Let’s elevate the conversation here. This is not a trick to teach you how to get Black people salary increases, or get out of a difficult situation – I may write about it if enough people ask for it in the comments though. This post is about how the community could build on its main asset. I am serious. There is a weapon that the Black Community owns and at best misuses and in most cases, simply does not use right. BLACK CULTURE.
Black Culture is what Joseph Nye describes as soft power “the ability to shape the preferences of others through appeal and attraction. A defining feature of soft power is that it is non-coercive”. Although we call it “soft” this is the most impactful type of power and by far. Think how much goes into hard power. Someone flexes muscle in front of you, and you must do what they want because they are in a dominant position. Soft power on the flip side is subtle. It sneaks up on you without you even noticing. A great example of cultural soft power is the American Culture, mostly spread through Hollywood and its movies. Think of the movie “Jaws”. How many of you are scared of sharks when they swim in the Ocean. When, in reality, sharks are really not a threat to humans. You are more likely to get run over by a car than attacked by a shark. And by a lot. The reason why you are much more scared of sharks than crossing the street is probably due to “Jaws”. Same for me. Even 20 years after watching that movie, I am still scared of sharks when I swim around in Martinique.
Hard power is short term. The enforcer needs to be there for that power to be adequate. And eventually that the enforcer is there or not, the power will run out. Also, hard power is easy to defeat. You want to beat it, you get rid of the enforcer. 100 “weak” people could team up and overthrow the enforcer.
In the case of soft power, once you are hooked, it is very challenging to free yourself from that invisible influence. It lasts for a long time. And if you want to beat it? Well, you can not beat something that you can not see.
My point, Black Culture is a worldwide phenomenon to be reckoned with. It dominates the entertainment industry, in many situations it validates authenticity. Black Culture attracts all type of people. Black Culture is legit!
How do we super-charge Black Culture to impact the most critical community priorities? How does it allow young people to reach their dream? How does it give a platform for others to build and the community (and supporters) to prosper?
Share your thoughts, write a comment.