We have to be clear in defining Black Power lest our enemies do it for us. White supremacists will label it racist, and Negroes will believe them. If the black community is confused about the concept of Black Power, it will never become a reality.
In a world where Blacks, people of African descent, have been systematically marginalized, Black Power is a legitimate concept of black self-determination. Self-determination is a hallmark of a truly free people. For people who are truly free, those with a sovereign mindset, self-determination is taken for granted. For them, it doesn’t need to be discussed anymore than the need to inhale and exhale needs to be discussed. They know intuitively that a people locked out of the halls of power and who use a foreign frame of reference to make decisions are not free.
Freedom for any population, especially a historically oppressed minority, means being able to consistently promote and protect its interests. However, power only concedes to power. If Blacks in America and around the world are socioeconomically and politically powerless how then can thy promote and protect their interests?
For too long, compromising and naively attempting to use moral suasion on a people who have shown themselves to be psychopathic where Blacks are concerned, has only led to worsening conditions for Blacks all around the world. Only a people capable of negotiating from a position of strength can influence and shape the society they live in so that it benefits them. The Black Power paradigm suggests that those of us of African descent must close ranks, reestablish a sense of community, organize and reject the racist, ‘classist’ and imperialist ideas of the dominant society.
Black Power simply means self-determination. It has to be discussed because the Eurocentric frame of reference inculcated into black people from birth blinds them to the larger picture: The universal exploitation of African people all around the world. It –self-determination– must also be discussed in racial terms for the simple fact that African people have historically and currentlly been oppressed, suppressed and exploited along racial lines. Class oppression across racial lines in no way invalidates or supplants the reality of race-based oppression. Just because whites are evil to their own kind (which they always have been), doesn’t mean racism is a thing of the past or that it isn’t just as prevalent amongst poor whites.
Self-determination simply means the freedom of a people to think for themselves and to act in ways they deem beneficial to themselves; and freedom from external compulsion be it by force or indoctrination.