Published on July 12th, 2015 | by Jameelah "Just Jay" Wilkerson0
Growth and Development
By O. Yisrael
There are longstanding issues plaguing our communities with poverty, low quality education, drugs, and violence. Many have made efforts geared toward solving these issues; however, while many wish to change the grim situations plaguing our communities, there are still those who wish to continue the same negative cycles in order to serve their own interests. Meanwhile, the people who live in these communities are continuing to be generationally affected by the harsh circumstances which often dictate their realities. For many years now, uprisings, protests, and community movements have given credence to the urgent need for change; however, such efforts are often counterproductive or met with opposition from agencies and entities harboring institutionally racist practices as societal norms.
With this in mind, it is imperative that the people within these communities feel empowered with a true understanding that they can determine their own destiny through proper preparation and discipline, inside of a unified vision. Larry Hoover, the chairman of the Growth and Development organization, realized this fact; and therefore, looked to transition the gangster disciples into a new concept called Growth and Development. He changed the organization’s laws and policies in order to reflect individual and collective educational, economic, political, and social growth and development. As stated in the Blueprint, “The vision is a definition of long range goals and objectives, and has put into operation the order for us to begin fulfilling these goals and objectives immediately. The vision is for us to acquire marketable skills that will provide us with a legal avenue of financial support. The vision dictates that we learn the political processes of our community and become involved to the extent of having a voice in our destiny; that we conduct ourselves in a manner that is compatible to our community; that we frown upon the senseless rape, robbery, burglary, theft and murder that is rampant in our community; that we establish ourselves in business that is an asset to ourselves as well as to our community; that we set examples that will make it safe for our youth to be a part of us; and ultimately, that we eliminate the awesome rate of recidivism that is the experience of a large portion of our youth.”
Of course, there are those whose agendas are not served by the success of such a vision. They seek to trivialize this vision by pointing out the flaws of certain specific individuals who have professed to be aligned with this vision, for the sake of discrediting the entire movement by the actions of the few. However, if this concept were universal, we would need to rethink the way we view every organization, based around the compliance of any and all of its agents in abiding by it’s own set of laws and policies. Since none are infallible, all who have attempted to implement creeds upon which they claim to live by without flaw concerning their actions vs proclaimed ideology, (i.e. Christianity, Islam, law enforcement, government, etc.), have suffered opposing interests being perpetuated by radicals from within their own structures. This, however, rarely discredits the entire organizational structure and/or creed, as many would like to see happen with Growth and Development, as well as many other organizations geared toward the positive mobilization of black people in particular, especially in America.
Equipped with this knowledge, we cannot allow opposing elements to continue to affect our morale. Our communities must remove the self doubt and fear which denies us from setting long term goals for success and pursuing them. We must take responsibility for our own communities and strive tirelessly for achievement, allowing our dedication, determination, and discipline, to override our doubt, downfalls, and discouragements. We must look to and consider the positive, productive concepts and ideology that patriarchs like Larry Hoover have set in place for Growth and Development in order to further the vision of this new concept and allow it to be our focus. These sorts of principles must be perpetuated through constant, consistent efforts from within our own communities, as we stand united in our struggle for advancement as a people within one true vision fueled by love and service.