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January 22nd, 2014

Seriously Think On This!

Lillie Howard
Taking into consideration that we're getting ready to once again celebrate Black History Month I find myself growing very weary because it just reminds me of just how far we have not come in this country. The status of our African-American men has fallen to an all time low due to the mass incarceration of our young African-American males. The Black Star Project recently released information that is very frightening and I thought that I would share some of it with my readers: Freed Slaves in 1865 were better off than most young U.S. Black men are today. When our people were released from slavery in 1865, they became blacksmiths, bricklayers, carpenters, merchants, teachers, doctors, lawyers, farmers, ranchers, cooks, soldiers and more. They built houses, towns, communities, businesses, schools, universities, institutions and futures. Most of these men had less than a third-grade education. Given today's astronomically high unemployment rates for Black men in some cities,even Black men with college degrees might not find suitable employment, ever.

     One hundred forty-nine years after slavery has ended, sixty years after The Brown versus Topeka Board of Education Supreme Court ruling and twelve years after the No Child Left Behind legislation, only 10% of 8th-grade Black boys in public schools across America read at or above a proficient level according to the 2011 U.S. Dep't of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress(NAEP). The failure of Black boys in American schools is an unaddressed, undeclared and uncared about national disaster in the United States. Not being able to read at an 8th-grade level means that young Black males in America have fewer options than their forefathers who were freed slaves. WOW!

     To this information and much more that is going on in this country as it pertains to African-Americans how can we in good conscious stand and cite the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag when there is no Liberty and Justice for us. We're living in a schizophrenic state of mind and many of us don't even realize it. This is why so many have turned to drugs or alcohol to ease the pain of our reality in this country. The real sad part of all of this is that so many feel that they've got it made and they look down on their sisters and brothers that have fallen because of this hard cold reality. The seeds of divide and conquer were planted into our psyche many years ago via slavery because most of us had to work in the fields but those that worked in the master's house had a tendency to feel that they were better. How sad! And sadder than that are those that still have that same mentality.

     How long is this madness going to be allowed to continue? Let me share the words of Haki R. Madhubuti:Black Men, Obsolete, Single, Dangerous?(1990) "The pain is in the eyes. Young Black men in their late twenties or early thirties living in urban America, lost and abandoned, aimlessly walking and hawking the streets with nothing behind their eyes but anger, confusion, disappointment and pain. These men, running the streets, occupying corners, often are beaten beyond recognition, with scars both visible and internal. These men, Black men----sons of Africa, once strong and full of hope that America lied about ----are now knee-less, thieves or ultra-dependents on a system that considers them less than human and treats them with less dignity and respect than dead dogs. I am among these men. I will never forgive white people for what they have done to Afrikan American men, women and children.

    Those words were written in 1990 and here we are in 2014, twenty-four years later, and the age factor has decreased to a much younger age.A large majority of our young males are filling the prisons which to me are the 20th century plantations. If this madness isn't seriously addressed America, the country without Liberty and Justice for all, will continuously go down hill. There are no more Dr. Kings so who's going to seriously pick up his baton? If not, this country is heading towards self-destruction. Seriously think about this! This is Lillie's Point of View!

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