Filed Under:  Columns, Opinion

The Hard Truth: Our warriors are falling

26th December 2012   ·   0 Comments

By Min. J. Kojo Livingston
Contributing Writer

Death is inevitable.

It would seem that we who struggle would know to prepare for it. But we behave as if like we’re all going to live forever. So when one of us falls it takes a lot out of the Movement and the Community. Nearly every month we are losing another long-time soldier, each time we are caught off guard and unprepared to handle this natural part of the process of life.

There are three big pieces we need to address as activists.

First, we need to encourage our people prepare for their transitions from this life. A simple way to do this is to take out life insurance on yourself. Even a small $10,000 or $20,000 policy can cover your burial expenses and take a lot of pressure off of your loved ones. Neither Malcolm X nor Martin Luther King had insurance. Too many of our people do not handle this. Because we know that this happens each community of activists should have a burial fund to help in cases where there is no insurance.

Of course we also need to address preventable diseases.

Second, we need to develop local and national Legacy Funds. We need to be thinking about how the work and memory of each fallen warrior will be preserved and extended. To there should be at least one programmatic and on monumental/institutional memorial. A new or existing program can be named for the person and some physical marker should also be erected to let people know this person lived and worked lift our people. There should also be some documentation of this person’s life and contribution that can be spread and shared with future generations. We should make it a priority to share the stories of our heroes and sheroes with our young.

Finally, we must train more warriors for liberation. We can’t keep expecting them to emerge from heaven or to come into the world ready to lead, fight or build. We have to be intentional about setting up consistent, effective systems of training that can reach and recruit future generations. This can take the form of setting up physical institutions or simply creating a curriculum that that be taught to young and old alike in living rooms, back yards, store fronts or community centers. To point is to be aggressive and creative in making this happen. This is an imperative. We don’t need another Malcolm X, we need a million. We don’t need another Garvey, we need ten million. If we don’t take steps to create the leaders we need, we will remain stuck in the mode of waiting for another Black messiah to fall out of the sky.

We have everything we need to lift and liberate our people. The only thing we lack is a good excuse for not handling our business…

And That’s the Hard Truth!!!

This article was originally published in the December 26, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper

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