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© 2019 Sherri Jefferson

African-Americans Are Still A Work In Progress: We should strive daily toward accomplishing the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and our ancestors.

March 30, 2016

We should strive daily toward accomplishing the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and those who served the world before and since his death in their fight for equality. Few recall the true mission statement declared by Dr. King in his “I have a dream” speech. He called upon America to pay its debt to the colored people. The crux of his speech has been forgotten and reduced to a few words. The significance of his opening paragraph is now ignored by everyone from scholars in the African-American community to the public-at-large.

 

Since his transition, every street in America named after him is contradictory to his purpose, plan and will. The communities are plagued by a D.I.G mentality of drugs, drunkenness, illiteracy, ignorance, guns and greed.

 

Although he marched for freedom, he understood that freedom is a state of mind and until we embrace freedom we will be left behind. No one can give us ‘freedom.’  To be free is to be liberated from addictions and addictive behaviors (drugs, alcohol, sex addictions, and mental poverty, victimization, etc.) On the contrary, freedom cannot be attained through war. Freedom is the ability to liberate your mind. Many people in prison are free and those on this side of the wall are living in bondage. Too often, people who live in certain communities tend to condition their thinking to poverty. Many cannot see pass their current circumstances. In a techno-info era, it is impossible to remain in bondage, regardless of where you live or your upbringing. The world is yours for the taking!

 

 

African-Americans have dual principles. We value the life of our youth by the measure of their death. If an African-American child is murdered by a white person, then we march and protest. We cry foul and demand justice. When was the last time we marched for children killed at the hands of our own? We lose more children at the hands of our own than at the hands of white people. Until we value our own lives, no one else will. We possess a spirit of self-righteousness and selfishness. Many of our churches no longer provide social services because they are too focused upon being served by the people. Today, America has its first President who shares an African-American heritage. However, what have African-Americans accomplished since 2008?

 

 

Our music is still self-centered, the rich are richer, and the poor are poorer. Our communities are under attack by drugs, alcohol, victims of mass incarceration and criminals, and human trafficking and sexual immorality. We have a “no-snitch” code, which plagues our communities and allows the criminals to rule and reign.

 

The state of some black colleges and universities are failing financially, educationally, and morally. For some, the emphasis is the ability to stroll and step as oppose to stepping into the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and helping children in neighboring communities to code or learn life skills.  Alternatively, assisting the neighboring communities by using gifts and talents in the field of cosmetology and styling their hair and teaching them about hygiene. College students are capable of sharing to children in grades K-12 how to plan and reach educational goals. Some of our college students need to stroll into the urban warfare to defend and fight against issues like human trafficking, child sexual exploitation, and mass incarceration.

 

There exists as many African-American males in prison as in college. Sixty-seven percent of our children are raised in single, female headed households. Some by choice and others by default. Our children are not prepared to compete in a global economy. We must teach them to think global and not local. We must encourage them to learn different languages and cultures as well as to embrace them. We must be willing to prepare them for the new era of our world order. Even their education must be geared toward competing in the fields of technology, engineering, math, science, health and the environment. We cannot be consumers; we must be producers.

 

During the early 1900’s our communities thrived with inventors, educators, and entrepreneurs. Since integration, we have lost the streets of Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, Rosewood in Florida, and Green street in Arkansas. From around 1918 to 1963, African-Americans left the South by the millions in hopes of a new life. Today, millions are relocating to the South. The change that we seek is attainable, but we have to work together and hold our churches, schools, and communities accountable.

 

We should strive daily toward accomplishing the dream of Dr. King and those who served the world before and since his death in their fight for equality. Racism is no longer the barrier that divides the haves and have not’s. We must refocus our priorities. Our MVR (moral, values and respect) must be our driving force. Like during the days of King and those before him, we must reemphasize education, morals, values, family, community, and respect. For those with a spiritual compass they must continue to develop their relationship with God.

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