Four Pathways of a Better and Happy Family!
The Keys to America’s Kingdom: Economics,
Education & Politics
Including: President Barack Obama & Change Comes to America.
Reginald T. Hardaway, M.S., Ed.D.
THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED TO MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHO SUPPORTED AND
BELIEVED IN ME WHEN OTHERS DID NOT.
2011 by Dr. Reginald T. Hardaway, M.S., Ed.D.
Printed in the United States of America
All rights in this book are reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever
without written permission from the publisher.
For information address:
Dr. Reginald T. Hardaway
World-Class Management Group, Inc. (Publishing Division)
5023 Harbor Lane, Richton Park, Illinois 60471
TABLE OF CONTENTS
KEYS TO AMERICA’S KINGDOM: ECONOMICS, EDUCATION & POLITICS
Key 1: From Disunity to Unity 4
Key 2: Restructuring the Lives of a People 7
Key 3: Solving Business Woes 18
Key 4: Education Brings Dividends 25
Key 5: Political Power 45
Key 6: Four Pathways of a Better and Happy Family 61
KEY 1: FROM UNITY TO DISUNITY
Economics: the Key to Respectability
Black America, it’s time to get back to economic respectability. You gross nearly $1.3 trillion
a year and have made a mockery of economic independence. You fail to turn the dollar over
even once in your community, therefore, failing in job creation. Furthermore, during this 2007-
2011 economic depression, unemployment is nearly 50 percent among Blacks in some urban
Unlike others, you only keep a dollar in your community for 48 hours, which is a sin before the
good Lord. You fail to turn the dollar over at least once, which is important in wealth creation.
It’s time for you to take a page from the Negro Wall Street and the 1901 Greenwood, Oklahoma,
experience. There you will find your ancestors, who developed a business district after 35 years
out of slavery and did more with $3 million than you have done with over a trillion. What is
This conduct is a disgrace to your ancestors and God, who blessed you with wealth as he did
your ancestors in Greenwood, Oklahoma, Timbuktu in Africa, and the Moors. When are you
going to wake up and smell the virtual coffee? Time is slipping by and you are still majoring in
partying and socializing. It’s time to wake up.
Yes, we know, America hasn’t been fair toward you. Don’t expect this to change. We know
there are institutional racism and many other isms, but to create a new paradigm, you only need
to look in the mirror and view the change agent you!
What about your family unit? Your children are wearing their pants to their ankles and your
daughters are showing little, if any, respect for their bodies and dignity. Are you going to
continue to blame this behavior on low self esteem or Black Entertainment Network? Time is
slipping by and you need to control your families.
One of the problems facing you today is: you will enter the 21st century a total economic failure.
Blacks own less than 4 percent of the businesses in America and manufacture almost nothing.
They fail to turn the dollar over in their communities, which aids in job creation, but consume 90
percent of the alcohol sold in America. Some people see their dependence on the government
and the sympathy of others as their downfall.
Many people wonder, with over a trillion dollars a year in income, which would put them in
sixth or seventh place if they were a separate nation, why do they depend so heavily on the
government and the sympathy of White America? Like their Jewish brethren, why can’t they do
more for themselves?
African Americans have reneged on their African heritage and the spirit of Timbuktu when
they fail to provide products and services to their culture and society as a whole. Furthermore,
many are wondering why African Americans fail to perform as well as, if not better than, their
ancestors who did many things better and more efficiently in 1877 and beyond.
In 1877, fresh out of slavery, they started their first bank in America. By 1900, they had several
banks worth over $3 million. By 1900, Blacks in the Greenwood section of Tulsa, Oklahoma,
formed the Negro Wall Street. This region built hotels, stores, and funeral homes, to name a
few, and performed admirably for their people.
Whites in the city, who were seeking an excuse to destroy this prosperous area, found it and
moved in for the kill. They eventually got their opportunity when a Black man allegedly raped a
White girl. The girl attempted to explain that he only bumped into her on the elevator, but they
weren’t hearing it. Many Whites rushed into the area and lynched and killed everything moving.
Many people thought this would destroy this great empire, but it didn’t. The City Council had
the audacity to vote against them rebuilding, but they rebuilt bigger and better. What was most
devastating was the Whites who saw fit to drop the first bomb in the United States on these
The Negro Wall Street was later destroyed but not by economics. The enemies that existed in
the minds of the people caused them to destroy themselves. The enemy of self-destruction and
low self-esteem finally conquered them when integration came on the scene. After such huge
success, they saw White businesses as being more productive than the businesses of their own
people and began to take their business elsewhere.
The early 1920s saw several Black insurance companies open in Chicago and other areas of
the country. But the early ‘30s saw the Great Depression and the failure of many of these
Historically, the Black church led the way and became a solid and dynamic institution. Many
Blacks were members of the African Methodist Episcopal, Baptist and Christian Methodist
Episcopal churches. Also, Blacks were members of the secret fraternal orders of the Masons,
Odd Fellows, Nights of Pythias, and others. These secret fraternal orders were instrumental in
laying the basis for Black insurance companies.
