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That's a hard question. The challenges that faced each are somewhat different precisely because of the differences of the times that they lived in. I disagree with BTW's approach, but understand it based upon his desire to just get that damned boot (white supremacy, et al) off his neck. I think he just wanted to relieve the immediate pressure. Marcus had a powerful idea, but perhaps there were practical limitations to the ability to execute it (back to Africa). I think Martin and Malcolm were great one - two punches. The strength and stridence of Malcolm's message and movement pressured the government to consider Martin's message more seriously.

I'm going to continue to think about this! Great post!!! tfro
I remember in 2003 when Luis Eduardo (Lucho) Garzón shocked everybody with his election as Mayor of Bogotá. He was the candidate of the Independent Democratic Pole (PDI), a new left wing political party in Colombia formed after Garzón managed to place third in the Presidential election in 2002. (I've had a running bet going with my wife since 2001 that Garzón will eventually be elected President, provided of course that he is not assassinated first.)

When he was elected mayor of Bogotá, I was reading some of the stories in the local Colombian press in Bogotá, and ran across an interview in which he was asked who he most admired and got inspiration from. I was expecting him to name some Colombian figure, or at least a Latin American figure such as Che Guevera, but instead he answered "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr".

So I'll have to go along with Lucho Garzón on this one.
The question was easy, the answer was hard.

First of all, I have really had to struggle to come to terms with BT Washington and what he was trying to accomplish. What is so sad --is blacks never did and never will; for he created the schools of learning that 'were' necessary to build a nation. This was the foundation for the path.

Next, Marcus Garvey had the transportation path, however his details plus those assigned to work for him were flawed. Monies appropriated for the task fell into the wrong hands; thus causing road blocks in the path.

Finally, WEB Dubois possessed the diplomatic intellect to sow the correct political seeds. However, because of his particlar brand of intellect he was unable to communicate that premise to common folk though he criticized both Marcus and Booker T because he envied their ability to communicate with common folk.

I learned these things from the great Dr. JH Clarke. I have said these words before, however, it never hurts to repeat the truth one more time.

Which is--if we had followed the path laid before us by these three men we would not have Arabs in our neighborhoods today selling their wares.

Ironically, the year BT Washington died [1915] the great migration from the South began.

I continue to marvel at the way in which we've been twisted and turned in the wind to such a degree that we do not even know which way is up, down, sideways, backwards or forwards....
As stated, they were all good.

My simple answer is MLK.

His focus became more, and more diluted with time.

Everybody climbed on his back.

His in-the-street attack against segregation was a 'killing blow'.

Thurgood Marshall was always pissed that MLK got the acclaim for his action against segregation when Huston and Marshall had long been at war against segregation.

However, Brown v Board did not have the leverage of the Montgomery Decision.

That's a fact.

Malcolm X abandoned his own philosophy.

Garvey's was impracticle.

Booker T's was exploited.

DuBois' was abstract. It was sociology.

It is also interesting to consider the 'final fate' of these leaders.

Martin was murdered by 'Europeans' on his own soil.

Malcolm was murdered by 'his own' on his own soil.

Dubois voluntarily expatriated to Ghana.

Garvey, not being an American, was deported to Jamaica.

Booker T., after being used endorse those in the African American community to be listened to, died of natural causes in his own land.

I consider Booker T. Washington to have the most ignoble legacy of all our leaders.

PEACE

Jim Chester
MLK: Initially had a go along to get along philosophy however he became increasingly disillusioned with assimilatiing just before his death and moved towards a socialist core of values. Had all the qualities for an international statesman. He knew he was a target yet continued to make the ultimate sacrafice. Grade: B+

Malcolm X: Uncompromising, unapologetic visionary with a solid plan. Perhaps Malcolm changed his views on certain matters (which only a true leader with integrity and character can do) however his fundamental principles undoubtedly continued to be rooted in black nationalism and self-sufficiency. Willing to make the ultimate sacrafice without converting black people to Islam. Grade: A+

Booker T. Washington: Fence Straddler. Had some good ideas but also had too many white folk whispering in his damn ear. Was willing to concede blacks as second class citizens if black people could assimilate into the white mans world. Grade: D

Marcus Garvey: Ahead of his time. Outstanding orator. Had great ideas for reform for black people in amerikkka and diaspora. A true Pan Africanist who understood liberation is synonymous with unity and self-sufficiency, not co-dependency. Not given enough credit for the pre-civil rights movement. Tried to do too much too soon. Grade: A

W.E.B. DuBois: Sound social programs yet he thought all black peoples problems could be solved through white liberals and intergration. Not! Could have made some headway but gave up too easily. Grade: C+
quote:
Booker T. Washington: Fence Straddler. Had some good ideas but also had too many white folk whispering in his damn ear. Was willing to concede blacks as second class citizens if black people could assimilate into the white mans world.


