Permanent Black Man
Black People’s Manifesto in the Response to COVID-19History is the finest teacher. Black lives in the United States have been devalued, disrupted, disregarded, commodified, and undermined since our entry into this land more than 400 years ago. As part of the global family dispersed throughout the Diaspora, we have known our unique share of suffering, defeat, and victory. Our triumphs were achieved due to the efforts of valiant men, women and children who stood toe-to-toe against our oppressors in order to secure our collective freedom, liberty, democracy, dignity, and respect.
We honor our ancestors and our martyrs who understood that change comes when victims of oppression shake the foundations of the oppressor. Our progress has come at the expense of those who blazed trails of liberation and self-determination, many without thanks, recognition, or credit. Today, African Americans are free, but we are not equal. Our progress is purposeful. For we, who believe in freedom, it cannot come without a fight. This was true in yesteryear and it is true in 2020, when thousands of blacks in the United States are disproportionately impacted by what could have been an avoidable health pandemic.
In 1857 the great activist, scholar and orator Frederick Douglass shared an eternal wisdom: “Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation … want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” And so,
Whereas, in 1942 the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which stated “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in the spirit of brotherhood. However, seventy-two years since its ratification, African Americans continue to endure the revolting brunt of racism, oppression, and exploitation.