In 1898, S.W. Rutherford started the National Benefit Insurance Company and C.C. Spaulding
organized the Northern Carolina Mutual Benefit Insurance Company. In 1900, Booker T.
Washington and others decided to join and organized the National Business League.
Furthermore, according to Lerone Bennett in Before the Mayflower (1966), between 1940 and
1951, Blacks had made great gains. But since 1952, after a series of “economic downturns” or
recessions, Black workers have barely held their own, although in some areas there have been
Additionally, Blacks also took advantage of college and professional schools. They owned about
two million homes and managed huge financial complexes such as Supreme Life Insurance
Company of America, the Northern Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, and Atlanta Life
Insurance Company (Bennett, 1966, p. 371).
Shelly Green and Paul Pryde eloquently discussed Black entrepreneurship in their book Black
Entrepreneurship in America (1900). They described social and financial conditions Blacks had
gotten caught up in. Of the 28.6 million American Blacks who made up 12 percent of the United
States population at that time, two to four million fall into the chronically poor “underclass” (p.
10). A major problem among Blacks is the split between the lower and middle classes.
This research is important because the author hopes it will aid Black Americans to do a paradigm
shift toward a better understanding of Black History, and that this understanding will serve as
a catalyst to motivate Black Americans to make progressive moves in economics, education,
and politics. Furthermore, the author hopes that this research will aid in changing their spending
habits and improving the quality of life for a great people.
KEY 2: RESTRUCTURING THE LIVES OF A PEOPLE
Lerone Bennett, Jr., in Before the Mayflower (1966), recorded a valiant account of African
Americans making their mark during Reconstruction. He stated there had been a change in the
lives of African Americans after the Emancipation Proclamation. “In 1865, when emancipation
became a fact, about one in every twenty Negroes could read and write. Thirty-five years later
more than one out of every two could read and write” (p. 240).
Bennett also gave an account of the change in the lives of Blacks during this time. He called
the change “dramatic.” The Black church led the way and had become a “solid and dynamic
institution.” Bennett said that there were four Negro banks, drugstores, and at least one Negro
millionaire. Charles P. Graves, president of the Gold Leaf Consolidated Company and the
Montano and Illinois Mining Company, was worth at least a million dollars.
By 1900, Negro professional were showing off! They had more than $500,000 invested in
funeral homes, and the professional class had grown to more than 47,000. There were over
21,000 teachers, nearly 16,000 preachers, over 1700 doctors, 212 dentists, over 300 journalists,
over 700 lawyers, 2,000 actors and showmen, over 240 photographers, and one Negro
Congressman (p. 241).
By 1900, the four million freedmen had become eight million. Also, 1901 saw the last Negroes
who held legislative and council seats. George H. White, the last Negro Congressman of the
post-Reconstruction era, represented the shifting of fortunes for the Negro. White, who had been
elected to Congress from North Carolina in 1896, had been re-elected in 1898. However, it was
clear in the midst of his second term that he had reached his end. But Congressman White made
the most of his last opportunity. He recalled everything from the rise of Negro political power
to the birth of Jim Crow, a racist and inhuman system and philosophy, in his last speech on the
Bennett gave an account of the economic progress of Negroes in 1913. He recorded a great
deal of celebration in 1901. Negroes owned nearly 600,000 homes; they operated farms and
conducted 40,000 businesses. Negroes had also accumulated nearly a billion dollars in money.
They had accumulated $700 million (p.287). Negroes had gained in education and wealth.
More than 70 percent were literate, a net gain of 65 percent in only fifty years. The teaching
profession continued to grow along with the churches, of which there were 35,000, and there
were nearly two million students in public schools. It was only a few years before, in 1877, that
the city of Baltimore had refused to build a school for Negroes. When told of the decision, the
Negroes performed like their Jewish brethren: THEY CAME TOGETHER AND BUILT THEIR
OWN SCHOOL! The Baltimore government gave in and matched it with another city school.
W.E.B. Dubois, who initially opposed Marcus Garvey and his back-to-Africa movement, gave
a voice of optimism to the times. “The efforts of the Negroes since emancipation have been
promising and beyond what could be reasonably expected” (p. 287). Dubois, if he had come
together with Garvey, might have given Negroes a deeper economic base with the inclusion of
Africa and the back to Africa movement, which was not a philosophy of most Negroes.
The Atlanta government, envying the quick success of the Negro, passed a law forbidding
Whites and Blacks from living in the same neighborhoods. Also, in 1913, President Woodrow
Wilson showed his disrespect and, perhaps, ignorance to the American people by segregating
In 1915, The Great Migration exploded. The defense industries, hungry for labor, sent labor
agents into the South and started a Northern migration. Robert Abbott and the Chicago Defender
put out the welcome mat and crystallized the mood with its headlines. Abbott had also been with
Dubois in opposing Garvey and aiding the government’s movement toward Garvey’s exit from
America to his homeland. Negroes, like the Europeans who came to America from Europe, were
coming North looking for a better life.
