We’re Playing Chess, Not Checkers to Empower the Black Community


As a member of the Black community in the United States, I am acutely aware of the challenges and injustices we face daily. But in 2024, we have embraced a new mindset—one that is proactive rather than reactive, strategic rather than impulsive. We are playing chess, not checkers, as we empower ourselves beyond the confines of institutional and systemic racism in America.

Chess, a game of intellect and strategy, is an apt metaphor for the path we have chosen. To win at chess, one must think several moves ahead, anticipate the opponent’s actions, and utilize each piece effectively. Similarly, empowering the Black community requires a deep understanding of the systems at play, a thoughtful approach to dismantling them, and an unwavering commitment to progress.

Institutional racism has plagued our society for far too long, leaving us marginalized and disadvantaged in various aspects of life. But we refuse to be passive victims. We recognize that true empowerment lies in taking control of our narrative, asserting our voices, and challenging the status quo. We understand that we must not only demand change but actively work towards it, employing strategic moves that disrupt the existing power structures.

The first step in our chess game for empowerment is knowledge. We educate ourselves about the historical and ongoing struggles faced by the Black community. We study the policies and laws that perpetuate systemic racism, and we analyze the mechanisms of power that keep us oppressed. Armed with this knowledge, we can identify the weaknesses in the system and strategize on how to dismantle them.

Just like chess pieces, we leverage our strengths and skills to make strategic moves. Each member of our community has unique abilities and talents to contribute. We uplift and support one another, recognizing that our collective strength is greater than the sum of its parts. We form alliances and build networks, working collaboratively to challenge the structures that perpetuate inequality.

But empowerment is not just about individual success; it is also about lifting others as we rise. We advocate for education reform that provides equitable resources and opportunities for all Black students, ensuring that future generations are well-equipped to face the challenges ahead. We support entrepreneurship and economic initiatives within our community, creating a pathway for financial independence and generational wealth.

Moreover, we engage in the political arena, recognizing that policy changes are essential for long-lasting transformation. We demand representation at all levels of government, working tirelessly to elect officials who understand our unique struggles and are committed to addressing them. We use our collective voice to influence legislation and hold elected officials accountable.

Playing chess, not checkers, means thinking beyond immediate victories and considering the long-term impact of our actions. We anticipate the counter-moves of those who seek to maintain the status quo and respond strategically. We understand that progress takes time and perseverance, but we remain undeterred. We celebrate the small victories along the way, knowing that each move brings us one step closer to achieving true empowerment for the Black community.

In 2024, we are no longer content with reactive measures or symbolic gestures. We are playing chess, and we are playing to win. We refuse to be mere pawns on the chessboard of life. Our voices, our actions, and our determination will shape a future where the Black community is truly empowered, where equality and justice prevail, and where the impact of institutional racism is but a fading memory.

So, to those who seek to challenge us, remember this: you may have our attention, but you’ll have to come get our king. We are playing chess, not checkers, and we are determined to emerge victorious, empowered, and united on all fronts.