September 22, 2023

Progress for Black America begins with our youth

“Don’t cry your way out, sweat your way out, work your way out…We must revive our expectations of decency, honor and dignity… I was born in the slum but in no way did I earn the right to do less than my best… The first step in changing your condition is to change your mind. Nothing in the world is more powerful than a made-up mind. “ — Rev. Jesse Jackson

Can BLACK LIVES REALLY MATTER while BLACK People are still killing each other? This question was posted on a sign in Washington, DC near Marvin Gaye’s Community Garden.

Our government can help, but our government can’t stop the violence. Citizens strengthening families and communities can help, but cannot stop the violence. Good government has historically launched powerful anti-poverty programs and we know that much violence in the hood is the product of ignorance and poverty. Most black poverty following slavery and Jim Crow segregation was a product of institutionalized racism, not an individual racist shouting N – Words. The ghetto in Chicago, New Orleans, Birmingham and Houston, Texas is a child of White America.

The pandemic has taken us back to the conclusions reached by the Kerner Commission after the 1960’s rebellions in Watts, Chicago and Newark.


“Our society is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and UNEQUAL. The Ghetto, white institutions created it and white institutions maintain it and white society condones it,” the report states.

The time is very near where black people, their policymakers and leaders will have to own the “misplaced aggression” in black communities. Flawed social policy in Chicago and other urban communities must be examined.

One of the most influential social scientists, a doctor of what ails the community was Dr. Kenneth Clarke, who authored “Dark Ghetto.” Over 60 years ago, I remembered him focusing his analysis on a “tangled web of pathologies.” Don’t trip on pathology, popular speech seems to prefer dysfunctional.

Unemployment and Underemployment are the objective reasons for drug trafficking in the hood, but the subjective and more powerful reason is psychological slavery through uneducated minds. Lack of money and the frustration of not having money produces AIDS – Acquired Income Deficiency Syndrome.

We must raise our “aim” and we must temper our expectations. In 1965, over 70% of black children had the support and protection of two parent families. Today, only about 23% of black families are intact to support and protect their children. Under-resourced grandparents have stepped up to stabilize a three-legged stool. About half of white births are out of wedlock. A predictor for success in America is having two-parent families and the strong family ethos that surrounds the children.

There are credible studies that show that persistent and chronic discord in a marriage can produce worse outcomes than single parenthood. I do ascribe to the ethic that when the conditions are present, couples should marry. Strengthen the family, strengthen our youth! – AANI

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