Yesterday Parlae was on site at the Black History & Culture Showcase at the Philadelphia Convention Center. It was an enlightening and heartwarming experience for myself. I am always proud to see people of color exchanging ideas, building community, and showing off! I left the showcase feeling energized, and ready to continue the discussion.
Bobby Seale, Founding Chairman of the Black Panther Party, was in attendance. When Bobby took the stage during his seminar, I was excited. It was an honor to be in the same room as the man. He spoke of the party’s formation and true intentions. He also left me with some kernels of truth that resonated within my soul. I walked away from the seminar being reminded that “the struggle for human liberation continues” in this country.
The Black Panther Party was founded on a ten point plan. I’d like to share that plan with you today, in hopes that it will remind us all that the struggle is still very real. People of color are still fighting for power. We are still screaming for respect and equity. We are still dying in the streets. We are still overlooked, unemployed, and poorly educated.
What must a man like Mr. Seale think of this when you think about his life and the risks he took to take on the establishment and bring about change?
Bobby spoke of a “New Guard” today. For Bobby, this guard is political. He emphasized the need for political power in the our communities. He acknowledge all of the changes that have been made possible because of people of color in office. I am thinking that I would like to one day be a part of this guard in a political way. However, for now I believe that I am doing my small part with Parale. Today’s guard can and should be more than political. Today’s guard is just as social. From Blavity to Unapologetically Black, to The Root; social justice issues are everywhere, and thank God!
There were little to no millennials present at the showcase and in attendance at the seminars and documentaries. I am worried about what this says about the future of the fight. I am worried about what this says about what millennials care about and truly understand about their history. I am worried about what this says about the state of our community. I am still processing…
Until then, I will say that there is no excuse for ignorance or naivety in this day and age.
There is no excuse for turning a blind eye and refusing to confront the truth.
Today I am reminded to always be vigilant and that we still have a long way to go before our inalienable rights are truly recognized.
The Black Panther Party Ten-Point Program:
We Want Freedom.
We Want Full Employment For Our People.
We Want An End To The Robbery By The Capitalists Of Our Black Community.
We Want Decent Housing Fit For The Shelter Of Human Beings.
We Want Education For Our People That Exposes The True Nature Of This
Decadent American Society. We Want Education That Teaches Us Our True History And Our Role In The Present-Day Society.
We Want All Black Men To Be Exempt From Military Service.
We Want An Immediate End To Police Brutality And Murder Of Black People.
We Want Freedom For All Black Men Held In Federal, State, County And City Prisons And Jails.
We Want All Black People When Brought To Trial To Be Tried In Court By A Jury Of Their Peer Group Or People From Their Black Communities, As Defined By The Constitution Of The United States.
We Want Land, Bread, Housing, Education, Clothing, Justice And Peace.