then 1992 (Rodney King) there was no escape from the inevitable examination all Conscious Afrikans had to do as a result.
This brings us to Junius Williams and his own personal plight as he navigated the political waters in his own right during his time with the leaders of his time (Stokely Carmichael “Kwame Ture”, Tom Hayden, The Black Panther Party and others). He went on to run for Mayor of Newark and lost as well as garnering many national and international accolades too many to list.
So why the psychosis?
Junius has tried the political solution with varying degrees of success. Although Newark has a black mayor and city council it still is plagued by the generational in-fighting that has continued since the 60’s. I had a front row seat to this embarrassing mess during my time that I lived there in the 90’s. His story shows this in very stark and honest detail.
There has always been an ongoing debate as to why our actual participation in politics is an unfruitful exercise in futility. There is evidence that both side of this argument has merit. However we should not close the door on this obvious opportunity for retrieving at least some control of our local politics. Notice that I said local and not National. As with any solution it requires steadfast and concerted efforts in the guise of grooming our own political talent and not the products of basic european classical educational formats. Alongside this endeavor there must be that same steadfast and concentrated efforts to gain financial strength and independence. They must fit hand and glove.
Both solutions are necessary for our survival if an individuals plan is to remain patriated here in the U.S.
Everybody will not be leaving to go to the Mother Continent!
Those of us who remain must explore both solutions.
Please view the interview and purchase his book Unfinished Agenda: Urban Politics in the Era of Black Power by Junius Williams
It’s a good one.