AfroSpear Growing Pains
(Crossposted at AfroSpear.wordpress.com)
When this particular thing called “AfroSpear” was created, we didn’t have a three, six, nine, twelve or thirty six month plan. We, the six of us, knew a couple of things: we wanted to do more for Afrikan people in the diasopora. And, we wanted to connect with people in the Afrikan diaspora to facilitate our own growth and that of our people.
We, naively perhaps, thought that we could make a contribution, not by “leading” people, but by providing a place that could function as an incubator for black folks to lead themselves. Think, plan, create, act…and then reflect on the thinkingplanningcreatingacting.
AfroSpear was birthed in April. We’ve come far, but we have so far to go, primarily because we want and need the participation of more of our people. Some have expected the worst out of us and believe that they’ve seen it – from afar. Even a few folks who have come in with goodwill and an open mind have been turned off by our shortcomings.
We understand. We are flawed. We haven’t plugged the many holes in the dyke; of course, we’re still building it as the racist flood waters rush by – over, under and all around us. We’re under pressure to be perfect, to appeal to all of our disparate, unique selves.
How do we make it better? How do we get out of our own way and make this page serve rather than alienate? We need YOU!
I propose that a couple of mistakes be corrected:
1) There should be no distinction between the AfroSpear “Circle/Nation.” We ARE the Circle, ALL of us! The only thing those of us who formed this page should do is facilitate the discussion, moderate the comments, put in our two cents. But our two cents is no more important than yours. Because its all of OURS!
2) Membership & Overmanagement. If you’re black, you are a member. There should be no requirements to “join” this page. Show up and you’re in; if you want to be linked here, BOOM, there it is! I don’t care if people are democrats, republicans, voodoo practitioners…you are one of us. Let’s be an open ended space where the majority feel comfortable communicating and feel like their words have an audience and will be heard and maybe even utilized.
3) Civility and Bans. We want to treat each other here with respect. We know that that is hard for all of us sometimes. I try to use my page for my more “in your face” diatribes, but try to keep the “AfroSpear” page sacred. As moderators, I believe we should keep it clean, as well as real. “Character blassisination,” that masquerades as criticism has no place here; of course, some of the more skilled rhetoricians know how to straddle the line. All I can say is, we should do our best to figure out the difference and ban folk only as a last resort.
4) Brainstorms/Plans/Action. I think its critical to have a “philosophical,” analytical, planning component. Some people are all about action, without reflection, without foresight, without strategy. They just want to “do.” That’s a wonderful sentiment, but in most cases fails miserably. To quote Denzel, “this is chess, not checkers!” My hope is that we use this space to look and then leap, but only after knowing where we’re going and planning for the exigencies that might develop on the way down.
5) Welcome the Fencesitters. There’s a lot of brainpower hanging back, waiting. Maybe they are waiting for us to fail so that they can say, “I told you so.” What kind kind of spectator sport is it to stay detached from an effort to help your people and root for that effort to fail – minus the ingredients you could have added if only you’d wanted to?
Speak. Post here. Pick this thing apart in our faces. This site should be that open that it wants to hear such a critique made to us, not about us. Bring it.
We need all hands on deck. Its about progress, not perfection; we’ll never get far if we don’t have our “stars.” Come Home. HELP. S-O-S!!!
We need to tweak this thing, to make it work. Let’s do it. I’m not wedded to how its done, just that it’s done.
The AfroSpear/AfroSphere/Blackosphere is all the same thing. Let’s keep it simple, open, welcoming and diverse.
Let us be the spot where Afrikans in the diaspora plan and plot our ascent.