Black is King Already! Visual Sparks of Awakening Stir Up Two Sectors That Underpin our Culture
Updated: Aug 10, 2020
- Media/Entertainment and Education
The Backdrop: Something is about to happen..Infact, it is happening; this is a different season!
Black is King has come at a pretty combustible time in history..In the recent past, the release of the Black Panther movie created a spark in global black consciousness that awakened us to the possibilities of a glorious futuristic black construct, but the loud “what is next?” after Black Panther wasn’t clearly answered. It would have followed to think same of Beyonce’s exceptional output in Black is King as another transient spark, but this is 2020..It is a different season. It is a season which inspired a dying Congressman John Lewis to declare “you inspired me”.
From where I am perched as an African Diaspora Ecosystem Architect, the last few months have seen a monumental shift in consciousness in a way that affirms and dignifies black people and indeed all of humanity. Even as I try to make sense of the ecosystem of forces acting to produce the shift, I am certain of this: we are owning our future with the support of allies.
It started with the coronavirus and the COVID 19 pandemic that held the world captive in a way that assured a massive exodus into a virtual/digital space. With much of the world in this captive theatre, the truth about the gut wrenching murder of George Floyd was played out before our eyes in a way which unveiled the systemic racism that daily assails human dignity. With the veil thus removed, a critical mass of people of goodwill saw systemic racism for what it is - an evergreen construct of oppression that seems to be baked into the foundational architecture of the status quo world order. Our spirits have been provoked; our hearts have filled and overflowed with outrage; we have found our voices in protest that has brought us to a watershed moment where we begin to shift the forces that hold the status quo world order in equilibrium - an equilibrium that perpetuates disparities which disproportionately impact people of color globally in every statistic. An equilibrium that we must shift!
The Other Backdrop: In this season, we are reminded that some men don’t die ..they multiply
This is a season of deep and renewed reverence for the generations who have come before us..a deep reverence for the ancestors who transcended and bequeathed to us a worthy legacy in the quest for social and economic justice. In this season we have witnessed the transmutation of three transcendent Civil Rights icons - Rev. Joseph Lowery, Dr. C.T Vivian and Congressman John Lewis. A little over a week ago, we saw a well deserved exclamatory celebration of the life and legacy of Congresssman John Lewis; his last words to us as penned in the New York Times:
“Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring. When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide”
In my opinion men like these three civil rights icons don’t die.. they multiply.. and the seeds of their essence are cast abroad finding root upon fertile soil in a new generation. By all indications this generation is receiving, nurturing, growing and giving in transcendent service to humanity. And oh..what a wonderful source of wisdom and energy we have in the transmuted greats cheering us on.
Co-creating black freedom in the synchronicity of spirit: a spark in a sustainable development engine
These last two weeks have seen two historic initiatives unfold in circumstances and timing which we can only attribute to the spirit of universal orchestration. As the eagle sees, it will seem that Black is King is a visual spark that also ignited combustion in the human development engine that African Diaspora Nation’s HBCU Africa Education Consortium is. Truth be told these historic initiatives are at this point separate and unaffiliated. Both initiatives involved transnational collaboration of African and African descent people across the African diaspora; both initiatives implicitly/explicitly declare the unacceptability of the black status quo globally as evidenced by disparities proven beyond doubt by COVID 19; both initiatives connect to one transcendent vision to re-imagine and re-architect the world in a way which affirms black worth, black self identity and human dignity; both initiatives are being led by black superstars in critical domains - Media/Entertainment and Education. And perhaps most important of all, the leadership represented in these separate and unaffiliated initiatives are well grounded in #blackwomanmagic - Beyonce, Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President of Benedict College, Dr. Glenda Glover, President of Tennessee State University, Dr. Theresa Price of National College Resources Foundation/Black College Expo amongst a cohort of visionary men like Dr. David Wilson, President of Morgan State University, Dr. Ron Johnson, Fmr. President of Clark Atlanta University, Dr. Fred McBagonluri, President of Academic City College in Ghana and Dr. Samuel Donkor, President of All Nations University
Organizing to Shift the Axis of the World
Beyonce is right and here, I quote her:
"The events of 2020 have made Black is King’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey," she wrote. "We are all in search of safety and light. Many of us want change. I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history of generational wealth and richness of soul that are not told in our history books."
An implicit requirement in Beyonce’s words is the need for a different paradigm of education..one which resources us for an inner/outer journey that helps us synthesize answers to thoughts like “who am I? ..who are we? where am I from? Where am I going? who should go with me?”
My own personal journey has taught me that when black self identity is ignited, it begets vocational clarity which in turn begets the relational integrity that makes meaningful and sustainable community impact possible.
In plain words..what good is all this if it does not produce a culture, mindset and technology -within the context of a new black education order - that meets human needs?
This is where the latest innovation in the African and African diaspora education space - African Diaspora Nation’s HBCU Africa Education Consortium - comes in as a deliberate sustaining force.
At African Diaspora Nation, we foster transnational university partnerships, industrial linkages, technology innovation, and entrepreneurial ecosystems. Our goal is to provide wrap around support for African and African diaspora students, faculty and higher education administrators as they co-create culturally responsible human development constructs that liberate the human spirit. All these in a way that is meaningful and measurable within the context of institutional missions, and within the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and AU Vision 2063
The Approach is Right.
Both initiatives seek to synthesize what is true and of lasting value - essential elements- in Black history and African tradition, and restate them with a modern twist in a truly universal context. Both are providing a rich range of resources that appeal to different parts of our being and society to help nurture our individual quests for self-identity and legacy building.
African Diaspora Nation is employing a technology enabled global borderless virtual nation building framework to facilitate the partnerships, work flow processes, organizational capability development and the communication strategy required to build the ecosystem that delivers a new global black education order and culture shift that liberates the human spirit.
A Call to Change our World: Calling for a Performing Generation
To the generations to which we belong I say.. we must become a performing generation. After all…our minds are now educated, our sight has never been this clear; our hands have never been stronger, our allies have never been this many and our tools and technology have never allowed the scale and impact possible today.
Today, tomorrow and every day thereafter we must continue our entry into the promised land - a virtual nation we conceptualize, design and execute - that truly works for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone.
Get involved by signing up for updates at www.africandiasporanation.org
Something is indeed happening! We know because together, we are actors in the arena!
Kwabena Boateng is an African Diaspora Ecosystem Architect and the visionary
Founder/President of African Diaspora Nation - a culturally responsible Pan Human
Sustainable Development Organization that priorities Human Capital Development and
Transnational Leadership Development in Africa and its diaspora. ADN embraces
HBCUs, the United Nations, African Union, technology companies and governments
as priority partners of choice in fulfilling its mandate. Kwabena is also the Chair of
ADN’s signature HBCU Africa Homecoming Summit, the HBCU Africa Education
Consortium and visionary architect of the HBCU Africa Innovation Cities Program.