Dr. Boyce Watkins, a finance professor at my alma mater Syracuse University, has written a thoughtful and provocative essay about President Obama and the role of black intellectuals in responding to the needs of Black America. I’ve copied the passage offering a cogent argument for Mr. Obama to convene A Black Agenda Summit. Read and decide for yourself. Then comment below as you see fit.
Dr. Boyce writes
“President Obama [should] open the door for real leadership by letting black leaders propose solutions to piercing problems. Instead of taking care of some people and rejecting others, bring several black public figures to the table and hear what they have to say. That means bringing Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Cornel West, Tavis Smiley,Michael Eric Dyson and Julianne Malveaux (an Economics PhD who knows a great deal about the black unemployment problem) in one room, allowing everyone to give their opinions on what we can do as a nation to confront the daunting and persistent disease of racial inequality in America. Any black person who doesn’t think that race still matters in America is either living in denial or living under a rock – the president must deal with this issue.
The president can’t fix all of these problems by himself, we know that. But he should not be allowed to ignore them either, since no president has been allowed to do so. When we talk about victories for black America, we can’t presume that wins and losses are determined solely by the condition of the black aristocracy. All of us should be factored into the equation.” More
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and author of the book, “Black American Money.”
Should President Obama convene an African American issues summit?
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