The First World War saw thousands of Black immigrants employed for the first time in factories.
Additionally, the military opened its doors and saw 370,000 Black soldiers and 1,400 Black
commissioned officers served in the Army.
The great historian John Hope Franklin said in From Slavery to Freedom (1967) that it was only
natural for Negroes to experience difficulties in their pursuit of economic freedom. He discussed
the psychological adjustment Negroes had to make from slavery to freedom without mentioning
the economic development that was before them. The speed of this adjustment, said Franklin,
depended to a large extent upon the leadership role they were able to play during slavery.
Another obstacle Negroes had was the opposition from Whites toward Blacks who wanted to
achieve. The Whites attempted to limit Blacks in their pursuit of occupations and, when this
failed, resorted to threats and intimidation.
In addition, there was some legislation that limited certain occupations and movements by
Blacks. Many Blacks resorted to an agricultural lifestyle due to limited skills. “Thanks to the
apprenticing system established in some states and to the practice of training many slaves as
artisans, a considerable number of free Negroes possessed skills which enabled them to achieve a
degree of economic independence and affluence before the Civil War (p. 222).
Free urban Negroes followed their trades despite the strong opposition of White workers. Even
unskilled Negroes found work in those areas that were losing White workers due to the move
West; yes, even the “despised” Negro was welcomed.
Organizations such as the Society of Friends, the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of
Slavery, and the North Carolina Manumission Society aided Negroes in their efforts. This
assistance was such that it enabled Negroes to purchase their first piece of property. Franklin
reminded us that some masters gave slaves personal properties with their freedom.
In 1859, one master in Baltimore gave his slave a house and lot worth more than $12,000.
Others gave them as much as one hundred acres of land, and some sold them land for a nominal
amount. From the hands of few, Negroes were making a progressive move. In 1800, Negroes in
Philadelphia owned nearly 100 houses and lots. In New York, during 1837, they owned nearly
one and a half million dollars worth of taxable real estate and had nearly a million dollars in
bank deposits. Negroes who lived in Cincinnati had properties valued at a half million dollars.
Franklin said that one European observer described them as “shrewd and sensible Blacks”
(p. 222). Some Blacks, as in ancient Timbuktu, had amassed fortunes and conducted their
businesses with dignity, ability, and integrity.
The Negroes were excelling everywhere. They had accumulated property at a unique rate. In
Maryland, Negroes paid taxes on properties estimated at more than a million dollars. In addition,
in 1860, twelve owned properties valued in excess of $5,000. Free Negroes in Virginia in 1860
owned more than 60,000 acres of farmland and their real estate taxes totaled $463,000. In North
Carolina, they owned over a million dollars in real and personal properties. Three hundred and
fifty two Negroes paid taxes in 1859 to the Charleston, South Carolina government in excess of
$778,000. Tennessee Negroes, not wanting to be left out, owned about $750,000 worth of real
and personal properties in 1860
Additionally, there were numerous cases of affluence among free Negroes. Solomon
Humphries, a grocery-store owner in Macon, Georgia, accumulated property worth more than
$20,000, including several slaves. Jehu Jones, a Charleston hotel owner, amassed more than
$40,000. James Forten, a former errand boy in Philadelphia, accounted for more than $100,000
as a sailmaker. The free Negro family was a result of three situations: marriage within the group;
marriage to slaves; and relations, legal or clandestine, with Whites and Native Americans (p.
Automation and the Unskilled Factory Worker
Automation had made inroads into the lives of unskilled factory workers. Literacy had been
negated by increasing economic complexities and had nearly disappeared. However, Walter
White spoke words of forward movement. He referred to Negroes in laboratories and factories;
he called their lawns “manicured” and noted that Negroes possessed ranch homes in middle-
class communities. The average family income was $3,233, which was 55 percent of the White
income. Nevertheless, Negroes continued to show up and show off. There were 84,000 Negroes
in professional and managerial occupations, 34,000 clerical workers, and 385,000 skilled
craftsmen and foremen. Negroes also took advantage of college and professional schools.
Negroes also knew political power in America. This is reflected in the passing of the Fourteenth
Amendment and the passage of Civil Rights bills in 1957, 1960, 1964, and 1965 (Bennett, p.
371.) Additionally, Robert C. Weaver held a Cabinet post with the Department of Housing and
Urban Development. Andrew T. Hatcher held the position of Associate Press Secretary at the
Negroes were also elected to governmental bodies in Nashville, Atlanta, Richmond, and other
Southern cities, a happening that had not occurred since 1948. Also, since 1948, Negroes were
elected to powerful legislative seats in Southern legislatures.
