Sunday, February 18, 2007

He/She's My Black Leader??

I've noticed that there are many black men and women out there who have positioned themselves as Black Leaders. To me it is a noble gesture of these individuals to expose themselves to the media, public opinion and any other forces to help uplift the Black Community and even the Black GBLT Community. They subject themselves to much ridicule and sometimes danger.

Unfortunately, I have seen too often that some of these self-proclaimed leaders tend to change from the Nobel Fighters to the Narcissistic Sponges. They become media seekers looking for fame at every corner. Yes in many instances they are getting a much needed message out to the public. The messages are the buttons that push society into some sort of action. Be it thought or physical the messages cause one to act. I ask you to think about these messages. Are these really the messages that you are interested in or are they the messages that cause the most controversy and media attention of the day.

What is it that changes these leaders path? Is it their desire to be heard by the white mainstream or even the white gaystream? Is it white people that still control what is credible for us? How do they accomplish this? Is it the promise of fame, the lure of recognition or simply the desire to be famous by any means necessary.

I know that those in the limelight do not always have the ability to give attention to all they come in contact with. However, I do believe that these leaders should have some sense of loyalty to those that have helped in catapulting their careers. Sadly I don't see that enough. What I do see more of is the me me syndrome. Can you do something for me? Are you of the ilk that I should associate myself with? Can you help get me recognized? When these questions are asked it is undeniable that this leader is not a leader that seeks to support his community. He's a leader that hopes to further his financial and public image. Some people just want to be famous.

If it is in your heart to be a leader then monetary or media gain should not be a factor. You'll be a leader because what you say and do are what needs to be heard and done, those who hear you trust you and believe that you have others interests in mind. Don't be one of those leaders that talks to you when you can do something for them or introduce them to someone that can help further their career and once they've achieved whatever it is they forget how they got there.

If you believe that I'm off base tell me. Do we need leaders? What are the characteristics of a true leader?

I believe that we are all leaders. Our attempts may not be to lead an entire community. Our actions lead those around us by the positive influence that we project. We can lead those around us by sharing our experiences and knowledge so that it impowers others to make choices that better one's life.


BronzeBuckaroo said...

You aren't off base in any way. I've written the same thing myself in choice words. I know. I know. I talk of brotherhood among black gay men to much. But, like you I worry. I see so many networking clicks or clicks having to do with status, education, money, and etc. among black gay men, especially here in the blogosphere. "What can you do for me?"

I'd like to see brotherhood and sisterhood among black gay and lesbian folks, a sense of community. Maybe I want it to much sometimes.

blkbutterfly said...

"Some people just want to be famous."--- i think this statement summed up it very well. being a leader and being famous are oftentimes synonmous, but the differece between the two are the person's intentions.

in this day and age, i'm not sure if there will (or should) be a figure who speaks for the masses. like you said, we have the power to be leaders in our own spheres of influence. as cliche as it may sound, we must be the change we want to see in the world.

glad you're back, by the way! :-)

WhozHe said...

Hopefully, true altruism is still possible in our community. Without it we will always be subjected to a man/woman's personal agenda once in a position of leadership.