This is an update of a post from a couple of years ago. I am presenting an updated version because I believe that this post has something to teach us all.
I use the Black Pledge with my youth group. The Pledge was developed in 1968, by Shirley Williams for the Black Panthers. Despite their public image, the Black Panthers embraced all of the values that most Americans hold dear.
I am not a member, nor have I ever been. But when I was thinking about a statement for my youth group when, this came to mind.
I remembered the existence of this pledge from hearing it back in the 70’s, so I looked it up to share with my group.
The purpose of a pledge is to state the values, principles and mission of an organization. It assures that each and every member of the organization, knows what is expected of them.
When a person makes a pledge it, is a statement of agreement with that pledge as well as loyalty to the organization.
The United States of America has a pledge; so do as the Girl Scouts, Boy, Scouts, and most Fraternities.
This is the statement regarding the Girl Scout Promise Pledge, from the Girl Scouts website.
The Girl Scout Promise and Law are shared by every member of Girl Scouting.The Girl Scout Promise is the way Girl Scouts agree to act every day toward one another and other people. The Girl Scout Law outlines a way to act towards one another and the world.
The Black Pledge The Black Panther Pledge October 26, 1968 by Shirley Williams
I pledge allegiance to my Black People.
I pledge to develop my mind and body to the greatest extent possible.
I will learn all that I can in order to give my best to my People in their struggle for liberation.
I will unselfishly share my knowledge and understanding with them in order to bring about change more quickly.
I will discipline myself to direct my energies thoughtfully and constructively rather than wasting them in idle hatred.
I will train myself never to hurt or allow others to harm my Black brothers and sisters; for I recognize that we need every Black Man, Woman, and Child to be physically, mentally and psychologically strong.
These principles I pledge to practice daily and to teach them to others in order to unite my People.
Let’s examine this pledge
Line 1 I pledge allegiance to my Black People. Allegiance, means support and cooperation.
It means that I will come to your defense if you need me and I expect you to come to mine.
Line 2 I pledge to develop my mind and body to the greatest extent possible.
To develop my mind and body to the greatest extent possible. Promotes physical fitness and intellect.
Line 3 I will learn all that I can in order to give my best to my People in their struggle for liberation. To give my best to my people in their struggle for liberation.
No one is suggesting a revolution, but a change has got to come. This is a call for a Ethos based revolution.
Education, Cultural History, Earth Knowledge and Wisdom. Change can be affected in the arts, in the sciences, and in the humanities. It can take place in homes, on playgrounds and in the church. Change can happen in politics and in industry.
The liberation that is being spoken of is more psychological then physical. Consider liberation from the mental hold that seems to have followed us from slavery, through the civil rights movement, and into today. It suggests that we should be able to free ourselves from the impact of hundreds of years of institutional discrimination, both conscious and unconscious. This is a call for us to do something about our own situation. Within our own communities and through our own efforts.
Line 4 I will keep myself physically fit, building a strong body free from drugs and other substances which weaken me and make me less capable of protecting myself, my family and my Black brothers and sisters.
Physical fitness, purposeful nutrition, and abstinence from things that affect you mental awareness and physical well being.
Protect myself… Every man desires to protect his home and family.
Line 5 I will discipline myself to direct my energies thoughtfully and constructively rather than wasting them in idle hatred.
Discipline and positive use of energy and effort.
Line 6 I will train myself never to hurt or allow others to harm my Black brothers and sisters
Care and concern for your own kind and humanity in general.
Line 7 for I recognize that we need every Black Man, Woman, and Child to be physically, mentally and psychologically strong.
A strong community of strong, healthy, mentally stable a brothers and sisters.
Line 8 These principles I pledge to practice daily and to teach them to others in order to unite my People.
Unity, every family tribe and nation on this planet strives for unity within its group.
Please take this pledge to heart, learn it live it teach it. Have a conversation with the youth in your village so that they might become strong fit caring and wise.
It takes a village to raise a child, This is My Village Project
Take care of your village
The Village Mother