With 5,157 Facebook likes in just a few short days, the #OccupytheHood movement seems to be gaining some positive momentum. I swear, this is a beautiful thing!
Occupy the Hood is the brainchild of Malik Rhasaan, a construction worker and father of three from South Jamaica, Queens, and Ife Johari Uhuru, a stylist specializing in natural hair and mother of two boys. She’s a longtime community activist. The two know each other through the Internet. Uhuru and Rhasaan are running OTH, which is for all intents and purposes an awareness campaign to get people of color involved, as Rhasaan stressed: “People don’t know why Wall Street affects them. It affects us the most when we’re not knowledgeable about it.”
From the founders of the #OccupytheHood movement:
We are The Least Represented We are Among The Ignored We are Among The Unemployed We are Considered The Under Educated We are Considered The Minority We are The Consumers But most importantly WE ARE THE HOOD!!
The neighborHOOD is where the hearts of the people are. Our homes, our parks, our selves. It is in our best interest to have all abled voices heard to bring forth a peaceful solution in this world we have been given. There are millions of people that are effected by the Wall Street crisis. The questionable, unethical activities downtown Manhattan… and in Corporate America directly effects our economic struggles and the future of all business and personal endeavors.
Tell me about it.
United Black America has been repeating this apparently secret information since our inception. The funny thing about the whole movement is that Occupying the hood is what we should have been doing from jump – since waaay back. I mean since Overtown…
Overtown and the Disintegration of the American Hood
If I might digress for a moment…
Overtown was a successful, stable, all Black community in Florida. The people had common causes and related to each other, there was economic development, businesses, furniture stores, clothing stores, soda water bottling company. The professionals, doctors, lawyers, other professionals were there. The youngsters were considered youngsters of the community so that everyone felt some responsibility for their upbringing. Everyone was Black and family in Overtown. Segregation, of course, contributed to that, but segregation caused it to be a hood where people had a real sense of community.Then along came the Plantation Negro, with his ideals of integration, buy-in to the American dream, and adoption of white values. Within a few short years of Overtown’s foray into integration, it was a ghost town. The “I gotta get mine” mentality that Capitalism invariably fosters led to a disregard for the health of the hood as a whole. The story of Overtown became the story of hoods across the country.
It is my hope that with the advent of the #OccupytheHood movement, that we will do just that – reoccupy and claim ownership for the places that we live. That we stop relying on government and Wall Street for what we should be doing for ourselves. That we truly change the self-destructive trajectory that we have been on and correct the mistakes we made during the Civil Rights movement.
Can ‘Occupy the Hood’ Protests Work?
Last week, Clutch Magazine asked the question “Can ‘Occupy the Hood’ Protests Work?” My answer is YES, provided reasons are given for Brothas and Sistas to move into action. As if we needed specifics, here are the three most important: