Re-post from The Narrative Matters
When it comes to scholars, there are few that are as outspoken as Dr. Reynaldo Anderson. Born in Okinawa Japan, Dr. Reynaldo Anderson spent 20 years living in St. Louis.
The former Associate Professor of Communications and Chair of Humanities at Harris Stowe State University.
And is now the Associate Professor of Africology and African American Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. He is also the Executive Director and Co-founder of the Black Speculative Arts Movement and has been interviewed by the New York Times.
Dr. Anderson has some criticism about The Mike Brown situation and the Black Lives Matter Movement as he feels it turned out to be more political than anything. Dr. Anderson states “It was primarily elected officials with ties to the local political entities that suppressed certain aspects of that Mike Brown movement.”
When asked about Black Lives Matter, Dr. Anderson says “What had the potential to start out as a positive thing ended up not being successful because the people in the leadership role were not ready for primetime.”
I was interested in getting Dr. Anderson’s take on why we don’t have any vocal forefront leaders as we had back in the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Anderson said this is due to competing platforms of information, the black community is spread out a little more, and Bussing. “Bussing was like Vietnam or the Afghanistan of the Civil Rights Movement.”
He believes this broke a lot of cohesiveness in the black community.
Dr. Anderson is an Afro-Futurist. I asked him what does that term mean? He stated “Afro-Futurism Is how people of African Descent locate themselves in time and space with personal agency.
One thing that I found that was so profound is a quote that Dr. Anderson used from a book titled The Art and Social Life by G. V. Plekhanov 1912. The quote states “Society is not made for the artist, but the artist for society.
Art must promote or gesture to the development of human consciousness in the improvement of the social order.” That quote was important to him because he stated “Trap Music does not improve the social order.”
“Any culture that became great in history did not define itself by the lowest part of the culture.”
When asked what he has going on now? He is the Co-founder of the Black Speculative Arts Movement.
Which is an international network of creatives and artists around the ideas of Afro-Futurism, Afro surrealism, and black forward-thinking creative projects.
His greatest challenge is getting black folks to believe in their capacity to change the world.”If you understood who you were, compared to the world. You wouldn’t take a backseat to anybody.
You would have a clear vision of what you need to do moving forward to take care of your family, yourself, and your community.” His greatest accomplishment is celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary and raising a strong family.
His advice to the upcoming youth is to read Carter G. Woodson’s book ‘The Mis-Education of The Negro’, ‘How to Win Friends’ and ‘Influence People in the Digital Age’ by Dale Carnegie, and any of his own books.
“Too many people of our youth are being influenced by flash, dash, and messages, and not by substance.” When asked if we will ever get Reparations, Dr. Anderson states “I think that’s a strong possibility, but don’t let the elite Negros out here bargain away your position because the reparations movement has always been driven by everyday black folks.”
When asked when it is all said and done, what is it that you want the world to know about Dr. Reynaldo Anderson? “Hopefully my two daughters turn out to be really good honorable women, have good families, and I will have books that will carry on what my ideas were about.”
“People are going to say some stuff, But watch what I have done.”
Dr. Anderson leaves us with these words of wisdom. “Be a solid person. Represent yourself with dignity and success will come when you put the work in. There are no shortcuts to long-term success.”