MLK Jr Martin Luther King Jr Monument

Photo source: sangaku / Shutterstock.com

The start of a new collective identity for the African American community will require us to be confident. We must resurrect the teachings of Malcolm X, Booker T. Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. and W.E.B. Du Bois, and reflect on President Barack Obama and many other progressive African American leaders whose individual contributions unify us to advance one movement. In 2016, African Americans must collectively identify the important matters: #LifeMatters; #BlackLivesMatter;  #BlackEconomicsMatter; and even more important, #BlackConsciousnessMatters. We must measure our objectives through key production indicators (KPI). And, the entire African American community must recognize the importance of post-racial key economic indicators — data and statistics to demonstrate our progress or lack thereof. It is a thought process that we must embrace and express with love and respect. Any attempt at being the only Black person in the room must cease.

We can’t attack civil rights leaders and politicians to advance our personal agendas. If a community leader is speaking in a way that doesn’t meet your tastes, we must make sure that we’re not taking our own personal opinion at that moment to negate the leader’s value. It doesn’t mean our opinion isn’t valuable, just that we must recognize how and when we use our personal voice for the betterment of the collective good rather than character assassination of others.. Be careful of the old trick of the token, the special Negro that is used by African Americans asserting their authority, serving as the community’s spokesperson, but then being attacked by the community.  We must call out this person as an enemy of the entire community, reprimand them for the assassination of another person’s character. It is the only methodology that can be used to grow our community spirit or make a significant point.

Collectively, we must also take notice of corporations investing dollars in our community. When companies air their commercials during Super Bowl 50, a question the African American collective should ask is how many of them included African American-owned advertising agencies in their plans. A collective barometer that measures inclusion will be impactful. We shouldn’t celebrate simply because it is arguably the biggest NFL game day of the year. A key production indicator is necessary if we want to promote change among corporate America decision makers.

Other KPIs important to African Americans are the number of males and females in the prison population and how to reduce that number, receiving Ph.D.s and how to increase that number, in our biotechnology industry and how to increase the number, and the same goes for brothers and sisters receiving undergraduate and post-graduate college degrees. Our KPI for Fortune 500 corporations must reflect our employment rates and apprentice/training programs that allow more of us to enter the workforce.

#BlackLivesMatter and #BlackEconomicsMatter should take up the charge to ensure graduates of HBCUs are a part of the conversation when it comes to ambassadorships, new media partnerships, and international expansion of their companies. These are the important issues that should be in our conversations when we are debating the 2016 presidential election.

It is key that the number of African American advertising agencies must grow; so if there five now we must all want there to be 25 by the year 2020.

Then collectively, we should be able to evaluate all those beneficiaries and industries that are important to us. If we’re going to support Hillary Clinton, our collective objectives should be on a white paper that requires her commitment and support. We should know what our collective requests of the new president of the United States will be.

Collectively, we should know who we are, why we are united, and which corporations have our economic interests at heart, and collectively identity all that benefit our community. While making this evaluation we must act honorably and not mock or harm each other just to seek approval or become the popular Black leader of the day. Peace.

Munson Steed

Founder and publisher of rolling out’s parent company Steed Media Group.