The United States of America was built on the backs of slaves. For over four hundred years colored men and women bore the brunt of vicious violence from a culture that never saw them as anything better than animals, or at best, second-class citizens.
It wasn’t until the middle of the Twentieth Century that anything truly began to change for the children and grandchildren of America’s former slaves. The gains began to solidify; the reward for centuries of perseverance was a lessening of the violence and deprivations against a people whose skin color made them easy targets.
When the Civil Rights Movement came into its own in the 1960's, millions of Americans began to hold out new hope. The promise of equality for all was a heady blend of justice and opportunity, even in light of continued segregation and police brutality. There was cautious hope that all Americans, regardless of color, would finally enjoy the same opportunity in seeking, and attaining, the American Dream.
The most optimistic of Negroes preached non-violence in the face of racial hatred. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s electrifying “I Have A Dream” speech in the heart of the nation’s capitol was a bellwether event in the Civil Rights movement. His words of hope and optimism rang throughout the world and gave colored people in America reason to hope that the message was finally getting through.
The music on the radio was rife with the blues and soul sounds of the inner city, and crossover artists like Jimi Hendrix, who rocked the crowd on a Max Yasgur’s farm in upstate New York, drove down racial barriers. A little record label called Motown was making a big sound world-wide, becoming one of the greatest pop music hit machines of all time.
But even before King’s speech, not every Negro in America was looking for their measure of the American Dream. Not every Negro in America yearned for the rights and privileges of white America. Not every Negro in America was willing to endure the struggles ahead only to receive the basic consideration to which every man was entitled..
One such Negro, a student of science at a nearly all-white university, decided the wait ahead was too long. He felt the rights and dignities to which all men were entitled were too long in coming to those of his race. Instead of working to change the system, he decided to start his own community, his own country, one predicated on true equality for all. But where to go? America wasn’t about to give Negroes their own state. Africa was too turbulent and the wilds of South America and the industrialized lands of Europe were likewise closed to serious consideration. Political defectors returning from the Communist Bloc countries told depressing stories of discrimination as bad as any in America, compounded by crippling shortages of life’s basic needs.
Despite the challenges, this young man developed a plan and the means to fulfill his bold vision. This meant something no one in the world had conceived of ever before. His vision was to establish a new community by taking the best and the brightest of America’s Negroes to the most hidden, impregnable, defensible location imaginable. He would establish his new order where no political, military or financial world power could interfere. But, he would establish it in secret. He would gather the citizens of his new land in the strictest of confidence. They would leave their lives behind, virtually insuring no one would be the wiser when they were gone.
He, and those chosen to join him, observed the growth of the Civil Rights movement and the violent deaths of men of color for leading a revolution of equality. The deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, John F. Kennedy, and later his brother Bobby, only solidified in this man’s mind the wisdom of his decision to withdraw to build a land where his chosen few could live their lives without the specter of hatred and violence.
His unique community of men and women also watched the social growing pains of their birth country, as well as man’s struggle to leave the planet that bore him to make his mark on other heavenly bodies.
They watched as the cycles of political give-and-take brought the election of war hawks and so-called social conservatives who cared for little more than enriching their friends and families at the expense of everyone else.
They took pride in knowing their community would never suffer the same fate as those in their former homeland. They were insulated from the world’s ills in a place where each generation lived better than the previous. A place where, if one person prospered, every member of their community reaped the same reward.
Their world was composed of heathier, wealthier and far wiser people than those left behind. They insured their incredible run of prosperity by living for the aggrandizement of every new generation, carefully recruiting the best and brightest Negroes America had to offer, and keeping the knowledge of their existence a secret; it was the greatest secret in the history of man.
- - - - -
William Hayashi is a member of the Black Science Fiction Society where he is the host of the
site's Friday night radio show.