I’ve lived through multiple presidents, economic booms and recessions, and social movements. I remember the Rodney King beatings and trial. There have been countless murders by police involving innocent black children or wrongfully accused men. To add insult, several “activist” organizations and individuals have made fortunes from exploiting the murders of black men. Meanwhile the policy makers and political influencers in the USA over the last 20 to 25 years have created a variety of benefits for every demographic, except black men. While black men in the U.S. have made some personal gains through entrepreneurship and advanced education, we are still far behind in terms of true economic and social power as a collective. Our power to influence legal systems, protect ourselves, access fair treatment in the justice system is limited at best, and usually non-existent.
Is it time for us black men to leave the U.S and go where we will have more security and chance for prosperity?
This is a challenging topic to discuss. Obviously there are many black men who feel connected to the U.S. There are those who feel our ancestors died toiling this land and we are entitled to its benefits as much as anyone. These men don’t see the point of leaving the fruits to be eaten by another. On the other hand, there are the black folks who believe given the choice our people would have gladly left America and returned to Africa. Many of these do not believe we will ever be truly accepted as Americans due to the grotesque history of America’s treatment of black people and the philosophy that still influences modern systems of racism and discrimination. And of course there are those in between. They do not fully trust America, but do not see any other option.
I’ve said before, I believe in the agency of black men. I believe it is up to each African American man to use the intellectual gifts he’s been blessed with to make decisions for himself. Repatriation is not an easy decision to make. Nevertheless, if a black man wanted to leave the United States, I do believe he’d be welcome in many countries. The black men I’ve met while traveling are often some of the most driven, focused, and capable of all men. It seems living in a place like the US where we always have to prove ourselves means ours skills are sharper than the average. I’ve worked at places where white men were given management jobs because they were friends with someone, while I had to climb ranks and fight for my chance at promotion. When I received a promotion, I can honestly say I was more knowledgeable, prepared and proficient than my white counterparts. The discipline, work ethic and talent in the black community is dramatically underrated.
As we move into more challenging times with the economy shifting to automation and social paradigms continuously keeping the average black man at a disadvantage the idea of repatriation is an important conversation to be had. There are many opportunities economically, romantically, and academically outside of the US. Whether or not a man decides to leave, we need to encourage a global mindset if we are to prosper in the 21st century and beyond.