Educate, organize and mobilize: I’m pleased to announce the upcoming voter empowerment summit scheduled for January 10, 2015 at Martin Street Baptist Church, 1001 E. Martin St. Raleigh, NC 27601. My thanks go out to N.C. House Democratic Leader, Larry Hall and Alliance of Black Elected Officials Chairman, Richard Hooker for convening the upcoming summit to address the results of our past November General Elections and to plan voter empowerment strategies going forth.
I’ve discussed the planning of the upcoming summit with Hall and Hooker and plan to do ongoing coverage on what I believe will be one of the most important projects for Black and progressives in decades. I’ll provide ongoing commentaries and opinions in an effort to get the masses of peoples to take a critical look at where we are politically and economically in North Carolina, why we are where we are and to provide input in the development of strategies designed to take us to a better place.
In understanding where we are as Black and progressive voters, I highly recommend that you view a short YouTube clip by the Rev. William Barber, Chair of the North Carolina NAACP and leader of the Moral Monday Movement. (See link #1below). In the video and other statements by Rev. Barber, he discusses and defines the “Third Reconstruction” as America’s reaction to the election of Barack Obama, its first Black President. The First Reconstruction was the period of time immediately after the Civil War when Blacks gained citizenship rights and began exercising their right to vote up until the end of the Nineteenth Century. The Second Reconstruction is defined as that period of time following the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education up to and through the Civil Rights Era of the sixties.
As are the First and Second Reconstruction Eras, the Third Reconstruction addresses widespread efforts by powerful rightwing Americans, to restrict access to the voting booth by Blacks and immigrants. Their objective is to use voter suppression tactic to disenfranchise Blacks and other progressive voters. Each era of reconstruction is characterized by progress made by Blacks because of voting rights changes and the efforts of the rightwing to restrict voting rights in order to limit and reverse Black progress. Author-Scholar Manning Marable, Rev. Barber and MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry are among an ever growing group of Black opinion leaders calling for a Third Reconstruction for freedom and social justice to build upon the gains of the First and Second eras of Reconstructions.
Today, many Blacks consider the accomplishment of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s incomplete because of its failure to bring economic empowerment to far too many low and no income Blacks. It failed to deliver “Black Wealth.” Because the upcoming voter empowerment summit includes addressing the economic short-fall of the “Second Reconstruction” its potential is huge. I for one believe that the upcoming summit with its outreach to all interested components of Black activism will prove to be a huge step in the right direction. Hopefully, we’ll discuss making our summit a launching pad for further progressive action in this “Third Reconstruction.”
Because Black voters have invested their political power in Black Elected Officials they look to them for support and direction in developing a new sense of awareness in our struggle to make the political process more accountable to the needs of low and no income voters. Because of Rep. Larry Hall and Alliance Chairman, Richard Hooker are recognized leaders of the Black Elected Officials, their outreach and leadership are essential in addressing our efforts in the “Third Reconstruction.” Another important article that provides historical context to this issue is Rightwing Neo-Session or a Third Reconstruction by Bob Wing. (See link #2 below).
We will continue to explore our options going forward and urge all of our leadership organizations and individuals to add increasing Black voter participation and securing political patronage to their meeting agendas.
As the details of the summit are formalized I will continue to provide updates and will start a Facebook event to help gauge support. The summit is free and open to all. Lastly, if your organization is interested in being a co-sponsor of the summit, please send me an email.
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Peter Grear, Esq. writes for Greater Diversity News with a primary focus on politics and economics. To support our efforts to marry our politics and economics please “Like” and follow us at http://www.facebook.com/VoteYourEconomics. “Share” our articles, and your ideas and comments on Facebook or at our website www.GreaterDiversity.com. Finally, please ask all of your Facebook “Friends” to follow our above-referenced recommendations.