Archive for August, 2015

Happy Birthday, Marcus Garvey — August 2015

Articles | Posted by Jim Clingman August 15th, 2015

By: James Clingman

Happy Birthday, Marcus Garvey! 08/17/2015
This is not a history lesson; it is simply about homage, recognition, and appreciation of a Black man who loved his people so much that he sacrificed beyond what most of us would say is reasonable.

Marcus Garvey cared so much about his people that he kept coming back, even after being stymied and stigmatized by the white establishment as well as by some of his own people. After all of the negative experiences he suffered at the hands of his enemies, he kept coming back to fulfill his mission of raising the consciousness of Black people, organizing Black people, and leading Black people to economic prosperity. He even promised to come back in death as a whirlwind or a storm, bringing with him millions of Black slaves who would aid us in our fight for freedom and keep the pressure up until we have succeeded.

When you think about how hurricanes that hit the United States originate near the African Coast, it makes you wonder if Brother Marcus is not fulfilling some of his prophecy. In addition, considering the debacle that Firestone Tires suffered with all of the lawsuits against it a few years ago, I wondered then if Marcus was taking his retribution for that company’s role in thwarting his work to connect Blacks in the U.S. with our brothers and sisters in Liberia and West Africa via the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). What goes around comes around. Right?

Marcus Garvey was principled, he had backbone, and he was fearless – all because he loved his people dearly. Love is the most powerful weapon we have. If Black folks had “Marcus Garvey Love” for one another, imagine where we would be as a people.

Brother Garvey’s life should be celebrated just as other icons of the Black experience are commemorated. How can we continue to leave him out? After all, Garvey did what many of those we honor each year only talked about; he demonstrated the viability of economic control of our resources. Garvey showed our people how to pool our dollars and how to do for ourselves; he carried us to new heights, collectively, by utilizing our own resources to build the UNIA and numerous Black owned businesses.

”More and more Blacks realize that simply subscribing to civil rights is not enough; they must have economic control. I think this is becoming a greater and greater realization in America.”  Dr. Julius Garvey, son of Marcus Garvey.

Julius Garvey and Nijel
Ironically, it was Brother Garvey’s dedication to true nationalism that led to his demise by those for whom he so valiantly and relentlessly fought. Unfortunately some Blacks were jealous and envious of Marcus’ ability to rally the people, to get Black people to raise huge sums of money, to march and demonstrate in overwhelming numbers, to turnout the vote in unprecedented fashion, and to deny the takeover of the UNIA by “outsiders.” Black “leaders” of his time even came up with a “Marcus must go” campaign. Can you imagine that? I certainly can; been there, done that. Anytime a strong Black man or Black woman stands up for our people, it is almost inevitable that another Black person will lead the charge against them.

Too often we forget, if we ever knew it at all, the importance of our brothers and sisters who stood tall on our behalf. Marcus Garvey, born August 17, 1887, is certainly deserving of our recognition and our honor. His words, “All I have I have given you,” are exemplary of this man’s love for us. We should be proud of his accomplishments, and it would be wonderful if we would emulate his spirit, his love, and his tenacity as we make our way to economic freedom.

I will close with a portion of Marcus Garvey’s letter from the Atlanta prison to which he was sent as a result of trumped-up charges and a “kangaroo court. He was later deported.

“I have sacrificed my home and my loving wife for you. I entrust her to your charge… I have left her penniless and helpless to face the world, because I gave all, but her courage is great, and I know she will hold up for you and me… After my enemies are satisfied, in life or death I shall come back to you to serve even as I have served before. In life I shall be the same; in death I shall be a terror to the foes of Negro liberty. If death has power, then count on me in death to be the real Marcus Garvey I would like to be.”

The appropriate way to honor Garvey is by practicing what he did. Honor him by following his example for self-empowerment. Happy Birthday, Marcus Mosiah Garvey!



Sol-U-tions — August 2015

Articles | Posted by Jim Clingman August 9th, 2015

With as much meaningless and non-redeeming information being discussed on radio and TV among Black folks, I often wonder if we even want to hear solutions to our problems, much less do anything to help solve them. It seems we want to spend most of our time posing silly questions and discussing issues that lead to yet another problem. It is apparent, and obvious in some circles, that many Black folks simply want mindless, no-reason-to-think, and no-reason-to work topics of discussion in their public and personal discourse. These brothers and sisters should take a new look at the word, “Solutions.”

The most important letter in that word is the “U.” It is amazing how many of our people love to talk about our problems and, not as often, the solutions to those problems and never raise a hand or spend a dollar to solve the problems about which they speak. All the rhetoric in the world will not solve our problems. We must be willing to work on the solutions.

There is a role for each one who wants to work on solutions, however, too many of us sit back and say what needs to be done without coming to the realization that the “U” in solutions means “You.” The word, “solutions” is speaking directly to you; it is asking what are “U” willing to do to effect appropriate change for Black people?

We often hear brothers and sisters say what “we need” to do, but many of them aren’t doing one thing to help achieve what they say “we need” to do. If we would simply charge ourselves, as well as to others, to get to work, the “U” in solutions would take on a more personal aura. Standing on the sidelines and pointing out what Black folks need to do, without bringing your resources to the table, increases the load on those doing the work.
The 20/80 Rule says 20% of the people in a group do 80% of the work. We do not have the luxury to comply with that rule within our movements and organizations. Our issues require an “all hands on deck” approach. There is something each of us can do, but the first step is to look at the “U” in the solutions we propose.

I used to teach in my business planning class that ideas are a dime a dozen; everyone’s idea is the best thing to come along but, unfortunately, those ideas go to the graveyard with the person because he or she never moves to the action required to bring the idea to fruition. Economic freedom takes work and it takes sacrifice, as Bev Smith said on her show one evening as she interviewed a young rising star named Marcus Jackson, from Philadelphia.Marcus Jackson

Jackson heads the State of Pennsylvania contingent of the One Million Conscious Black Voters and Contributors (OMCBV&C), and he spoke eloquently, coherently, and practically about the need for Black folks to consider their individual contribution to our quest for political and economic empowerment. Bev Smith was obviously taken by the young man as she offered her response by first agreeing with Jackson’s contentions and then by telling her audience that his is the example they should emulate. She said, yes, it’s hard work, it does require sacrifice even to the extent of not getting paid for your time, but if we are ever going to end up where we say we need to be in this nation, those sacrifices must be made—on an individual basis on behalf of the collective. Right on, Bev Smith!
Bev Smith
Marcus Jackson, 31 years of age, and others in his age group within the OMCBV&C, are leading the way to true empowerment, uncompromising in their political and economic positions, and willing to go that extra mile and spend that extra dollar toward that end. They proudly declare “I am one of the million!” and they understand the work they must do and the sacrifices they must make for our people, just as 32 year-old David Walker, 36 year-old Malcolm X, 33 year-old MLK, and 30 year-old Marcus Garvey did, as he set out for the U.S. to meet with Booker T. Washington and take up the economic empowerment mantle.

The “U” in the solutions most of us speak about is the key to our advancement, to achieving our goals, and empowering ourselves. It all begins with “U.” The OMCBV&C, with members in 31 states, is the key organizational movement that is doing the work necessary to move us beyond the problems and closer to impactful life-changing solutions. It’s not yet at the one million mark, so there is still room for “U.”
Go to and read the information; if “U” find something “U” like, sign up and add your “U” to the solutions to our problems.