a (1) : ability to act or produce an effect
(2) : ability to get extra-base hits (3) : capacity for being acted upon or undergoing an effect
b : legal or official authority, capacity, or right
a : possession of control, authority, or influence over others
b : one having such power; specifically : a sovereign state
In any movement power is of the utmost important. There is no reason to start a movement if it cannot be completed. An endeavor without tangible objectives usually leads to a misappropriation of power and time. A revolution is no different. The power to shape thought into reality is at the center of a revolution. In that regard, revolution mimics the process of child birth and rearing. Thought made flesh by virtue of the semen and egg joining to transform.
At least in the authors’ history, males have traditionally been on the forefront of social change regarding our community. Noble Drew Ali, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Huey p. Newton are just a few of the name synonymous with the revolution of the socio-political economical status of the Black nation. To be sure woman such as Rosa parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Angela Davis played a huge part of progress gained.
Yet and still the man acted as a lightning rod and a galvanizing agent for the minds of the people. Warriors on the front line taking the brunt of the negative attention as well as the accolades from the movement accurately describe the situation faced by the brothers. So the question comes to the mind: Is there an imbalance of the distribution of power in the revolution, in regards to men and women?
After all in Africa, definition and delegation of the various roles played by the genders are paramount to the survival of culture. Yet in the corporation known as the United States the roles commonly attributed to a specific gender are being blurred if not reversed. Yet in the black power movement or revolution men are still at the forefront; and tangible gains are negligible.
Cause for concern? Consider this:
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. Individuals of color have a disproportionate number of encounters with law enforcement, indicating that racial profiling continues to be a problem. A report by the Department of Justice found that blacks and Hispanics were approximately three times more likely to be searched during a traffic stop than white motorists. African Americans were twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police.
Now, if 1 and 3 black men are expected to see life behind bars, who is rearing the next generation? Women of course. The time needed to raise a child is astounding. The mental and physical energy exerted without proper outlets for social change often leaves no room to pursue progressive lifestyles. Kids have to eat, and the lights must stay on.
However, the impetus for political, social and economic progress is an insatiable beast. So it typically falls to men to lead, and by lead I mean to be in the spotlight, a movement. Recall:
a: possession of control, authority, or influence over others
b: one having such power; specifically : a sovereign state.
In regards to control and influence is where the imbalance occurs. The image of women in society at large is not of one fighting and shaping a new world. Yes, to be certain there are specific movements in which women are at the forefront empowering minds, the feminist movement for one.
But, in the Black community this sphere of influence pales in comparison to the psychological reprogramming of the black youth, specifically young men, to see women as strictly sexual objects. Powerful women such as Michelle Alexander, and Abundance Child are needed to offset that image by providing relevant information and services for the next generation. Only by a balanced manifestation of information, representatives (activists, speakers) can the inherent power of the Nubian people be realized.