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Some Factors Inhibiting African Americans' Greater Success As A Group

Updated on October 10, 2014


Copyright 2001 Veasey Publishing

Hi, hello and what's up to others of you
Some of you might find what I'm about to address controversial...but I don't mean it to be. I'm just expressing my view of the subject and it's not intended to be insulting to anyone.

OK that said...Let's go.

1.I wrote this in 2001 and haven't updated so keep that in mind while reading it. Let me say from the start that there are various types as well as classes of "black" people, lower class, middle class, rich class, low educated class, highly educated class etc, etc, so on and so on.

2.So what I'm about to say doesn't apply to all "black" people, only to those that it fits. I'm generalizing in this essay. And there are always exceptions to any generalizing I do! It's impossible for me to cover every little detail of my topic. So bear with me. I'm saying this for all those nitpickers out there who may nit pic what I write, because I don't focus on every little detail of this topic, but I don't mean that in a mean way.

3.This is just a springboard to get your minds rolling and collaborating and to come up with possible solutions to the factors I address in this hub. I by no means have all the answers.

4.Here are some factors that I see as inhibiting Black-Americans' greater success individually and collectively. There may be more, but these are the ones that caught my eye. This doesn't apply to all "black" people just those it fits.


5. As long as a significant number of us Black-Americans continue to use racism as a shield to hide our lack of individual or group achievement behind. We’ll never be successful as a group because we’ll always have the mindset of victims. We won't be able to initiate a change for our own betterment, because, we’ll always be waiting for those who are victimizing us to change first, before we can change. That's not a road I want to travel, because if those who victimize don't or won't change. We can't change until they change. Racism is a problem, but it’s not the only problem, nor the essential problem, stopping blacks from achieving greater socioeconomic success in life.

6.Does racism cause black thugs to car jack you? Rape our daughters? Sale drugs to our kids? To kill one another in gang wars? To harass smart kids for wanting to excel academically in school etc.? Can we really blame racism for these problems?

Let’s stop blaming racism or waiting around for those who perpetuate racism to change, before we'll change and do something about these problems ourselves. And I mean that in a positive way.

7. And to all those blacks-americans who feel themselves disenfranchised as United States citizens. ENFRANCHISE YOURSELVES! THIS IS OUR COUNTRY NOT AFRICA!

We go to American schools, we speak American English, we grew up watching American movies and TV shows. We use American money. We create and listen to American music. We're Americans! Being an American is a cultural thing, not a racial or ethnic thing. Just as being an African is a cultural thing. All Africans and African cultures aren't the same.

8.We may be descendants of Africans, but we didn't grow up in Africa, we don't speak an African language and didn't grow up in an African culture. So we're not Africans. And that's the way Black African cultures and other world cultures view us as well. Regardless of how we may view ourselves, to them we're Americans.

9.The old outdated attitude "we're disenfranchised" or "America won't let us become enfranchised" is itself a self-disenfranchising attitude. Some Black families came to the United States Of America before it was the United States Of America! While other ethnic groups, only immigrated to the U.S. in large numbers during the 1920s or a little earlier.

10.Black slave labor help build this country. Black institutions helped advance this country. Blacks lives helped protect this country. Blacks even fought for the right to die for this country. Black slave labor even built the White House! So If THIS IS NOT OUR COUNTRY THEN WHO THE HELL'S COUNTRY IS IT?

11.No group has a greater claim to this country than Black Americans.

Only In America

12. Regardless of what you may think of him personally.The boxing promoter, Don King, is the perfect role model of the self-enfranchising Black American.. His slogan "Only in America" should be the slogan of all Black Americans.

13.When he says "Only in America" what he leaves unsaid is that, only in America can a black man from his background, end up being one of the most powerful and economically successful boxing promoters in boxing history, in what was traditionally a white promoters sport. He didn't let racism, being black, serving time in prison or being "disenfranchised", etc. Stop him from becoming a multimillionaire! (We shouldn't let it stop us from achieving our dreams either)

Moral integrity about Racial Issues:

14. Another factor impeding Black-Americans' greater success as a group, is a lack of moral integrity about racial issues. For example, if we think that being stereotyped by others based on race is bad, we shouldn’t stereotype others based on race either. If we want fair and just treatment for ourselves, we should want fair and just treatment for all.

