The Odyssey Consortium’s Black First Initiative Code of Conduct
As we strive toward the unity and the elevation of the black race in America and abroad, it is paramount that we develop a specific code of behavior that must be adhered to at all times. Where there is no code, there is no order, and where there is no order, confusion and desolation rules.
- No black person is to commit a crime, of any kind, against another black person. Although criminality is not condoned in any form, there must be a special emphasis placed on criminal acts perpetrated against our own. This is especially true as it pertains to physical and emotional violence against our women and children. Any violation of this code must be dealt with swiftly and decisively — especially harm perpetrated by Black men toward Black women and children — no exceptions
- No black person is to behave disrespectfully towards another black in any way. Respect for other blacks must be held in the highest regard.
- Whenever possible, support black-owned businesses who have a history of pouring into the black community. Not every business that is owned by a black is for the black cause.
- Every black person must find an organization that is active in the black struggle and offer their support, financially and through direct involvement.
- All black fathers must be actively involved in the lives their children to the greatest extent possible. This will definitely be a work in progress. With many factors involved, the actions of the fathers will initially be relative. For instance, it is impossible for a father that lives in another city to spend the same amount of contact time with their progeny; however, they are still required to maintain involvement through phone calls, letters, text messages etc. Financial support must also be provided to the extent possible. (Also see The Black Man’s Creed below.)
- All black mothers must refrain from using the child support system as a leverage mechanism to control and break their exes. It is imperative for the black community to resume the reigns of its social structure, including the family nucleus. We must seize power from entities that promote the destruction of the black nuclear family. This means fathers and mothers finding a way to work together for the best interest of the child.
- Family first above all else.
- Each one teach one. We must develop a mindset that encourages blacks to reach back and pull someone else up as they progress.
- We must fight to assume the roles of educators for our youth. It is time out for demanding that the public school system provide an effective education for our children. This is, and has always been, our responsibility!
- Never insult another black because they fail to share the same views as you. Each person is on their individual journey of consciousness, and this means that each of us are at different stages. Respect the journey of others and offer your assistance and knowledge through love, whenever possible.
- Increase the focus on history and heritage — meaning that reading and research must become a requirement. Every black adult is required to read at least four afro-centric books per year — one per quarter. Every child over the age of eight is required to read at least three afro-centric books per year — one each school semester, and one during the summer.
The Black Man’s Creed
“I am a black man — the ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of my circumstances sets me apart from other men.
Uncompromising integrity is my standard. My character and honor are steadfast. My word is my bond. I expect to lead, and I embrace the responsibilities associated with leadership. When the need for leadership arises, I will take charge. I will lead my family, my community and my race through example as well as with compassion and understanding.
I refused to be defined by my mistakes and past failures, but rather by my resilience and refusal to give up, surrender or retreat.
I will never quit. In fact, I thrive in adversity. My family, and all whom I lead, expect me to be physically and mentally stronger than the enemy that threatens their existence, happiness and right to live at the level of their potential.
If I get knocked down, I will get back up every time. Surrender and retreat are not an option; therefore, I will draw upon every resource to protect my family, my home and all that has been placed within my dominion.
I will complete my mission — I will never quit — I am never out of the fight!”
A couple of years ago when I was fighting to pick myself up off of my back, I wrote this adaptation to the Navy Seal’s creed. It is posted on my wall next to my desk, and I read it every morning. I wish that I can say that I have mastered it all, but I can say that I never quit and I am still in the fight. Life tried to erase me from the equation, but I am still standing because only death will stop me.
Many of you have allowed your failures and mistakes to define you. Many have allowed the random opinion of others to influence how you see yourself. Learn to measure yourself against your potential and not the expectations of others. Challenge yourself to rise above mediocrity. Our people need us, and we must be prepared for what lies ahead. Join me in making this creed the national creed of black men. Let’s hold one another accountable to this standard.
I enlisted in this war with one objective; to win! I will either achieve my objective, or I will die on the battlefield fighting for it. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace, Ph.D.
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