Long Live The Cos!

Ta-Nehisi Coates has this great article on Bill Cosby in the May edition of The Atlantic; this one is recommended reading for us all (and so - apparently - is Cosby's new book: Come On People!; the newest addition to my ever growing books-to-read list).

Mr. Coates presents an excellent long-form article on Dr. Cosby's recent travels across the country, exhorting American Afrikans (I think I am going to like this phrase - I saw another blogger using it) to do for self, instead of waiting for others - perhaps the government - to do for us.  This is, of course, yet but a continuation of that long-running debate first documented by Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois; this is how we entered the 20th century and it is apparently how we are going to enter the 21st century as well.  Fortunately for us, I believe we are entering the end of this phase and prepared to embark on a new evolution of our nation within this nation.

Mr. Coates does a more detailed job than I could ever do in a blog posting, recounting how what Dr. Cosby describes as our current troubles - which he blames on post-civil rights era problems like gangsta rap - are really just modern day manifestations of issues that have been with us ever since we emerged from the previous phase of our existence here as slaves.  Building up this point, I believe that while we do indeed still suffer from the same maladies which have been around for well more than a century, at this time in history we are also more well positioned to make a real transformational change than ever before.

Whether one is a fan of rap music or not, it has minted an entire generation of new, wealthy American Afrikans; while we all mourn the transition of the athlete from the positive role model of Kareem Abdul Jabbar to the anti-hero like Allen Iverson, what is inescapable is the vastly greater wealth that is available to today's iteration; and while we used to have businessmen who were more wholly a part of our community like the publisher of Ebony, Johnson, we know have businessmen who lead major corporate institutions like American Express, Chenault, who are literally giants in the world of capitalism and have subsequently developed even greater wealth.

Today, therefore, we find ourselves positioned with real wealth, from which we can provide the capital to revolutionize our society - even from within the larger society in which we find ourselves.  Today - as at no other day in the 400-year existence of the American Afrikan - we find our talents matched to our resources as never before.

All that we need to demonstrate now is the will to power that every previous generation of American Afrikans has shown and that transformation will be at hand.

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