Educate, organize and mobilize: (Reprint of Dec. 2014 article) GreaterDiversity.com provides ongoing commentaries and news to get the masses of people 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.
Black and progressive voters
In understanding where we are like 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 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 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 right-wing Americans, to restrict access to the voting booth by Blacks and immigrants. Their objective is to use voter suppression tactics to disenfranchise Blacks and other progressive voters. Each era of reconstruction is characterized by the progress made by Blacks because of voting rights changes and the efforts of the right-wing to restrict voting rights 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 it failed to bring economic empowerment to far too many low and no income Blacks. It failed to deliver “Black Wealth.” Future voter empowerment efforts must include addressing the economic shortfall of the “Second Reconstruction” – its potential is huge. I for one believe that student and individual outreach to all interested components of Black activism will prove to be a huge step in the right direction. Further progressive action is required 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 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.
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