Nathan Wright, Jr. in Black Power and urban Unrest (1967) discussed the need for self-
development and self-respect. These were qualities the earlier Blacks possessed. Negroes
changed their collective name from Negro to African American or Blacks in the 60s. It is
simply naïve, says Wright, to believe that any person or any group of people may grow into
maturity except in terms of their own self-development (p. 59). He believed that human growth
is developed from within and not from without. He felt that only through self-development
can African Americans become the people of power and might that God endowed them to be.
He referred to African Americans or Blacks as having a “slave mentality” or dependence upon
others. Wright compared this dependence to an albatross on the necks of Blacks. Wright saw
this “albatross” as pervasive in the attitudes and lives of Blacks in America today, with only a
Wright stated that the experience of all rising ethnic groups in America is to do for themselves
what no other ethnic group will do for them. Every ethnic group, said Wright, has to devise,
engineer, and control its own plan of destiny. He felt that the Civil Rights movement had
emphasized what Black people are due and not the actual movement toward the fulfillment,
through the utilization of the potentialities and latent gifts of all (p. 61). He said that self-
development means that Black people must adapt the “hand me something” philosophy. He
reminded them of the hard years of the Great Depression, and referred to Philadelphia and
the Black people who sang the song, “Jesus Christ will lead me and F.D.R. [Franklin Delano
Roosevelt] will feed me. What need have we to fear?” (p. 61). He referred to this philosophy
as being limited and temporary. What happened to the “let’s do it” spirit the Blacks had in the
Black Power, in terms of self-development, said Wright, means that we want to fish as all
Americans should do together in the main stream of American life. It meant something more; it
meant that we want to utilize resources that we devise to bring fulfillment to all. Black Power
also meant that we, as Black people, must take the initiative using our brainpower in building up
one another in Black unity, Black pride, and Black determination.
Do the Rich Practice Discrimination?
Ferdinand Lundberg in The Rich and the Super-Rich (1968), revealed how, contrary to
Black belief, the rich and super-rich also had no respect of persons when it comes to Black
Americans. In his discussion about the big New York clubs, he listed the names of people
accepted for membership and those who were rejected. You guessed it: Black Americans were
rejected. “An examination of its membership lists up to 1965 failed to disclose the names of able
organizational Negroes like Thurgood Marshall, Whitney Young, Martin Luther King, Jr., Roy
Wilkins, or Robert C. Weaver.” According to Lundberg, even Walter White never belonged (p.
Lundberg continues in his description of the clandestine behavior of the rich: “It is doubtful if
any Negro had ever been so much as proposed for membership.” He said it would be erroneous
to say that Negroes were barred. They were simply ignored; they were not noticed. This is
similar to the “non-person” mentality that E. Franklin Frazier discussed in the Invisible Man In
other words, said Lundberg, “they couldn’t get accepted even if they could fly to the moon and
back in a kite” (p. 315).
Lundberg said that “two roads began opening up more to Negroes, the sports or entertainment
world and the political world.” In the first quarter of 1996, a New York State investigation took
place in Harlem. A Negro political leader who had put up $2,000 was close to making $250,000
on his money. This was interpreted by some as a bad thing and the money eventually grew.
Overall, it was obvious that rich Blacks, like their brethren, had difficulty accepting differences
Other Literary Accounts
Shelly Green and Paul Pryde eloquently discussed Black business creation in Black
Entrepreneurship in America (1990). They discussed social and financial conditions that hooked
Black people. Of the 28.6 million American Blacks who made up 12 percent of the total United
States population in 1990, the authors say that two of four million fell into the chronically
poor “underclass” (p. 10). A major problem among Blacks is the split between the lower and
middle classes, and this situation still exists today. Although the middle class may look down on
the poor, they, too, get governmental entitlements. But they do not see it as such because society
calls it set-asides.
Middle-class Blacks also moved out of the Black neighborhoods of America. With the onset
of Civil Rights and Affirmative Action, middle-class Blacks chose to move out when the
integration doors opened. Also, the employment pattern changed: “Although Blacks have
made impressive strides forward as skilled craftsmen and professions, “Green and Pryde
stated, “by far the largest single employer of the newly designated Black middle class has been
the government” (p. 10). The number of Blacks has increased in the private sector between
1970 and 1980. This increase rose from 21 percent to 27 percent (p. 10). At the time Blacks
were seeking more job security, Black self-employment and receipts from Black businesses took
a tumble. Within these two decades, Blacks decided to take a “safer” route in their financial
futures; however, it is recorded that Black entrepreneurship was not shown on the drawing board
Another problem prevalent in the Black community is unemployment. Black Americans,
according to Green and Pryde, must begin to address their chronic problems of unemployment,
welfare and low capital accumulation (p. 11). Although business formation is tied to the
American economy, it is understood by many that nobody is going to save Black people except
Black people! Furthermore, nobody else should carry their responsibilities, although, they were
not all of their own making. After all, America and Americans became wealthy on the backs
of Black people and pretended to get it the correct way. Additionally, over 50 percent of all
college-educated United States Blacks are employed in the public sector, and 26 percent of all
Black families depend to some degree on public services and transfer payments (p. 12).
