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Two Black imperatives: March on ballot boxes and mobilize for State of the Black World Conference III

President of Institute of Black World 21St Century | , Dr. Ron Daniels | 11/26/2012, 4:22 p.m.

The second goal I have pounded during my stints as a guest host has been to persuade listeners to mobilize and organize to attend and participate in the forthcoming State of the Black World Conference, Nov. 14-18 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Beyond the election, the voters who march on ballot boxes must gather to assess the impact of the election and announce to the world that there is a state of emergency in America's "dark ghettos" that must be addressed, that the interests and aspirations of Black people for equity/parity and decent standard of living for the masses of Black poor and working people and struggling middle class have yet to be fulfilled. Therefore, the goals of encouraging Black folks to march on ballot boxes and mobilize for SOBWC III are interrelated. It is precisely because Obama is a better choice not a perfect choice for president of the United States that Africans in America must marshal our forces to project and protect our interests. This is not just true of Obama (or Romney), the political imperative is that the oppressed must always relentlessly strive to advance their quest for full freedom/liberation no matter who or what controls the commanding heights of power.

Hence, the conveners and organizers of State of the Black World Conferences have always strategically positioned these "Great Gatherings" after presidential elections to take inventory of our status and condition, and to galvanize our people to continue to work on all levels to advance a positive, progressive Black agenda. The theme for SOBWC III, "State of Emergency in Black America: Time to Heal Black Families and Communities," was chosen to highlight our rejection of the notion of a "post-racial society." It proclaims to the world that structural and institutional racism and economic apartheid are still stubborn barriers to full freedom for people of African descent in this country.

Therefore, a critical focus for SOBWC III will be to devise a "Declaration of Intent to Heal Black Families and Communities," shaped by the input of the participants in the working sessions in crucial issue areas, e.g., the Black Family, education, economic and community development, health and environment, criminal justice, culture, religion and spirituality, Pan-African policy and mobilizing the diaspora.

However, the declaration will not just focus on government. It will outline what we as people of African descent must demand of ourselves and internally from our communities, as well as what we must demand of those private sector businesses, corporations and institutions that thrive on $1 trillion of Black income! The declaration will be a blueprint that various organizations will accept responsibility for implementing, with IBW functioning as a facilitative and coordinative vehicle--an engine for Black empowerment.

There are two Black imperatives in the critical weeks ahead: to march on the ballot boxes to re-elect Obama as the better choice and mobilize for SOBWC III as part of an absolutely essential effort to ensure that the interests and aspirations of people of African descent are addressed internally to our communities, within the private sector and with much greater clarity, specificity and results by the federal government over the next four years and into the future. So get your marching and mobilizing minds, hands and shoes together, because both of these imperatives demand that "we ain't gonna let nobody turn us around!"

Organizations or individuals willing to assist with the collective mobilization for SOBWC III should visit the website www.ibw21.org, email info@ibw21.org or call 888-774-2921.

Dr. Ron Daniels is president of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century and distinguished lecturer at York College City University of New York. His articles and essays also appear on the IBW website www.ibw21.org and www.northstarnews.com. To send a message, arrange media interviews or speaking engagements, Daniels can be reached via email at info@ibw21.org.