But, that's not always the case, because there are many Black-Americans who are just as bigoted and racist as those whites, they hate or point their fingers at, and accuse of being racist. They're like walking time racial time bombs, just waiting for the right "racial" incident to explode on!

15. For instance, there was a incident in 2001, in the metro Detroit area, where a black man was accidentally killed at a shopping mall, when a security guard, held him in a choke hold too long. A lot of blacks were outraged! "They were tired of our people being killed and being treated like our lives weren’t worth much by white police officers and now by white security guards!"

A big rally was held!

16.The usual civil rights "leaders" showed up, and said all the usual things that angry black people like to hear. But once it was discovered that, the security guard who caused the death was black and not white, (as was originally thought) their anger and outrage about the incident mysteriously began to die out. The civil rights "leaders" slowly faded back to their home turf and the big uproar over the incident, went from a raging forest fire, to a smoldering little campfire almost overnight!

17. Subsequently, after being cleared of all charges, the security guard was released by a judge without much hue and cry by anyone, except the victim’s family. I think we can imagine what might have happened, had the security guard been white, instead of black, and was cleared of all charges!

18.This incident seems to support the fact, that many blacks originally outraged by this incident, weren’t really concerned about seeing justice done in this case in the first place. They seemed more concerned about, having a handy target to fire their racial hostility and frustration at, than they were about, if an injustice had actually taken place or not.

19. Some hard-core types, still tried to blame whites for the victim’s death by saying, "White's attitudes towards blacks had influenced the black security guard into having a lack of respect for the life of one of his black brothers!" Oh Please! If we're all that weak-minded, we might as well throw in the towel!

20. We need to check these type of attitudes. They cause us to lose credibility in eyes of the world, and in the eyes of our deeper selves, who always know exactly what we're doing, no matter how hard we try to hide it or deny it.


21.The extreme Black Nationalist attitude of some Black-Americans, is another factor impeding our greater success and the academic achievement of some of our black youth. Those with this attitude, tend to be against anything associated with white American culture. I’ve heard some of these young and not so young people say, they don’t want to read any academic books written by white scholars, no matter how valuable the information they contain because, "That’s the white man’s knowledge!" I never knew knowledge had a color.

22.The only books they want to read, if they read any at all, are those written by black authors. (Which is not all bad). Couple this with the attitude in general, of a significant number of American youth across all ethnic lines. That kids who are smart, with good study habits, and who achieve academically, are nerds, squares or bookworms. And we're the witnesses of an extremely potent, cultural virus, infecting the intellectual and scholastic advancement of our Black American youth and American youth in general, across all socioeconomic lines.

23. In addition to these negative attitudes encountered by other students, smart black students are sometimes criticized for "trying to be white" by some of their peers, who aren't that academically ambitious themselves.

24. We need to start an educational campaign, that turns this situation upside down and make the kids with the good study habits, the heroes and objects of enthusiastic praise, in their own eyes, and in the eyes of their peers, who may now scorn them.

25. If being smart and intelligent, is seen as a characteristic of being white. Is it any wonder that, we in the black community, have such a problem with the lagging academic achievement of our youth, and some of our not so youthful minds as well?

26. Is it any wonder that, other ethnic groups associate not being intelligent, not being smart and being academically inferior with being black? (Of course that's not the only problem; there is racial and cultural bias involved as well)

27. It’s in this sense, that I agree with John Mcwhorter, in his book, “Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America” when he states that, a cult of anti-intellectualism is infecting black America. But, it’s only in this special class or type of black Americans, do I see this as being the case. However, this affects all black Americans and Americans in general, in the long run.

28.There’s a vast amount of untapped intellectual potential, lying beneath the surface mind of the black underclass and poor members of our society. We need more black Americans, committed to, helping actualize this potential and bringing it into greater fruition. The sooner this is done, the better it’ll be for all of us!

29.To all of our rappers out there. Rap about something, more than just about yourself and how much money you've got or how many women you've got. That ok, but also create a legacy, that will have an uplifting effect, on the new crop of young rappers and rap listeners following your musical lead. Do something they'll help improve the spiritual, mental, and socioeconomic status of your black brothers and sisters, as well as yourself.

30. I’m not against any ethnic group’s expressions of their genius. I support and encourage all expressions of genius, as long as they’re healthy and guided by Wisdom. But, we Black Americans, need to be especially focused on, encouraging our own development and expressions of genius, because of the detrimental effects, of past sociocultural deprivations on us, as well as their lingering effects on our current sociocultural mindset.

