We Are not Our Grandparents: Part 3

Welcome to the final installment of the ‘We are not our grandparents’ series. If you missed part 1 then click here or part 2 then click here.

In part 1, we gave an overview of the political identity shift since the post-civil rights movement of the Black youths of today. Additionally, part 2 went into details of the additional struggles we are facing and the generational gap between the world-views of the youth’s political attitude and activism.

Since reclaiming the natural hair and the Black Power Movement 50 years ago, the Black youths of today have evolved into two most popularised perspectives that has shaped how they fight the system. 

The Afrocentric perspective is to reject white supremacy in any form. We have reformed not in only political identity but racial identity connecting back to our African roots. This has been a shift in our consciousness since 80s and 90s as a result of being taught by our parents and Black intellects and conscious music teaching us our history beyond slavery. We started to celebrate Toussaint Louverture, Shaka Zulu, Malcolm X, Huey P Newton, Che Guevara and so much more that stood to anti-colonialism. We understood the historical contributions of our African ancestors which fed our cultural, philosophical and ideological advancement.  

Simultaneously, Ghettocentric perspective came through the Gangsta rap and Hip Hop culture that influenced our identity, focusing on “hood” politics, young people who watched out for their neighbourhoods and embrace illegitimate economic as a way of not struggling in poverty. This shift was popularised by Dead Prez, 2 Pac, Biggie, and other hip hop giants of the 80s and 90s; as well as Black films like Baby boy and Boys in the hood. These two perspectives are two faces of the same coin. These perspectives shaped our Black youth experience and ideologies of our identity reform. They both allow us to exercise resistance in our political behaviour against personal and communal issues such as police brutality and economic instability.  All in the name of justice and equality.

A lot of younger people (under 18)  cannot vote but they can take their struggles to the streets, even organise mass resistance thanks to the internet and camera recording technologies, not only locally but globally. Since 2008 with Barack Obama who ran and won his presidency, we had increased inspiration that things would change. Not only Black youths in America but from all over the world. Suddenly, we were on public platforms speaking out on policies and the system that were abusing our rights, the world wanted to hear our voices outside of Hip Hop platform. This was a total uplifting era for us but soon dampened after 8 years of no real change for us. Fast forward to 2017 with Trump becoming president and White supremacy given a public voice, we have turned back to community organisations as an effective way of change for us, for the ordinary people by the ordinary people. 

Like I said in my last article, we despise the system and political elites (including Black sell-outs). When the mainstream media deny us our say we hit numerous digital platforms, where we can plan, mobilise and engage with other young people, anywhere and anytime such as Black Lives Matter. We have learnt that the ballot method that our grandparents believed in, we don’t believe in to be effective for political change. We know that the government doesn’t care for us and seek to annihilate us and that is waging war.

I predict within the next four years, political alienation of Black youths will force us to take matters into our own hands, especially if white supremacy becomes more overt in our neighbourhoods. Unlike our grandparents, we will seek to take power into our own hands by any means necessary. A type of Black anarchy. As things get worse for us who are in the minority and lower social class will seek allies with others suffering oppression. We will use technology and internet to produce our own propaganda work that idealises our political identity and share technical and financial resources (outside of the legitimate system). 

We will continue to resist and challenge white supremacy on a daily basis, refute racist institutions and propaganda; as well as counter attack with armed self-defence and street fighting if necessary. We recognise to have strength in numbers we will need to move to a class-conscious movement and an anti-racist organisation. Our fight will evolve from a Black revolution to a social revolution, on a global scale. This will be the next revolutionary movement. We know that we cannot trust the liberals to help our plight as they benefit from capitalism and will betray us continuously in the struggle against racism as they did our grandparents. 

We are not happy to sit around, sing kumbaya, elect a few Black political puppets, write protest tweets, sign petitions, or any other tame tactics. We want direct action and we want it now, even if that means confrontations and militant protests to get desired results.

I told you here first.



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