With Black History Month still in full effect, it is only befitting to continue to learn and absorb the various token-ed advancements in the legacies left behind from my Black, or rather in a more politically correct sense, African American forefathers / mothers / brothers and sisters. Among those token-ed advancements, was the inception of the term known as, The Talented Tenth. Used to define a class of leadership within the Black / African American community, it was a foundation, an ideology, created to delineate specific persons of color who would / could achieve very prominent levels within their academic, career and social lives.
Originating in the late 1800's among Northern white liberals that had the desire and goal of establishing black colleges in the South to train black teachers and elites, The Talented Tenth, outlined the possibilities out of one in every ten Black / African American men becoming leaders within their communities and throughout the world. By just simply continuing their education, writing, or becoming directly involved in social change, these lucky men could become beacons / symbols of change and progress within the greater race, as a whole.
If you’d like to read more on this, you can follow up with the article that PBS published on this same topic, titled: Who Really Invented the ‘Talented Tenth’? Written by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and originally published on The Root. You may also follow up with this topic via the essay written by W.E.B. Dubois, published with the titled: The Talented Tenth, here.
And as always, read, share and repeat.
:: Post Rationalizing(s)
“To know how much there is to know is the beginning of learning to live.”
— Dorothy West —