I don't know about that. I'm beginning to read Booker T's writings. I'm finding him to be far less of a Assimiliationalist/Accommodationalist than has been reported. I'm finding him to be more of a pragmatic separationist who refused to spend a great deal of time cursing the darkness, rather than lighting a lamp.

I just got through with a piece way he postulated: [paraphasing liberally] What does it matter if Black folk can sit with white folk, if we are denied the opportunity to own the train or the diner? Who cares about social equality at the expense of economic equality?

http://africanamerica.org/eve/forums?a=tpc&s=602606...361092893#5361092893

quote:
... The opportunity to earn a dollar in a factory just now is worth infinitely more than the opportunity to spend a dollar in an opera-house.


http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/39/
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Marcus, Malcolm, and WEB all eventually ended up on the same Pan African path so they all get my vote...in that order.

Without Marcus there would have been no Malcolm(his parents 'the Littles' were Garveyites and so was Elijah Muhammad, he credits his organizational path to Marcus in the beginning of 'Message to the Black Man') and WEB eventually saw the light and stopped his reformist ideology and became a socialist Pan Africanist and repatriated to Ghana, no doubt, whith 'later in life' reflection on Garvey's message, as well as plain old expreience. Even MLK went to Ghana to visit Mkrumah and was soclialist leaning, hooking up with movements in the US and internationally(right before he was murdered of course).

I always admired Booker T's economic empowerment message although I don't agree with his entire philosophy. They all have something we can learn from and build on. But IMO organizationally, Garvey wins by a landslide that's why he gets my vote. He was way ahead of his time.
First, I don't think Dr. King belongs on this list. He didn't provide us with a "philosophical path to follow." He provided us with powerful fight for equality, but I don't really see a philosophical roadmap for a better condition for us to embrace and to apply to our own lives.

That's by no means a slight against this great brother; I just feel that his contributions to the world don't fit into the same category that the others do.

For that, I would have to say it's between Marcus garvey and (yes) Booker T. But after reflecting on it, I think I may lean toward Garvey.

What I don't think people understand about Booker T is that he understood that we were a people not only denied freedom, but also largely robbed of the basic tools to be able to fully realize the promise of such freedom, even if we had it. Outside of DuBois' talented 10th, the masses of black people in that day lacked education, pride, skills, and any kind of understanding of our history. We were largely a blank slate. He figured that that generation needed to build something for future generations to run with. I think he was absolutely right.

On the other hand, Marcus Garvey was, as Oshun states, light-years ahead of his time. In a day when even soldiers like Ida B. Wells admitted that she had questions about our equality; when DuBois expressed particular pride in his Eurpean heritage; and decades before no less a soldier than Dr. King tacitly suggested racial inferiority when he urged whites not to judge us "by the color of our skin" -- Marcus Garvey undoubtedly would have urged them TO judge us by that exact same skin. He may have been the first Western black man in the 20th century to honestly love everything that made black people black. Everything he did and said makes that resoundingly clear. I've read, and I understand how shockingly revolutionary that simple idea was -- the beauty, the power, and the goodness of our African heritage. By no means am I a black nationalist. But as far as I'm concerned, once you internalized Garvey's message about who we are, you'll be all right, no matter what they throw at you. In the world of those years, that would have been some path to follow.

I probably need to think on this question more, but it's definitely between these two, as far as I'm concerned.
X, only because I identify with his passion, incredible courage, and expressive character. And no one communicated so clearly and so eloquently precisely with whom we are dealing. He was able to get a message across to people regardless of their education status or intellectual interest. Boldly and unapologetically referring to those Whites who fought to keep Black people on an animal's level, "The Devil," now what can be more fitting? In my opinion, Malcolm was the only leader who gave Black people the clearest and most explicit image of exactly who our enemy is and how we are to appropriately deal with him.
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For the sake of discussion, Malcolm was a part of an organization that professed that white people were created by "the big head scientist", actively proposed armed insurrection against the U.S. government, believed that white people were "devils", and embraced a religion that - by defintion - repudiates Jesus Christ - among other things.

