Angered and tired of being the mules for wealthy warmongers, indentured Whites and American Descendants of Slavery (Native Black Americans) ancestors rebelled against the one percent (Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676, Jamestown, Virginia). Since then, classism has been replaced by racism in an attempt to keep Native Black Americans from consolidating resources, materially or socially, for the benefit of their collective uplift and stability. Although great powers are invested in keeping NBA/ADOS unity fragmented now’s an optimal time to move from individualism back to collectivism in an effort to restore our family and extended family ties.
The last time American Descendants of Slavery had a semblance of control over our culture along with a sense of solidarity we created the D.A.P., an era of Dignity and Pride. It drove Native Black Americans to become creators and innovators, and pushed us to not only strengthen our family and extended family bonds, its appeal also inspired Black people around the world to say it with their chest, I’m Black and I’m Proud.
The assassination of Martin Luther king Jr, the war on drugs, and the creation of crack cocaine were orchestrated to crush and pulverize the very necessary bridges that family and fictive-kin upholds for any success that the NBA/ADOS community might have, short of federally funded reparations.
While the institution of slavery sought to annihilate the humanity of American Descendants of Slavery and failed, individualism is achieving what the institution could not – divisive forms of classism has taken root within the group, plus there’s a widening blind spot among Blacks who are generation X or younger. Wealth isn’t being transferred as one generation passes and the next steps into their shoes. Instead we’re seeing generations of poverty or at the most an individual makes it up a rung only to see their fortune stolen or lost by the time the next generation is ready to assume it or some time within the next generation’s lifetime – the fortune is no more, thus, Native Black Americans are the only ethnic group poised to live a worse quality of life than their parents. This is no coincidence. There’s a reason the NBA/ADOS community who have been tricked into thinking in terms of individualism only see their wealth circulate within their community once maybe twice while others see theirs circulate dozens and dozens of times. We’ve been hoodwinked.
Many immigrant groups rely on extended kin for help in saving money to launch migrations and to care for property and personal belongings while the migrant is away. Once in the United States, immigrants co-reside with sponsors and are provided a variety of aid including housing, meals, clothing, public transportation passes, and assistance securing employment (Bashir, 2007).
Looking at the above family solidarity model, Native Black Americans can envision what reclaiming their culture of collectivism might look like. Dignity and Pride doesn’t have to be a thing of the past with us. It does however rely on us pausing from our lifestyle of hyper-individualism to examine how much it has cost us so far, and to be brave enough to step into our collective uplift with courage.
Think about it. You’re a Native Black American and you’ve just pulled yourself up in the world and made yourself a ton of money. Knowing the social hierarchy and the history of racism in the country, who do you trust? Where do you save your money? Do you save it with Wells Fargo or Chase bank, those institutions who bankrolled slavery? Now that Johnny Cochran is gone, which law firm do you trust your life with? How do you leverage individualism in a racist landscape? Healthcare is no different. We are dying because of a racist healthcare system, not because it’s inadequate, but because as individuals we can’t defend ourselves from racism. Name and consider the amount of Black celebrities who’ve complained that they’ve almost died giving birth? Don’t let liberals or conservatives fool you – everyone else is working as a collective and it’s time that we stop getting rolled.
Rebuilding our family and extended family structures and working as a collective must be a priority on ADOS’ journey for restorative justice in the form of reparations for 400 years of sanctioned and legalized abuse.