31.The more we expect our youth and ourselves, to be the architects and geniuses, of great new, scientific and economic achievements. The images we project of ourselves, to the world and ourselves, will change from those of victims to Heroes! And the perception of ourselves as continually, being the victims of the sociocultural history racism our society, will die on the vine, because a lack of intellectual and psychological support from us.

32. So let’s completely destroy the idea that, because our ancestors were once enslaved and culturally deprived in this country, that we’ve inherited a cultural defect, that keeps us from competing on the same intellectual playing field with others, unless they change the rules of the game, to give us a leg up or spot us a few extra points! Because if they always do that, how can we really be sure, that we can compete with them, on the same intellectual playing field?

And, we won't be seen as always needing a helping hand to compete with them, on the same intellectual playing field. (Although, as a result of our history of racial degradation in this country, sometimes I do think that's necessary),

33. It was once thought that black Americans, didn’t have the right stuff, to compete in pro sports with white athletes. Now we dominate most of those sports! The same thing can happen when we apply ourselves, in greater numbers to the intellectual and scientific fields!

35. Let’s show the world and ourselves, that we have the right stuff to compete and dominate those fields as well. Wouldn't that be beautiful!

36.This article is in part, my answer to the infamous Willie Lynch speech of 1712 on “How to control black slaves, by creating divisiveness among them, by focusing on their differences and making them bigger"

Although this speech is said to be fictitious. I think it contains some nuggets of truth that are worth considering.

The Speech

By Willie Lynch 1712


I greet you here on the bank of the James River in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and twelve. First, I shall thank you the Gentlemen of the Colony of Virginia for bringing me here. I am here to help you solve some of your problem with slaves. Your invitation reached me on my modest plantation in the West Indies where I have experimented with some of the newest and still the oldest methods for control of slaves.

Ancient Rome would envy us if my program is implemented. As our boat sailed south on the James River, named for our illustrious King, whose version of the Bible we cherish, I saw enough to know that your problem is not unique. While Rome used cords of wood as crosses for standing human bodies along its old highways in great numbers you are here using the tree and the rope on occasion.

I caught a whiff of a dead slave hanging from a tree a couple of miles back. You are not only losing valuable stock by hangings, you are having uprisings, slaves are running away, your crops are sometimes left in the fields too long for maximum profit, you suffer occasional fires, your animals are killed, gentlemen, you know what your problems are; I do not need to elaborate, I am not here to enumerate you problems, I am here in introduce you to a method of solving them.

In my bag here, I have a foolproof method for controlling your Black Slaves. I guarantee every one of you that if installed correctly it will control the slaves for at least 300 years. My method is simple, any number of your family or any Overseer can use it.

I have outlined a number of differences among the slaves and I take these differences and make them bigger. I use fear, distrust, and envy for control purposes. These methods have worked on my modest plantation in the West Indies and it will work throughout the South. This simple little list of differences, and think about them. On top of my list is "Age" but it is there only because it starts with an "A"; the second is "Color" or shade, there is intelligence, size, sex, size of plantations, status on plantation, attitude of owners, whether the slaves live in the valley, or on a hill, East, West, North, South, have fine or coarse hair, or is tall or short. Now that you have a list of differences, I shall give you an outline of action - but before that I shall assure you that distrust is stronger than trust, and envy is stronger than adulation, respect or admiration.

The Black Slave after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self re-fueling and self-generation for hundreds of years, maybe thousands.

Don't forget you must pitch the old black vs. the young black male, and the young black male against the old black male. You must use the dark skin slaves vs. the light skin slaves and the light skin slave vs. the dark skin slaves. You must use the female vs. the male, and the male vs. the female. You must also have your White servants and overseers distrust all Blacks, but is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us. They must love, respect, and trust only us.

Gentlemen, these Kits are you Keys to control, use them. Have your wives and children use them, never miss opportunity. My plan is guaranteed, and the good thing about this plan is that if used intensely for one year the slaves themselves will remain perpetually distrustful.

Thank you gentlemen.
Willie Lynch

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    • profile image

      K. Law 

      4 years ago

      Great thread. S. Leretseh, you need to stand back. Your views are very biased without any factual backing. Using dates does not make your views any more accurate. My only critique for this essay is that it needs to be spell checked and edited. Thanks for the post!