How should these beliefs impact our current analysis of his "path"? How has his path (perhaps considered before him, during his life, and since) advanced African America in meaningful ways?
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
For the sake of discussion, Malcolm was a part of an organization that professed that white people were created by "the big head scientist", actively proposed armed insurrection against the U.S. government, believed that white people were "devils", and embraced a religion that - by defintion - repudiates Jesus Christ - among other things.

How should these beliefs impact our current analysis of his "path"? How has his path (perhaps considered before him, during his life, and since) advanced African America in meaningful ways?


I won't argue that some of X's views were extreme. Generally, whenever people talk about X, they feel a need to preface their comments by saying, "I don't agree with everything he says but..." Regardless of what people may think about him today, he served his people well. His message was very much needed during that tumultuous time, and is still very much needed today, seeing how White people's behavior has not changed that much.
quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:
As stated, they were all good.

My simple answer is MLK.

His focus became more, and more diluted with time.

Everybody climbed on his back.

His in-the-street attack against segregation was a 'killing blow'.

Thurgood Marshall was always pissed that MLK got the acclaim for his action against segregation when Huston and Marshall had long been at war against segregation.

However, Brown v Board did not have the leverage of the Montgomery Decision.

That's a fact.

Malcolm X abandoned his own philosophy.

Garvey's was impracticle.

Booker T's was exploited.

DuBois' was abstract. It was sociology.

It is also interesting to consider the 'final fate' of these leaders.

Martin was murdered by 'Europeans' on his own soil.

Malcolm was murdered by 'his own' on his own soil.

Dubois voluntarily expatriated to Ghana.

Garvey, not being an American, was deported to Jamaica.

Booker T., who after being used endorse those in the African American community to be listened to, died of natural causes in his own land.

I consider Booker T. Washington to have the most ignoble legacy of all our leaders.

PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
For the sake of discussion, Malcolm was a part of an organization that professed that white people were created by "the big head scientist", actively proposed armed insurrection against the U.S. government, believed that white people were "devils", and embraced a religion that - by defintion - repudiates Jesus Christ - among other things.


This is all true; but I don't believe Malcolm to be the extremist that he was credited as. He was, however, radical.

Further, I have never read where Malcolm professed or preached the "big head scientist" theory, other than to maybe say "the Honorable Elijah Muhumad teaches us ..." But the theory was never the subject or even a point in his presentation.

Likewise, I have never read where he professed or preached the armed insurrection against the U.S. government. He did, however, profess and preach on the right of self-defense.

He did, in fact, profess and preach that the white man was the devil and in his day, the white man DID treat him and his family in a devil-like manner.
Booker T. Washington...........1856 - 1915
Marcus Garvey..................1887 - 1940 deported 1927 jailed 1925?
W.E.B. Du Bois.................1868 - 1963
Malcolm X......................1919 - 1965
Martin Luther King Jr...........1929 - 1968

Is this list sad because there are no up to date leaders or because we focus too much on the past?

Booker T. Washington probably never flew in an airplane and died before the US got into WWI. Look at some pictures of WWI airplanes some time. Would you ride in one of those things?

Garvey looks like he had a promising direction though I confess the uniform and feathered hat makes him look silly to me.

I have read about philosophical conflict between Du Bois and Washington but I interpret it as largely a class conflict. Du Bois was a "high class" intellectual while Washington was more hands on and down to earth. Jus because someone works with his hands doesn't necessarily mean he is dumb and a lot of intellectuals are really pseudointellectuals talking bullsh!t to keep "lesser minds" confused. A society can't function without some people doing real work. Somebody had to slaughter the meat Du Bois ate.

Malcolm X and MLK are significant to my era but they were both killed before the moon landing. How many Americans today can't remember a time before the moon landing? The ironic part of the whole thing is that the success of both of them can be traced to religion. Malcom X built up the NOI almost from scratch. MLK inheirited the throne of a major Black Church and consequently had an automatic power base. But now we have White Christians talking about nuking moslems.