Green and Pryde cite Sharpero’s outline of four qualities that distinguish a dynamic
● Resilience – the capacity to respond effectively to change.
● Creativity and innovation – the ability and willingness to experiment.
● Initiative – the desire and power to begin and carry through useful projects.
● Diversity – enough variety to protect against unforeseen circumstances and provide for a
creative environment (p. 13).
Green and Pryde gave a summary of the characteristics of Black business owners:
Among Black males, Bearse and Johnson have found that the variables
most highly correlated with business ownership are licensable occupations indicative
of education, skills and experience and part-time work status. Other influential factors
in the choice to become an entrepreneur include geographic location, age, ownership of
assets, industry background and opportunity costs (p. 31).
Another brilliant African American author is Robert L. Wallace, who wrote Black Wealth
through Black entrepreneurship (1993). He said that the 1980s were a very difficult time for
Black Americans. This was the Reagan Era; the President once stated that he had never known
discrimination or racism. Wallace reminds us that, although the country was growing with huge
dividends, Black Americans were not a part of Reagan’s plan. Wallace also reminded us of the
● Black Americans made $81,858 less than White Americans
● The above figure rose to $14,176 in 1987
● Between 1980 and 1987, Black males earned $6,000 and $8,000 less than White males.
● Only 4 percent of Black households had a median net worth exceeding $100,000
compared to 26 percent of White households
● The percentage of Blacks living in poverty was recorded at nearly two to one. Poverty
deepened to a 49 percent income
● Only 12 percent, one in eight Black families, had income above $50,000. This was
compared to one in three for White families (p. 29).
Robert Wallace dramatized this further in his visuals. The unemployment rate for Blacks and
Whites in 1990s was Blacks’ 12.40 percent to Whites’ 5.40 percent. This was only three points
away from a triple percentile. In another visual, he showed the 1989 mean net worth. For 1989,
this also showed a deep discrepancy. Blacks’ average net worth in 1989 was $24,000 and the
White mean was $103,000. This discrepancy was continued in per-capita income median family
income. The truth of the matter is that White Americans are more educated, with 20 percent
finishing college, with Asians having 25 percent. This discrepancy results in educated Blacks
receiving less income than educated Whites. White America graduates one out of every five at
the college level, Asian Americans graduate one out of every four, and Hispanics and African
Americans are below that level.
In order to be impartial in this evaluation, it is also necessary to mention that Black Americans,
according to President Lee of Black Entertainment Television, spend twice as much on
entertainment than any other subset of Americans. Also, if statistics are correct, Black
Americans spend a great deal of their disposable income on alcohol, potato chips, and
other “empty” items. This apparently was not a problem with our ancestors, even though they
were fresh out of slavery and had, perhaps, every reason to get intoxicated.
Should we ask: What did African Americans do with the over trillion dollars they grossed during
that time period? Instead of being overly concerned about what White Americans are doing,
perhaps they need to concentrate on their own habits. What would happen if Blacks returned to
their economic and educational roots? What would happen if, as Tony Brown suggested, they
negotiated 20 percent of their vote with the Republican Party, and refused to give 100 percent to
the Democratic Party? Who, by the way, take Blacks for granted, and maybe they should, with
Blacks serving their votes up on silver platters. Is it time for Blacks to look into the social mirror
and began solving their own problems and not look to the government for assistance? Is it time
for Black Americans to step forward as their ancestors did in the Black Wall Street and refuse
to take a back seat? Some people have accused Black Americans of having a Ph.D. in excuses;
what do you think?
The Sweet By-and-By vs. the Sweet Now-and-Now
During the ‘90s, Black Americans were too busy dealing with the sweet by-and-by to deal with
the sweet now-and-now! Tony Brown, the brilliant author of Black Lies, White Lies (1995), tied
Black economics to the overall American economic picture. The nation had abandoned the gold
standard and embraced deficit spending. Brown said (1) the Treasury Department’s fiscal year
1992 statement showed that deficit spending was being understated, (2) Treasury reports showed
that the 1992 deficit was not $290.2 billion as officially reported, but a whopping $403.9 billion,
and (3) the government, during the first three months of fiscal year 1993, increased the deficit by
43 percent over the same period during fiscal year 1992 (p. 34).
Brown, a Black Republican, fingered Republican President Ronald Reagan for the rising
increase. He said that Carter left Reagan a $994 billion national debt, and Reagan and Bush left
Clinton a $4.4 trillion national debt. President Bill Clinton balanced the budget and George W.
Bush, with the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and tax cuts for the wealthy, left President Obama a
huge national deficit with two wars. But back to President Clinton, he wrestled with Congress
about how the surplus would be spent. He wanted to anchor Social Security and the GOP
wanted to do other things. Tony Brown said that the Clinton debt was increased over $1 trillion
by George W. Bush (p. 35). He also said this debt will also affect African Americans in the next
few years and will backlash into their homes, employment, bankruptcies, and a “totalitarian form
of government” (p. 35).
