Generation Next: The New Black Politician
Given the recent, and somewhat nasty mayoral race in Newark, New Jersey between senior and junior black male candidates and all of its national attention, my thoughts have turned to the state of black leadership today and the crossroads at which our community finds itself. The “old school legacy leaders”—first among those blacks elected to office and generally identified with the civil rights struggle and our tradition of solidarity and unity—are facing off against “new school entrepreneurs.” The new schoolers are children of the former who are beneficiaries of progres; they are smart, technologically savvy, business-minded individuals who may not be as committed to protest marches and community-based programs as they are economic initiatives and public policy with mass appeal. The old school paved the way for the new school but generational clashes abound over issues of respect for the old and readiness of the new. It’s time to make some choices and it’s time to be accountable for the choices me make.
Dr. Ron Walters offers this BlackPressUSA article on The Crisis of Black Political Succession and examines the conflict in Newark (and generally) between what he defines as young moderate politics versus the old guard black establishments.
A follow-up article by the New York Times Associated Press service provides a postscript perspective on challenger Cory Booker’s loss to incumbent Sharpe James.
An excellent overview on new black politicians nationwide from a hip-hop academic perspective comes from the Urban Think Tank, Inc. and this article on The New Breed of Black Politicians by Yvonne Bynoe, President and Co-founder.
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