We are almost seven years into the 21st century. What do we need in order to move forward from here? Do we need leadership? One would think so, but we’ve had leaders in the past. History has taught us that anyone who stands up as an effective leader today will be targeted. They will either be bought or if they can’t be bought they will be killed. That’s one reason why it’s been so long since anyone has steped up to the plate. So if leadership is what we need it’s got to be very different from what we have had.. It must be: 1. Invisible We have enemies. We have people who benefit from our oppression. These people are not going to sit back while we succeed and watch their bebefits decline without a fight. These people know that if they cut off the head the body will fall. So why should we continuously put our heads in open view? They don’t. The man you see is always following the orders of the man you don’t see. They make sure their targets are expendable. They surround themselves with decoys and allow us to revel in false victories which never come neaer touching the source of their power. But our leaders have been out there like marching ducks. The core of our power needs to be invisible. We need to create an environment of shifting targets so soon as they think they know what to shoot at its somewhere else;. Now who is they? That’s just my point—we’ve got snipers’ bullets coming in from every direction—oppression,racism, discrimination, stereotypes, everything—but who controls it? Who keeps it organized? Why do our opressors all know what to do and they all do the same thing for hundreds of years yet we still don’t know who is running the system? Our power must be just as invisible. We are waiting for some good-looking brother to pop up on national tv and tell us all how to get to the Promised Land. That just is not the way to go for the 21st century. So what do we need to do? 2. Pervasive In order to be invisible our leadership needs to simply be spread out. Instead of waiting for a national demigod each one of us whenever we receive enlightenment about anything our enlightenment must become a light for those around us who are ready to see it. Let the knowledge spread like a wildfire. Let it be on the lips or our mothers, our brothers, the cats in the barbershop, the kids on the playground. We don’t need one or two people trying to touch the whole country because that three or four that we each touch will touch someone else who will touch someone else and it will go on and on. And “they” won’t know where it’s coming from. They may ban every website that has the word African on it but that’s okay because technology is just Plan A not our last resort. As long as we have our tongues and our arms we’ve got the same things that Harriet Tubman, Gabriel Prosser, Mary Mcleod Bethune and Frederick Douglas had. 3. Diverse In the fifties and sixties we all had basically the same needs—to be able to sit at the front of the bus, to drink from any waterfountain and eat at any restaurant we could afford. It was easy for a single leader like King to jump up and face an open oppressor who affected all of us. But our oppressors got wise. They didn’t take the chains off us but they gold-plated them. They bussed our children out of our sight then put them in shop classes. Anyone of us who’s willing to forget who we are is allowed to make good money then we take the money straight to the store and give it right back to them. This situation has created a diversity of opinions, needs, ideas, experiences and viewpoints. Leading us with the leadership practices and ideology of the past is like trying to herd cats. A centrifugal approach to leadership will produce the kind of diversity we need to meet our diverse needs in the coming century. No longer should a prophet be dishonored in his own country. A prphet in his own country, in his own town, in his own home is the one who can best see the needs of the people who are, after all, his own, 4. Transmissible Pass the knowledge. Each one teach one. Comfort, encourage, uplift support and strengthen every one within your sphere. We all have something with which to build—a word, a song, a poem, a skill, a smile. Such leadership that will encourage someone to build a dream that touches people you don’t know about, The Black community is not lost. They are just hungry. They are waiting for someone to feed them but the truth is the food is right in their hands. Show them.