Brown also believed that “hard times require national unity.” He said, “We are all in the same
boat, but we don’t have all of our oars in the water” (p. 35). He cited the American savings
rate as being the lowest among the industrialized countries. He said that the nation’s standards
of quality of life, real wages, and total compensation were falling or stagnated. He mentioned
the workforce and said it was lagging behind in training and productivity. He cited the Federal
Competitiveness Policy Council for this information and said that they also noted a decline, a 20-
year decline, in the nation’s global competitiveness.
It has been over fifteen years since this projection by Brown was made, and the deficit and
economic climate have worsened. To date, the Bush tax cuts have been renewed, although there
was no money to renew the cuts. Finally, while watching the Ed Show on WNBC yesterday,
I overheard a Congressman from Florida say that the top 1 percent of Americans earned 80
percent of the income for the last 25 years. This fellow Americans is more appalling than
originally thought. While the Tea Party is focused on President Obama’s birth certificate, his
ethnicity and color, the rich are getting richer.
Possible Obstacles to Black Achievement
Tony Brown called the Black parasites who exploited their people BUM (Black Unaccountable
Machine) because they “decry the oppression of the Black masses, but instead of doing
something to alleviate that oppression, they endeavor mostly to enhance opportunities for the
upper classes and liberal racists” (p. 53). He also said that they enjoy media dominance over
Black thought and referred to other Blacks as morally and intellectually disabled. Both he and
this author wonder why and find it difficult to explain why a seemingly rational community
clings to a group of unaccountable and dictatorial individuals who only have their own interests
Brown believed that pride and self-esteem provide the basis for productivity. He said the
Black community is not competitive because it is not productive. He further believed that it
is not productive because it does not value itself, and because it does not value itself, it lived
the American Dream (p. 54). He cited the $550 million spent annually at that time. To date,
it spends over a trillion dollars annually. The annual upper-class Congressional Black Caucus
soiree alone generates an estimated one-half billion dollars or more for direct and related
expenses to attend a week of galas in non-Black-owned hotels and facilities (p. 53).
This event, according to Brown, was once a grand affair when it was a proud movement to elect
to office Blacks who facilitated the growth of the ones at the bottom as well as the top. It is
evident, though, that it has outlived its usefulness! He goes on to say that the cowards in this
scenario are the Talented Tenthers who aid rather than oppose the BUM. Brown goes on to
define Black Leaders as those who are media creations or self-promoters. They distract, says
Brown, from the fact that Blacks are a complex, multifaceted group. He said the media are too
ignorant or too lazy to realize that not all Blacks are liberals. They ignore “Republican Black
Leaders” (p. 56).
Are Marxists in the Classrooms?
Tony Brown mentioned what he called ‘bourgeois ivory-tower campus intellectuals” (p. 62). He
called Cornel West, Harvard’s intellectual, the “paterfamilias of the Black Marxist rat pack.” He
also said Harvard reportedly paid West $150,000 a year fifteen years ago, in addition to the book
royalties and honoraria he received, which brings in another $500,000 or more. Brown said this
is not bad for an individual who taught his students that capitalism does not work (p. 63).
Dr. West, according to Brown, blamed the media for promoting what he called the prophetic role
of Black Marxist. He, allegedly, recommended the Marxist model to Black students, if they are
ever to amount to anything as scholars. The payoff, he explained, is liberal friends, big bucks,
your face on television, and your name in the New York Times, where they anoint this person
the smartest Black in the world. This author believes that the classroom is the correct place to
present different theories to students.
“The Integrationist Black Leadership,” according to Brown, “has always been so desperate for
White approval that it has historically opposed any demonstrable equality of its own people”
(p. 65). He cited Elizabeth Wright as reporting in her issue of Views newsletter that Chicago’s
Black elites crusaded against Black-owned institutions because they “feared that if Blacks
appeared capable of too much self-sufficiency, Whites might come to look upon them as not
desirous of integration” (p. 66). WHAT IDIOTS!!
A Day of Celebration or Embarrassment?
Rick Singletary opened the largest Black-owned supermarket in Columbus, Ohio, and indeed,
in the country at that time. He had opened a $4.4 million operation, creating 130 jobs for Black
people in the neighborhood. Singletary had 14 years experience working for a major grocery
chain and decided to use his life savings, his mother’s savings, and a government-issued loan to
open the doors. He named his dream market Singletary Plaza Mart and located it in the Black
community because he knew the need for a grocery store. He also wanted to create some jobs
and knew the need for this opportunity for his people.
Singletary Plaza Mart and Rick needed only $200,000 a week in volume to break even and keep
his 130 employees afloat. Yet, says Brown, in a tragedy that exemplifies the real reason why
Black America has never been able to compete with White America, his store failed (p. 267).
