I have to keep writing or I will go insane. I really don't know what to say though because sometimes I don't even know who I am writing this for. Should I go on and on about why my family does The Empowerment Experiment? Should I give you more updates on how much bigger EE is than the last time we talked and how much more media attention its gained? I guess I should do that. After all, The Empowerment Experiment is about preaching - through creative activity and media - the necessity and power of self-help economics. So I'd better keep preaching. And of course I need to present media updates... otherwise most of you would not follow the project.
That's why I'm a little bewildered today. EE is supposed to be, was designed to be, is positioned to be, a social service initiative and an academic experiment. It is starting to feel like a well-attended, bumpin' party with awesome food, music and drinks, but no one really knows the host or what the hell they're celebrating.
The point is that you all should be paying attention to this regardless of the media's coverage and in spite of it's lack of coverage. You should be the lifeblood of EE, not BET or The Chicago Tribune. I am finding myself measuring the success of this project by website hits and media inquiries. I want to hear from you. I want to know that you care about this. I want to feel your passion about energizing our collective sense of worth, and about what you are willing do to activate and demonstrate that passion. I want to discover your potential - not Brian Williams' or Anderson Cooper's or even Oprah Winfrey's - to make a difference in our community's economic future and sociological outlook. I live, EE lives, through your undying hope in the possibility of a new reality for us... one where we don't feel broken, beat up, angry and ashamed when we walk or drive through a Black neighborhood in America. I crave your, YOUR sincere belief that our businesses and talents will be respected, valued and sought after in this country, and that OUR people will soon represent the American Dream through high quality standards of living.
This is why we are here. But you don't see that. And if you do, I don't feel it.
I am wholly beholden to the media. That's pathetic. If they leave me, EE is nothing.
But that's just me. And fortunately, I am not EE.
I don't think you got that. Yep, you heard me right. I am not EE.
You are The Empowerment Experiment. You are EE. Black people. Black culture. America's promise to Black people. America's pledge to the world. All that's EE.
But for now, EE still needs me. The Empowerment Experiment needs me to stay strong and smile pretty... to buy Black and be proud. I gotta be a smart, tough soldier. Because soldiers do their duty. Soldiers represent their nation.
EE. EE. The EE nation. That's you AND me.
So I will wait. I'll keep waiting for the EE nation to stand up with me and show me something worth defending, fuel the fight worth fighting. I want to fight for a cause and a culture, not headlines and press inquiries.
Will you be there? Will you stand up with me even after the media has moved on? Will you support Black business and talent, and honor and love your people because it's righteous and makes sense - and not because some celebrity or media-magnet family tells you to? Will you refute, will all your heart, mind and money, the notion that your people are destined to be at the bottom of the socioeconomic totem pole forever? Will you work and sacrifice so that our people can sincerely, finally, and with good reason, feel included in the American mainstream? Will you show our children that, somewhere in this world, even if it is just on your block, people who look like them are not always just the workers and consumers whose money and labor strengthens other communities and fulfills everyone else's dreams... but that many of those people who look like them are successful, prominent professionals, tradespeople, and entrepreneurs? Will you also prove to them that those who are don't have to be exceptions - that soon, if we come together, they can become a standard? Will you teach them and anyone else who wants to listen that EE, that the goal of more successful Black-owned businesses and professionals being proudly supported by Blacks, and blindly, yet steadily supported by all people, is the goal that all of America should want and the story that this country should want to tell the world about the people it once enslaved?
Will you do that for me? Oh, I'm sorry. Not me. No,no, no. Not me.
Will you do that for EE?
Now if you did... that would be something worth partying about.
Friday, July 17, 2009
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