I am not sure how meaningful it is to talk about who was on the right path because theirs' ended to far behind where we are now.

What would they say about this?

http://mindstorms.lego.com/default.aspx

This september will be the 40th anniversary of Star Trek. MLK asked Nichelle Nicholls not to quit. Now we have satellite dishes to watch TV from space with computerized remote controls.

The path must address technology or we become techno-slaves.

umbra
quote:
Originally posted by Dissident:
MLK: Initially had a go along to get along philosophy however he became increasingly disillusioned with assimilatiing just before his death and moved towards a socialist core of values. Had all the qualities for an international statesman. He knew he was a target yet continued to make the ultimate sacrafice. Grade: B+

Malcolm X: Uncompromising, unapologetic visionary with a solid plan. Perhaps Malcolm changed his views on certain matters (which only a true leader with integrity and character can do) however his fundamental principles undoubtedly continued to be rooted in black nationalism and self-sufficiency. Willing to make the ultimate sacrafice without converting black people to Islam. Grade: A+

Booker T. Washington: Fence Straddler. Had some good ideas but also had too many white folk whispering in his damn ear. Was willing to concede blacks as second class citizens if black people could assimilate into the white mans world. Grade: D

Marcus Garvey: Ahead of his time. Outstanding orator. Had great ideas for reform for black people in amerikkka and diaspora. A true Pan Africanist who understood liberation is synonymous with unity and self-sufficiency, not co-dependency. Not given enough credit for the pre-civil rights movement. Tried to do too much too soon. Grade: A

W.E.B. DuBois: Sound social programs yet he thought all black peoples problems could be solved through white liberals and intergration. Not! Could have made some headway but gave up too easily. Grade: C+


I like this assessment appl

But it's not either or to me. They all had ideas that, in part, made sense.
Damn, W.E.B. DuBois lived from 1868-1963? That means he was old enough to remember Grover Cleveland as the President and died when the US and the USSR were starting the space race sending more men (and women) into space! Eek

I can't imagine what it would be like to be born when people were still using horse-drawing buggies and living mostly agricultural lives using wooden tools and living in colonial houses to seeing people living in suburbs with cars in their parking lots and music on the radio.......
James Farmer, the founder and former President of the Congress of Racial Equality (C.O.R.E.) was on a TV show in 1993 reviewing a debate he participated in with Malcolm X in 1963. After reviewing the film of the 30-year-old debate Mr. Farmer had this to say:

"Looking back on the strategies, efforts, organizations, leaders, and results of everyone involved in the civil rights movement of the 60's I must admit one thing. The non-violent movement to integrate African-Americans into the general society only fought a battle. Our strategy did not take into account all aspects of the struggle. We won what we fought for...we did not fight for enough. Malcolm X had the best plan. He saw the problem correctly and developed a strategy for total victory."


_____________________________________________________


I think Garvey had the most wholistic plan. He embraced Booker T's industrialism while still challenging the White establishment.

ALL of these leaders are GIANTS. No one can deny Tuskegee or the "Dream." DuBois is the quintessential, X unconquerable. Garvey, the ultimate.

And, yes, there is something particularly sad about the lack of such leaders today. But when leadership like that is so often undermined, snuff out... there is no mystery why it is few and far between.

Leadership like that hardly ever had the chance to replicate itself with successive generation(s) benefitting directly from their tutelage.
quote:
Damn, W.E.B. DuBois lived from 1868-1963? That means he was old enough to remember Grover Cleveland as the President and died when the US and the USSR were starting the space race sending more men (and women) into space! Eek


Where have you been EP?

Oh yeah, you are one of those young whipper snappers. lol

Souls of Black Folks came out the year the Wright brothers took off. I can respect Du Bois for a man in his time but I think he is kind of dated. I don't remember this thread so I don't think I've voted twice. I selected Garvey. I think MLK was the most effective but what exactly was the path? I also am quite certain that it was the technology of television that made MLK effective. The fact that he encouraged Nichelle Nichols to stay on Star Trek shows he understood the power of television.

I selected Garvey because of his emphasis on economics. I haven't researched it well but what little I have done indicates he was duble crossed or ripped off by people that were supposed to be on his side.

umbra

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