He had done his homework and his research showed that Blacks spent $2.5 million per week on
groceries in Columbus, Ohio. But he could not get them to spend $200,000 a week at his store to
keep their families and friends working.
Brown explained that he was familiar with Rick Singletary, because for three days he joined
others in the Buy Freedom Campaign. This was a campaign of Black economic empowerment
in Columbus. However, they were not able to save the mart. Brown called this a national
disgrace. He said it was not simply a neighborhood issue; it was a national disgrace (p. 267).
Singletary, said Brown, banked on his community and they let him down. Brown referred to
him as a good man who gambled on his people and went bankrupt. HE LOST HIS SAVINGS
AND HIS MOTHER’S SAVINGS. ALSO, 130 BLACK PEOPLE LOST THEIR JOBS. Today
in 2011, two days before Thanksgiving, little has changed from the above scenario. Tony Brown
explained that this story takes place in the Black community daily! It gives credence to his theory
that the most successful economic boycott ever conducted in America is the boycott by Blacks of
their own businesses (p. 267). It is obvious, says Brown, that somebody in the Black community
sees no need for Black self-reliance. With the tripling of the Affirmative Action program, they
still cannot see the forest for the green trees.
Tony Brown discussed the Affirmative Action program. After a quarter century of ignoring
disadvantaged Blacks and redirecting an estimated 80 percent of affirmative action preferences
to middle class White women as well as middle-class Blacks and Hispanics, this laudable albeit
clumsy attempt to right past wrongs has been undercut by an ignorance of how to help. We have
stabilized poverty, illiteracy, and the disadvantages after billions of dollars later. These are the
evils it was intended to obliterate (p. 268).
Blacks’ unemployment rate is twice that of Whites, and the number of Blacks in the private
sector and in higher education has not equaled 12 percent, which is the Black population. He
believed that we were losing in the streets and classrooms, and many, including this author,
totally agree. Asians had surpassed Blacks in PhDs. In 1977, said Brown, Asians on temporary
visas in this country earned approximately the same number of PhDs as did Black Americans.
Fifteen years later, PhDs. awarded to Asians on temporary visas had soared to 6,464, nearly
seven times more (p. 268). This compared to only 951 PhDs. for Blacks in the same year.
The Talented Tenth, according to Tony Brown, had taken the entitlements away from their less
fortunate brothers, who are the needy and not the greedy. These entitlements were designed
to aid the economically and socially disadvantaged. He pointed a finger at the Small Business
Administration’s 8(a) Set-Aside Program as being egregious. Brown also pointed the finger at
the BUMS when he said that they took the $4.4 billion in contracts and left a measly 25 percent
to 1 percent of the business (p. 268). That sets, says Brown, a new standard for exploiting the
Black poor (p. 268).
What Happened in Tulsa, OK in 1900?
Blacks again fumbled the ball in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when they failed to see equity with Whites
and no acceptance. This incident, Brown explained, offered a history lesson that Blacks need
to learn. It showed how Blacks have it within them to achieve and succeed when they choose
to do so. It also showed how they failed when they took their eyes off the prize. The Black
neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma had produced some of the richest Black families in America
by 1901. This was done through development and entrepreneurship. In the Greenwood, the
Black section of Tulsa, they created the Negro Wall Street. This was a financial district that
was so prosperous that it could serve as a model for Black Americans entering the 21st century.
Black Americans owned everything from hospitals to schools. They owned their own property
and operated their own businesses. Their businesses included hospitals, banks, theaters, hotels,
and schools for their children.
This Black economic center owned everything. They owned much more than the 21st century
Black businesses own today. However, this business district was victimized and a race riot
broke out in May of 1921. The race riot’s goal was to DESTROY this Black business district.
Brown believed what really happened on that May Day is difficult to determine; however, some
Whites claimed that the rape of a White woman caused this catastrophe. A nineteen-year old
shoe shine boy named Dick Roland allegedly attacked a White woman in a downtown elevator
(p. 269). A lynch mob was formed, although Roland was never officially charged. The Tulsa
Tribune allegedly encouraged the lynching of a Negro “tonight.” Many believed that the rape
had nothing to do with the burning of this entire 36-mile Black Mecca. Whites trapped Blacks in
buildings and shot them when they attempted to escape. It was further reported by some that the
first bomb dropped in these United States took place that period of time.
Blacks tried to rebuild but were blocked by banks and other institutions (institutional racism).
Whites later passed an ordinance that prevented Blacks from rebuilding their homes, and they
were forced to live in tents during the cold winters. The NAACP and Walter White discovered
that the White businessmen, who had attempted to buy and turn this area into an industrial
complex, were behind the catastrophe. They placed land and profit over lives.
Nevertheless, the Blacks preserved and rebuilt Greenwood into a much more prosperous
community. It was a more prosperous business district that would make 21st century Blacks
ashamed of their inactivity. The business district and community had survived one of the most
vicious racist attacks in America’s history.
