“The Biblical curse of Ham propelled and solidified the 17th Century foundation for white supremacist theology in the New World…A proficiently organized Atlantic slave trade rode valiantly atop this Philosophical momentum all the way to the bank.”
“…Afro ‘voices of moral authority’ ambitiously sell aspiring Blacks to the 21st Century institution called Corporate America…white business controlled media outlets are the primary sources grooming…most up and coming Afro artists—not dedicated Black mentors…”
“…students are boxed into an imposing colonial holdover…elevated Eurocentric models… showered with technical data…regurgitate ‘dates and numbers’…un-relatable to their own tangible realities…stressed priority is competition, ‘not cooperation’…”
“[Dr. W.E.B.] Dubois’ prophetic admonishment…rings for posterity…advance must be about the ‘we, not the me!’…”
Trouble In Black Paradise Chapter 13: All Paths Lead To The Original “Eve” page 267; Chapter 18: Threads Of Mystery Lodged At The Seat Of Human Time, pages 421 & 422; & Chapter 12: Impudent Moralizers, Ill-conceived Mavericks And Glorified “Legal Setbacks” page 253.
Greetings charged-up readers!
Trouble in Black Paradise still rumbles along, a blueprint for “change” tattered & off the nation’s radar.
Now, it was my turn:
42 years ago a “crisis team” emerged in San Diego to stem its Black community destruction tide. I was a 19-year-old college student (though still “terribly closeted”) recruited for “input” thru my Black Child Development class—it begins my training.
C.E.B.I.S., pronounced “see-bus” (Committee to Establish Black Independent Systems) was the shared brainchild of Black educators, parents, clinicians, students and community advocates; in essence a collective of Afro reps from every sector.
Resource folk knew this level of organizing is what it would take—and nothing less.
What our Constitution recognized:
“The system” is not designed for the betterment of Blacks—period! (fine-tuned over millennia for disruption of Black excellence and hindrance of achievement). It’s faltering regarding Black service and improvement is “expected”; the very reason this “alternative” crisis institution must be launched.
In the nutshell the “system” is destroying Black lives and ambition—a ball faced reality can’t be denied.
Given such reality the ultimate goal for C.E.B.I.S. is independence and total self-sufficiency.
No one can love us the way we love ourselves, therefore no one can address our needs the way “we” can—particularly a “system” designed to derail (and exude grand altruism while it actually resists).
Given this truth Blacks must take the reins on our own behalf—as loving, resourceful “family” approaching and engaging “family in need”—not as enviable clinicians who themselves have “gotten over”; detached but “charitably” reaching back.
A positive “Black Value System” must be outlined and set into place, substituting the standard colonial curriculum; and a restructuring of the entire community (or, re creating community) is a must—through the Black Value System model.
Yes, the “scope” has to be huge!—it’s long range (or visionary) not piecemeal and limp along.
Community is the foundation upon which all else rests—without healthy community “viability” as a self-sustaining base all other aspects (or branches) face compromise and failure.
Staff development training is extensive: reorienting us for “new frontiers”; making sure staff always has available outlets to vent and add input (putting admin in-sync with front-liner’s “needs”); and purging engrained colonial methods of operation—so programmed into us by the system.
“Burn out” plus its prevention is a number one priority focus for staff and priceless volunteers.
Staff teams visit student’s homes regularly, in the spirit of down home family (not clinicians) whereby family members open up as such—allowing deeper inroads for better “needs assessment.”
Community sensitivity forums are an added leg, intended as regular fixtures for public engaging.
And sabotaging the whole puzzle? “Self-hatred.” It must be confronted—there’s no other choice; it’s the number one cause of destruction, disaster and set-back—period!
“Self-hatred” is the underestimated, unaddressed demon—the catastrophe “elephant in every standard organizer’s room”—desperately ignored; the nucleus attacking the body, guaranteeing all witness timeless failure.
The icing on this cake: elevating our brazen ancestors (past and present); they forged the path on our behalf for a reason—initiating the frame for this keen navigation “blueprint” (showing us the cause for and just how to actually love our “essential” selves).
Ancestors must be illuminated, their impact shouted to the world—their courage to square-off with the system’s demons, forging healthy trails in spite of terror (or the demon’s cleverly planted “seeds of psychological doubt”) must be duplicated by us! Otherwise their efforts and path “discoveries” are wasted. It can’t be overemphasized.
Here, you witness C.E.B.I.S.’s powerful constitution.
Our C.E.B.I.S. model incidentally was meant for use by an entire plagued nation (spreading accessibility); interchangeable for whomever would create healthy community in the world—not just San Diego, or Blacks.
The 2016 forum—in a very brief time—had just gotten my summary of only Stage 1: the blueprint phase.
Of course there’s no way I could have outlined in the minute or so that this took, more than a small gist of what you see here (only fleshed out now as posterity for both those attendees and my blog followers).
Still on mic I’d not much floor time left—I skip ahead (eying that “bottom-line” punch) to reveal the results: Stage 2.
Student’s outcomes were stunning—and instant!
Kid’s grades skyrocketed up! No longer was their kinky hair, darker skin, broader nose and thicker lips the enemy (dictated so thoroughly by society) but now a gloriously rebellious “asset.”
Reading, writing and math—being made so relevant to their own reflections, their own realities of existence—triggered newly found purpose: the cause to advance for one’s self and kindred.
Gaining a whole new view of the world and of themselves (plus of “history retold” and their amazing place in it) infused an unheard of thrill back into student’s act of learning.
Parents, shocked by their children’s obvious transformation at home, hugged us, literally crying tears of astonishment during our public open houses.
The bottom-line: tracked progress proved the accuracy of our model-in-action! Transformation (as planned) hit everyone—across the board.
My personal growth then hit a fast roll! Flared magnetism seemed to rattle more finishing pieces: I suddenly meet Buddhism.
Its piggy-backing my newfound “cultural vision” was most uncanny—and a brilliant suit. The Eastern compliments (of Buddhism and Afro-spiritual philosophy) fit hand-in-glove.
Indictments of pious nefariousness were inevitable: the colonial Christian religion bulldozes all others in the U.S.; its contradictions and inhumane discrepancies (the religious justifier of “white supremacy”) now stood out like corrosive beacons. Its baggage choked out my perspective of the “human’s” profound relation to our environment.
No longer is the world for me just a “Petri dish” of sin, but stoked with vital resource for synchronized living. I could now see “out of the box” (historically, religiously & spiritually) and operate from there as well. I could breathe easier than any other time in my life!
The honeymoon was bliss, but would be brief. Final pieces to my equation (still mushrooming so quickly) soon rattled the door to Stage 3: moving into “cutting edge frontier.”
Already lighting my horizon was my training’s ultimate trial; that call demanded I finally face my tumultuous inner “business”—and these personal demons brought a crippling thought.
I’m the tortured soul whose confidant was silence, light years from resolve, plopped amid what seemed like Black social magic (happening around me).
I’m strapping on shoes to walk well beyond the mile (the very one tread by this 2016 AIDS forum’s unreachable clients)—actually it’s more like I’ll be stitching up “prototypes” for all those clinicians and clients who are yet to follow.
To be continued…
Photos: Fundi & the late Busara Sadikifu-Abdullah perform their “Kuumba: A Voyage into the African Experience through Song, Dance & Poetry” (spun-off from the C.E.B.I.S. Project) at various schools. San Diego, CA. 1977.