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A heterogeneous community

Melvin B. Miller

Social acceptance of racial diversity has been retarded by the mistaken belief that so-called African Americans belong to one coherent racial group. In fact, black opinions are heterogeneous. According to “Boston’s Banner Years: 1965-2015, A Saga of Black Success,” blacks supported various philosophical positions.

“Some preferred the commitment to universal racial integration as espoused by William Monroe Trotter (1872-1934) as opposed to the subservient acceptance of a lesser role as proposed by Booker T. Washington (1856-1915). Pan Africanists supported the racial separation encouraged by Marcus Garvey, who died in 1940.

“Then there were the various religious groups: Baptists, Episcopalians, Catholics, Methodists, Congregationalists, African Methodist Episcopalians, and also the Nation of Islam. Participation in the Civil Rights Movement required acceptance of the principle of nonviolence. Still others were in favor of revolutionary, or violent action. All of this diverse opinion makes it impossible to view African Americans as a homogeneous group, united by their melanin.”

There is no alternative for blacks or whites but to disregard the concept of race and to view one another as individuals.

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