You Can Go Down Your Own Path

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - 8:52am
You Can Go Down Your Own Path

Former Black Panther party member Kathleen Cleaver on the third option. Beyond revolt and submission, there is another path, the path of self-realization.

Commentary by:
Mariah Helgeson (@mariahism),  associate producer for On Being
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Kathleen and Eldridge Cleaver, 1970.

Credit: rocor License: Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).


"W.E.B. Du Bois outlined the options you have when you are enslaved, which are essentially revolt or submission. But once you have emancipation, then you have another option, and that is what he called "self-realization," or "self-development."...You don't have to respond to your oppressor; you can go down your own path."

—Kathleen Cleaver, in Saving the Race: Conversations on Du Bois from a Collective Memoir of Souls

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Mariah Helgeson is an associate producer at On Being. She earned a degree in International Affairs with concentrations in the Middle East and Conflict Resolution from George Washington University. She grew up in Minnesota and was a program associate at the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network. When she’s not submerged in a good book she might be found laughing with her teenage sisters or playing chamber music.

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