Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, W.E.B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Well. The list of influential Black leaders who gave their lives—both literally and figuratively—for the struggle of freedom and equality for all people is broad.

Throughout the years we, the post-civil rights generations, have learned about the sacrifices of these leaders and have wondered when another would step up to take their places. Sure some (Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, et. al) have shown interest is claiming the role, but they’ve all fallen short for one reason or another.

Despite making vast progress in such a short period of time (legalized segregation was just outlawed 50 years ago), African-Americans and other people of color still face a myriad of challenges today.

But do we need “Black leaders” to call attention to these problems or should grass-roots movements be enough to address these issues?

Let’s talk about it!


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  • so yeah you know

    This has got me thinking Obama is black and he is a leader but he is anything but a “black leader.” As much as I love the man, I still can’t help but feel he is not doing much to help black people. But at the same time who says he has to? None of the other presidents were “white leaders.” I’m so conflicted.

  • MC

    Back in the 60s during King and Malcom’s day, when mainstream eurocentristic America was denying Black people in this country their civil rights and opportunities to even survive as human beings, Black people colllectively had more pride and more unity. Now fast forward to today, living in this de-segregated so called post-racial america, you get attacked and even looked down on by even other black people for being pro-black. You have black people attacking the natural hair movement which imo is a black cause. There is no collective pride or unity amoung the black “community”.

  • Bonified Liz

    I agree! We surely need more black leaders. Yes I will say there are some celebrities who we can say are sorta kinda playing the role as black leaders but good is that if the world isn’t changing for greatness. However, to me there aren’t any leaders today playing the roles of the few names named above. Today we are still facing some of the many problems that were happening years ago that martin luther king , malcolm x and etc were fighting to change. I have yet to see or hear someone trying to make a change(well besides obama) in this world today. So I believe that we truly need new Black leaders.