Friday, September 08, 2006

the new black politics

In the article "Bigger Than Hip-Hop: A Look at the State of Black Leadership" writer Glen Ford (also editor of takes yet another stab at revealing how (and if) the torch is being passed to a new generation of black leadership. In the article, Ford quotes 27-year-old activist Adrienne Marie Brown who describes a situation in which the old-school Civil Rights lions are guarding the door, cutting their eyes at young would-be newcomers. Then Brown rightly turns the finger back at us. “Most black middle-class young people—a huge arena—don’t identify as hip hop or as civil rights. They just want to boogie. They don’t want to mess anything up.” Sad but true. Read the rest of the article in In These Times, which mostly looks at the fledgling hip-hop activism movement HERE.
The young Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, whom we profile in DT, escaped this fate the old fashion way: being born into politics. (Mom a Congresswoman, dad an old Detroit pol). Still, he's smart, he has brass, he's flashy, fresh and committed to leading maybe the blackest big city in America. Kilpatrick is a great case study for the future of not only black leadership, but also the nitty gritty urban issues that most affect black people today and tomorrow, too. That, and watching him joust with the local news media is entertaining as hell to watch.
Although he is totally lacking in that unmistakably Detroit flair, we are also keeping our eye on the front runner of the D.C. mayor's race, Adrian Fenty. He is also in his mid-30s, has been endorsed by Marion Barry and has produced a lot of teeth-gnashing from the old guard.

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