Resistance and Retrenchment
Community change almost never proceeds in a straight line from assessment, to planning, to action, to the changes one hopes for. There are always things that go wrong, competing priorities that draw resources and attention to slow the work, and the need to pause, reflect, rethink and move forward. In racial equity work, however, a group can also anticipate that the work, if it is successful, will be troubling to many of the individuals who benefit from current power arrangements, and disruptive to institutions and organizations that want to move forward in new ways. Even very positive changes face resistance, sometimes from those who stand to benefit in the long run, when they alter current relationships of power in the short run.
Resistance, as used here, refers to the actions (or inactions) that people use to slow work that is threatening to them in some way. Retrenchment refers to a phenomenon in which racial j [...]
“Centering Blackness may be one of our greatest hopes to build solidarity and work together to achieve economic equity. It speaks to how power works in America and the role that race, specifically anti-blackness, has played at the center of a system of domination and marginalization. Thus, the liberatory potential of centering Blackness is the light it shines not on Black identity alone; it’s also about exposing the systems of power that operate to marginalize us all, and most important, illuminating the political solidarities needed for liberation. Centering Blackness points us to a notion of “linked fate” and interdependence, which — together with a vision of freedom and a politics of solidarity — provides a strategy of transformation and economic liberation.”
~ Centering Blackness: The Path to Economic Liberation for All, Insight Center for Community Economic Development
Also in this section: