AND..The Question Is?

We surely could cover the earth with the endless list of questions formed in a multitude of versions from White Americans regarding what African-Americans want in this society.

To anyone reading this article who ponder the same question my response is as follows. Will another explanation make any difference? Explanations have been given spanning hundreds of years.

The history of the African American experience is unique to any other experience in this country as documented by historians, activist, authors, poets, preachers, demonstrators, warriors, and advocates. There are hundreds whose work you may choose to study.

Here are a few for your consideration: Carter G. Woodson ( 1875-1950), Charles H. Wesley (1891-1987), Rayford W. Logan (1897-1982), Nathan Irvin Huggins (1927-1989) Dorothy Porter Wesley (1905-1995, John Hope Franklin (1915-2009) John W. Blassingame, Sr. (1940-2000).

The question has been sufficiently answered by organization such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Urban League , Rainbow Push Coalition, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) The Innocence Project, and Black Lives Matter.

By the time of the American Revolution (1775–1783), the status of enslaved people had been institutionalized as a racial caste system associated with African ancestry. The 13th Amendment, adopted on December 18, 1865, officially abolished slavery, but freed Black peoples’ status in the post-war remained precarious. Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. said that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was nothing less than a “second emancipation.”

Present day White American activist Tim Wise explains it in a 2002 essay: ‘”n*gger” was and is a term used by whites to dehumanize blacks, to imply their inferiority, to “put them in their place” if you will, the same cannot be said of “honky”: after all, you can’t put white people in their place when they own the place to begin with. ‘Power is like body armour,’ Tim continues. ‘And while not all white folks have the same degree of power, there is a very real extent to which all of us have more than we need vis-à-vis people of colour: at least when it comes to racial position, privilege and perceptions.’ At the root of it all, is there really a question regarding what African-American want in this society or is the issue resistance, denial, solicitude, prevarication of information, and preserving of the status quo.

— Willie Shaw