    • S Leretseh profile image

      S Leretseh 

      4 years ago

      "ignorant of facts" That's a new one. I am, true as you say, narrow minded to the extent I focus on the issue at hand - I rarely ramble.

      "That's because there have only been 2 types of people..white and everybody else,"

      Hmm. Such a narrow-minded approach to the human race equation. But thanks for your thoughts.

    • belleart profile image


      4 years ago from Ireland

      S sound extremely narrow minded and quite frankly ignorant of facts!

      "the Voting Rights Act in 1965...which gv black males the ability to access white males' political environments. No people in human history ever gv such rights to another people"

      That's because there have only been 2 types of people..white and everybody else, so of course this was the first time in human history for this to happen.

    • vveasey profile imageAUTHOR

      The Medicine Man 

      4 years ago from Detroit,MI

      S Leretseh

      you say "white people did not abuse their slaves?"

      You're entitled to your opinion

    • S Leretseh profile image

      S Leretseh 

      4 years ago

      #10 -- I think the recognized "Americans" from 1790 to 1964 (white Christians) showed themselves quite capable of building any structure they wanted. They were also responsible for creating all the political and economic arenas in America in that time frame. After the Civil War ended, nothing - NOTHING - existed in the South that was built or maintained by black slave labor. Blacks were a FREE people.

      #11 -- Blacks certainly do hv a claim to land in America i.e. to be masters of the their own destiny. However, prior to 1964, black males did NOT legally hv claim to status environments of other male groups in America - specifically white Christian males. No precedent to this in human history. Early 60s blacks marched for integration rights...and they got them. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gv black males access to White male status environments (economic arenas - job titles in white male businesses & industries). Then came the Voting Rights Act in 1965...which gv black males the ability to access white males' political environments. No people in human history ever gv such rights to another people -- AND WITH NO QUID PRO QUO! I don't believe blacks quite get this fact.

      I realize your approach here is to subtly hint to blacks - and their white advocates of victimization - that they (blacks) need to take personal responsibility for their own behavior and toward their own communities. However, I don't think enough blacks will listen. Guilt-tripping white people has produced too many rewards.

      Regarding the Willie lynch speech, ridiculous. Adds nothing to this hub. In fact, it discredits it. White people did not abuse their slaves. They were way too valuable. Explains why virtually ALL blacks stayed near or on their former plantations after the war.

    • vveasey profile imageAUTHOR

      The Medicine Man 

      4 years ago from Detroit,MI

      Thanks belleart and for the fan mail!

    • belleart profile image


      4 years ago from Ireland

      I liked this hub. Very empowering and well written.

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Regardless of such souls, WRITE on and WRITE TRUTH. That is what LIFE is all about. Well-behaved and conventional people SELDOM,if EVER, make HISTORY.

    • vveasey profile imageAUTHOR

      The Medicine Man 

      4 years ago from Detroit,MI

      yeah me too, many of my hubs upset certain types of


    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Good luck, some people will understand......OTHERS won't......they will even condemn. I SHOULD KNOW, I write hubs that TELL THE TRUTH. WVeasey, welcome to the club. I am a seasoned veteran of this.

    • vveasey profile imageAUTHOR

      The Medicine Man 

      4 years ago from Detroit,MI

      Thanks gmwilliams For the props and for being the first to comment

      I'm waiting to see how this hub is going to go over

      with some of the commenters

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      OK, WVeasey, this hub is SUCCINCTLY EXCELLENT and ACERBICALLY SPOT ON. You have stated the truth. I couldn't have said it better myself. Yes, although racism still exists, MANY Blacks do not succeed due to a victimology mindset. You are correct that there are some Blacks who habitually rationalize why they "can't" succeed. They use the old ploys of slavism and skin color when the real crux of the issue is lack of initiative and doing things unthinkingly. You have mentioned anti-intellectualism. Yes, anti-intellectualism is evident in the Black community, specifically among less educated, lower income and more disenfranchised Blacks. Books are viewed as a luxury instead of a necessity. In many Black schools, smart children are oftentimes bullied and otherwise denigrated instead of nurtured and encouraged. Parents place social skills over intellectual skills. It is so commonplace to hear Black parents, esp. Black American parents, to stated that their children are highly social,they seldom mention that their children are smart. Great piece, WVeasey. Voted UP. I have also written many hubs on Black people and Black victimology.


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