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Black History Month: Progress of Blacks in America is just an illusion | Opinion

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By Bashir Muhammad Ptah Akinyele

White supremacy has existed since the founding of America and as a result black people suffer in warped systems of racial discrimination.

Blacks form a permanent underclass, favored by the American legal system which has established laws to protect racial mistreatment of black people.

As a result of this racist American legal system, people of African descent could not live like their white counterparts. Black people have been legally controlled, belittled and prevented from advancing in the United States

In the 1950s, black people began to struggle against racism and segregation, and during this period, the The civil rights movement flourished.

African Americans formed coalitions and alliances with other groups and challenged both political parties to change racist laws that legally reduced black people to the lowest levels of American society. And following years of mass rallies led by black leaders, the African-American community won important civil rights and voting rights protections.

In 1966 the The Black Power movement emerged. This form of black liberation helped African Americans develop a high level of Black Cultural Pride while holding racism and white supremacy accountable to social justice.

Bashir Muhammad Ptah Akinyele teaches history and African studies in Newark Public Schools. He says that over the years the interests of the African-American community have been pushed aside in the United States by the Republican and Democratic parties.Ande Richards | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Blacks have made tremendous strides through American civil rights and Black Power Movements. By the 1970s, African Americans were more visible in all sectors of society. There were more mayors, council members, judges, congressmen, businesses, educational opportunities, athletes, and TV shows featuring black characters.

When these new social changes began to take shape in the United States, many people – black and white – believed that African Americans were heading towards equality.

African-American concerns are sidelined by the Republican and Democratic parties.

Incarceration rates have skyrocketed, and a disproportionate number of blacks began to be locked into the penal system compared to whites. Police violence against black people has increased.

Good paying, well-paying jobs have dried up in and around black neighborhoods. Poverty and unemployment have increased dramatically. Blacks began to live below depressive levels of poverty. Black wealth never became equal to white wealth.

Drug addiction has increased in the African-American community, and drug addiction has become a crime. Senseless violence has increased and black people have become the group with the most homicide victims in America.

Black progress has lagged further and further behind white and even other non-black cultures in America.

In Newark, this infernal spiral was triggered in a 1967 rebellion.

In this context, the sons and daughters of the civil rights and black power movements are calling for a new black agenda. Fifty years ago, the Black National Political Convention (NBPC) was held in Gary, Indiana, under the leadership of the late black power leader, Imamu Amiri Baraka.

That same year, Amiri Baraka successfully helped elect Ken Gibson as the city’s first African-American mayor right after black people rose up to fight decades of racial oppression in the form of the Newark Rebellion in 1967.

The organizers of this year’s NBPC are Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Jackson, Mississippi Mayor Chockwe Lumumba, and the late legendary jazz and R&B producer James Mtume. Find information here on the upcoming 2022 Black National Political Convention in Newark.

Black progress is stagnant; change must now come to the African American community because America is still unequal.

Bashir Muhammad Ptah Akinyele is a high school history and African studies teacher at Newark Public Schools. He is also co-coordinator of Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations study group chapter in Newark and organizer of the National Black Political Convention.

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