10/10/09

Guest Blogger: Part I- When a Black Leader Needs to Retire

Guest Blogger Antoine Marshall was inspired from a conversation he had on the posting of a friend (shoutout to Bradley), regarding the BET employee's comments about BET which can be found here.  Antoine Marshall is currently a first year law student at Wake Forest. http://www.linkedin.com/pub/antoine-marshall/1a/267/148
There is one section in particular that brought out the larger conversation that follows.

I came in with a plan to provide balance and to deliver good music to the masses and help make BET relevant again -- at least in the dot-com world. Those attempts were shut down by out-of-touch executives who run a dot-com but could barely turn on a computer.

The short explanation of this is that a bright young intelligent employee of BET proposed quality ideas to BET, but BET with an absolute deterrence to anything remotely successful shot down these quality ideas.
We could leave off there and chalk it up to BET executives living up to the failure that is BET, but I think it brings up a more pressing issue of significant importance within the black community and that is the idea of black leaders stepping down.

One thing is inevitable, we all lose it at some point. Either through physical or mental deterioration, or the result of a changing of times, there is a point in our life when we are on the decline, unable to do the thing that we're best at, or at least unable to do so on the same level. Jordan's high flying dunks were replaced by the fadeaway jumpshot, Ali's foot speed and piston like jabs were replaced by the rope-a-dope, Ray Charles' fast paced fusion of gospel and Rock & Roll was replaced by slower ballads. But what about our black community leaders?
Unlike Jordan, Charles, and Ali community leaders can't just choose to retire. In the black community they remain public images throughout their lives, many of them living relics of a past fight or struggle. The problem is, is that they don't wish to relinquish that image, wanting to be forever viewed as the champion of abolition, civil rights, or whatever worthy cause they had so much success with, often times to the detriment of their causes.

Don't believe me? I bring up three examples

Stay Tuned for Part II of When a Black Leader Needs To Retire

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