If ever there was a time for and competent black leadership, it is now. The desperate situation in the black community has become a crisis that not only affects the black community, but the entire nation.
With the ever pervasive issues of single-parent homes and widespread drug use plaguing our black communities, and subservient black leaders jockeying for a small piece of the American leadership pie, there is a scarcity of black leadership in America.
The good news is, things are changing. there is a crop of new leaders that are young, gifted, and have a desire to confront the real issues affecting people of color. These young men and women are working tirelessly for the betterment of the black race and people of color in general. How have these leaders been affecting change in their world?
Social media platforms
A few years ago, a rash of viral clips by young people of color, showed convincing evidence of police brutality and lit a firestorm of controversy that sparked open debate throughout the nation. The sharing of these truths forced people of diverse backgrounds, from soccer moms in Iowa to politicians in New York, to weigh in on an issue that was, up until recently, only a “black problem”.
What changed the dialogue was social media. When the whole world watched the infamous clip, recorded by Philando Castile’s girlfriend, of him being shot dead on Facebook, by a police officer, it made everyone sit up and take notice. Social media has long been a medium of activism. These world shaking events demonstrated just how effective a medium it could be.
After the acquittal of George Zimmerman, and again, after the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, activists and members of the black community, marched in protest, but just as importantly, began using #BlackLivesMatter to give voice to a persistent and problematic issue, the steadily deteriorating relationship between police and the black community.
The platform that social media gave this issue, created continued activism that expanded the issues to include for-profit incarceration, and school segregation. This has been a boon to black leaders who have been trying for years to get issues of people of color on the public radar. Social activism is more effective than traditional methods of because of how quickly leaders can assemble their forces and mobilize social media resources. Meetings can be planned and marches coordinated without ever meeting in person. This is the face of leadership in the future.
Another way that black leaders are changing communities is by crossing racial,cultural, and ideological barriers. The perception of the black community as a monolithic entity and unwieldy force is being challenged by new leadership coming from people of color in varied sectors of the nation. Blacks are blazing trails into areas of society where they had been previously unknown and unwelcome.
For example, black conservatives are forming coalitions to attract other blacks into conservative circles.Furthermore, conservative blacks can challenge the white conservative power structure in ways liberals cannot, because conservative blacks can lay legitimate claim to the same rights within the party, as they possess the same values. Yet, they can more compellingly point out instances of racism and bigotry within the Republican party.
Black men of diverse backgrounds received funding in 2013 to build their communities. This funding helped the men reach out to one another, share new ideas, and utilize resources they received to improve their cities. This involved sharing their personal stories, mentoring other young leaders, and offering their skills to foster the growth of businesses within communities of color.
These are just some of the ways that young black leaders are changing their world by changing their communities.