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2009 - 33rd Annual National Council for Black Studies Words: 381 words || 
1. neal, anthony. "From Self-destruction to Self-instruction in Spirituality" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 33rd Annual National Council for Black Studies, Renaissance Atlanta Hotel Downtown, Atlanta, GA, Mar 19, 2009 <Not Available>. 2019-08-23 <>
Publication Type: Individual Presentation
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine the period from 1989 to the present using the mantra “headed for self-destruction” as a frame of reference to determine if a change in consciousness that leads to heightened spirituality among young black males could give rise to their ability to avoid this seemingly inevitable date with self-destruction. An attempt will also be made to offer suggestions from black spiritual teachings focusing on changing the current paradigm of fatalism and increasing the young black male’s ability to avoid being found dead on arrival. January 1, 1989, saw the release of the KRS1 inspired collaboration “Self Destruction.” It was hip-hop’s attempt to respond to the rampant violence seen among young black males caused by heightened drug and gang activity in the inner cities across America. In the same year, on September 5, President George H. W. Bush declared the official beginning of the War on Drugs aimed at the removal of drugs from the streets of the nation’s urban centers. Ironically, in August of 1989, Huey P. Newton, a pivotal figure in the movement for black freedom was killed in an alleged drug deal gone bad. This is ironic because during his life he developed and taught a philosophy called Revolutionary Suicide. Regardless of the stance one may take concerning his beliefs and political teachings, it would be difficult for anyone to deny his influence on the freedom struggle, on black thought, and also the significance of young black males’ overt attempt to identify with the Black Panthers in general and Huey P. Newton specifically.
The framework of this paper will consist of looking at black youth culture during this period and comparing this culture to the real material experience of young black males during the same period to create a historical context. Next, the period between 1989 and the present will be examined for trends which prove or disprove the fact that the destructive tendencies were slowed or possibly stopped in light of a shift in consciousness aided through the actions taken by the hip hop community, the President, and others. Finally, an attempt will be made to inject other ideas, particularly those of Black Spirituality, such Howard Thurman and others, so as to cause a lasting paradigm shift among young black males.

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