And Educational ProgressThe Conflicts of the Black Race: Delayed Economic and Educational Progress4/4/97In the 1960’s, blacks, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
, fought for their civilrights and equal opportunities. Although they had only been out of slavery forless than a century, they felt the time was way past due for them to receive thesame treatment as other American citizens. Our people struggled to receivedecent education programs for their youth for the right to earn a decent living,and to receive respect from other racial groups. Fortunately for our generation,their fight ended in victory. However, 30 years later, despite the progressmade then, our community does not seem to have kept up with our ancestor’s rateof self-improvement. Not only are blacks still disrespected by other races,problems also plague us such as poverty, drugs, and miseducation.Order now
To makematters even worse, we also have a serious lack of unity. Some of us feel asthough it is not our responsibility to help other blacks when they are in need. Another major problem is the existence of racism. This negative attitude leadsto many physical and psychological problems within the black community. Therefore, lack of unity within the black community and the effects of racismare two major factors when contribute to the slow progress of black people. Before the Civil Rights movement racism was so blatant that not knowing itexisted would have been difficult.
Presently, it is so subtle that some arguewe cannot blame racism for our problems. Unfortunately, they are wrong. Theeffects of racism can be seen in the segregation of our neighborhoods and in ourhigh unemployment rates. White people want to keep their contact with us to aminimum. In 1991, USA Today reported that the 1990 census “concluded that ‘themajority of the nation’s 30 million black people are as segregated now as theywere .
. . in the ’60s’ ” (Smith 104). This proves that although some blacks’incomes have increased, they do not always live in neighborhoods they can affordbecause the area is usually predominately white. The U.
S. Department of Housingand Urban Development found that anti-black discrimination was widespread in thehousing industry in 1992 (Smith 105). This practice can be found in theworkplace. Ed Smith, Ph.
D. found that “blacks with college degrees had a 13percent unemployment rate in 1987 compared to five percent for whites” (Smith112). Many studies exist that prove that college-educated blacks are not muchbetter off than high-school graduates. The U.
S. Commission on Civil Rightsadmitted that “‘lack of education is not the reason for high minorityunemployment’ ” (Smith 112). The only explanation which justifies these figuresis racism. As long as anti-black racism exists, blacks probably could notprogress at the same rate as other minority groups.
It is a well-known fact thatwhite people have more control than minorities in this country. They have thepower to deny blacks housing and unemployment. Because of white people’sprejudices, blacks have found it difficult to move up on the social and economicladder. Also, exposure to constant discrimination causes some people to believethat they are worthless and incapable of succeeding. In order to overcome thisobstacle, we have to take control of our own minds and lives. Until we as apeople become aware and begin to raise our self-esteem, we will continue to l.
. . . . etracism be a plague to our race.
The slow progress of our race has led manyblacks to become pessimistic. They lose their self-respect because they believethat everything is against them. Therefore they give up on trying to betterthemselves and on helping their fellow brothers and sisters. These thoughts arepicked up by youth who grow up believing that there is no way out of the ghetto. When young black men are asked why they commit crimes and drop out of school,they place the blame on society.
Instead of disagreeing with them, more peopleneed to try to understand why they are saying this. A black inner city ministercommented that “you can’t be what you ain’t seen” (Smith 101). The onlyprofessionals that many inner-city youth meet are police officers, judges, andsocial workers. Because these meetings are usually the result of a negativeevent, there is no incentive for the youth to better themselves.
Unless olderblacks become better role models for our youth, the cycle of welfare andunemployment will continue. Although every black person is not in thisparticular situation, the ones who are will hinder the progress of the wholerace. Racism has many negative effects on blacks. The list goes on and on. Ifwe continue to fall victim to these effects, our progress will never be fullyachieved. We, as a people, must take action and start to help ourselves.
Ifthat means pooling our money together and providing better schools and more jobs,then so be it. In order to progress we must do whatever is necessary. Our maindilemma is not that we are not aware of our problems. It is our inability todeal with them. Whenever we come up with solutions to the problem, we startcomplaining about how difficult it is, or how much money it is going to cost. It is very sad when a person can spend $500 on an outfit, but cannot evencontribute $100 to help further a child’s education.
It is a pitiful sight whenwe settle for a job that we are overqualified for instead of getting togetherwith our fellow brothers and sisters and starting our own business. We need tostop saying that we”can’t” and start following Clark Atlanta University’smotto “I’ll find a way or make one. “An example is a program called “FriendsHelping Friends” where people put their money together and give it to one person. It works in the form of a pyramid. There are eight people on the bottom, thenfour, then two, and then one on top. The person on top gets the money from theeight people on the bottom.
That person then moves off the top and the pyramidsplits into two and each start all over again by building up the bottom eightspots. As long as people keep contributing everyone will receive eight timesthe amount that each individual puts in. This is an excellent way to helpothers without having to put yourself in a risky situation. If we could get allneighborhoods to participate in this program, we could easily build our ownschools and businesses. Just because our progress has declined in the past 30years does not mean we have to sit back and wait to hit rock bottom.
Toaccomplish the task of taking control of ourselves, we have to work together asone. If we continue trying to work alone, we will never reach our goals. Yetif we work as a union, we can conquer our failures and continue to move upwardand forward. ReferencesSmith, Ed. Not Yet Over the Hump.
Fairbank, Alaska: JAED, 1994.