The Next Narrative for Black America is one where we define ourselves by our aspirations rather than our challenges.
Isn’t it odd the words we use to describe ourselves when seeking support and resources for our community, our agendas, our platforms, paint a not-so-flattering image of our people? In-this, un-that, under-this, dis-that – are all prefixes that subtract from our value. So often, we define our people with words like underprivileged, disadvantaged – unaware of its stigmatizing effects. How do these words make the argument that we “deserve” that which we seek? If we want people to invest in our community, our agenda, our platform, we must show what we have to offer – we must amplify narratives that reflect our value.
Asset-Framing is the principle that defines communities by their aspirations and contributions, rather than their challenges and deficits. For instance, we hear quite often about the alarming unemployment rate in the African-American community. But what of the impressive 2.6 million African-Americans who own businesses that provide employment opportunities for others?
Coined by BMe Community, Asset-Framing is getting a lot of traction in the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion arena. Oddly enough, it is not widely practiced by Black community organizations or leaders. It’s a common misconception that you have to illustrate “need” to get help. Any good investor looks for the potential of a return on the investment – that is not illustrated by presenting all the obstacles to success. To better position our people for the future, we must asset-frame our agenda.
The initiatives that BMe Community has invested in have raised an estimated $300 million since 2013. This was not done by positioning the Black community as “disadvantaged” or “deprived.” By simply acknowledging Black people’s aspirations and contributions to society and the economy, they attracted investors who want to build a better future – not remediate Black people.
The Next Narrative for Black America campaign aspires to shift the discussion of racial equity from one based in denigrating distortions to one centered on the Black community’s aspirations and contributions to society.
“We the Black People” must declare independence from deeply stigmatized renditions of who people say we are and love ourselves for who we truly are. To do so, we must adopt an agenda that honors our legacy, manifests the promise of all we aspire to be, and rooted in L-O-V-E. We must:
- Love ourselves, our culture, and our people. We must create a culture that promotes the historic contributions of Black people throughout the diaspora; the importance of mental, physical and spiritual wellness; and a world where all black people can feel connected, accepted and loved by all black people.
- Own our financial future. We must increase our financial literacy, Black banking, asset-ownership and ability to pass family wealth down to future generations while decreasing unfair resource allocations.
- Vote to protect our interests. We must work to remove barriers to voting, end corrupt policing and consistently turn out the Black vote.
- Excel in everything we do. We must amplify a narrative that defines us by our aspirations and contributions making it impossible to ignore Black excellence.
Love. Own. Vote. Excel. L-O-V-E. The Black LOVE Agenda. Do you agree with the items in this agenda? There are 4 ways you can show your support and help spread LOVE throughout the Black community.