KEY 3: SOLVING BUSINESS WOES
Black America, it’s time to move on and remember what the Jews and other groups did when
they were disrespected; they bought the hotel or business that disrespected them. This is what
Black America has to do. It’s time to get over the fact that America hasn’t apologized for
slavery. To do this would be to admit fault and America doesn’t admit fault, right or wrong.
You have to reach the point in life where you let the spiritual forces of this universe deal with
In An Historical Case Study of a Quality Classroom (1998), there is a section entitled “What Do
Experts Say about Quality?” It includes comments from Joel Barker, Peter Drucker, William
Haney, and Douglas McGregor. Joel Barker, a futurist, said in his video that vision with action is
the primary ingredient for change. He stated that vision without action or action without visions
brings only a dream (1989).
Peter Drucker, in Management: Task, Responsibility and Practice (1973), said that management
is an organ of an institution, and the institution, whether a business or public service, is in turn
an organ of society, existing to make specific contributions and to discharge specific social
William Haney referred to breaking the cycle in Communication and Interpersonal Relations
(1992) and said that high trust tends to stimulate high performance. Managers, he stated, feel
that subordinates generally respond well to their manager’s genuine confidence in them.
Finally, the father of the Theory X and Theory Y styles of management, Douglas McGregor,
used Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1954) to prove his case for lead-management and
trust. He held that people are all constituted in such a way that they normally seek satisfaction
and motivation through a sequence of needs: (1) physiological needs (oxygen, food, water,
rest), (2) security and safety needs (the need to be free of physiological deprivation and physical
danger), (3) social needs (the need to be respected, accepted, and loved), (4) ego needs ( the need
to be respected; to be somebody and to gain recognition, prestige, and status), (5) self-fulfillment
needs (the need to realize one’s fullest potential in whatever road one may travel). Black people,
feed your needs through trust, mutual respect, and quality living. Take control of your daily
Blacks who desire to enter business can benefit from the comments of these professionals. They
need a vision in everything they attempt; there is a serious need for them to know how to relate
to others in business and the importance of considering the needs of others. This need may be
prevalent in other groups; however, the other groups do not have a problem growing their own
businesses and creating opportunities in their neighborhoods. Use this advice as fuel to motivate
yourselves toward your goals.
How To Create a Business
One of the first things an entrepreneur has to consider in creating a business is the kind of
business culture he wants to create. Earlier we mentioned the Theory X and Theory Y styles of
management. The first style is using coercion; the latter is using empowerment and cooperation
with your employees. Although the styles may cross at times, Theory Y is a much better style
of management: one gets more bees with honey than vinegar. You want to always respect your
employees and demand respect. You never play favorites in others; in other words, you never
favor one over another regardless of what your background or hang-ups may foster.
Next, consider your business plan, or your plan for success. You definitely need a business plan
for your business. If you don’t know how to put a plan together, it will cost you a thousand
dollars or more to have a professional create one for you. Some professionals may consider
bartering a portion of the fee. My company once accepted a trip to Las Vegas and five hundred
dollars for creating a business plan for a physician. You may consider a sample plan of a
1. Executive Summary: the executive summary gives the bank and investor a sizeable
picture of your organization. It discusses everything from the ownership, income needed
and why. Because many investors do not have significant time to read the entire plan, the
executive summary must be concise and succinct.
2. The business history discusses everything from the birth of the business to its culture,
morals, and values.
3. Mission statement: a paragraph stating the goals and objectives of the business in the
present tense. Complement this with a vision statement in the future tense.
4. Keys to success: what are the keys that will make your business successful and why?
Discuss the corporate tangibles and intangibles, as well as what the owners bring to the
success of the business.
5. Corporate goals: discuss your short-and long-range goals for the business. Let your
investors know that this will be discussed at length in your strategic plan.
6. Corporate strengths: brag about your corporate intangible assets; what you and your
support groups bring to the business table.
7. Corporate weaknesses: turn your weaknesses into assets; in other words, “I see what
needs to be done and I do it.” This suggests that instead of delegating, as you should, that
the weakness is you do it yourself.
8. Human resources: discuss your benefit package and the wonderful health club facility
you plan to build for your employees. Remember, your employees are your first
customers; treat them with respect and kindly.
9. Technology: discuss the technology present and future you will need in making your
business first class.
10. Market penetration: discuss your customers, market share, and how you plan to penetrate
and gain market share. Discuss this further in your strategic plan.
11. Projected revenue: Compile a five-year budget, allowing ten percent for contingencies.
This can be done on Microsoft Excel or Google.
Another plan you need to prepare is the strategic plan of your marketing activities. In preparing
the strategic plan, you may use the discrepancy model, which is a step-by-step process to get you
to where you need to go.
1. CURRENT STATUS? Discuss where you presently are in your business. Are you in the
birth, maturity, or decline stage of your business? Be honest in these discussions.
2. DESIRED STATUS? This is a discussion of your dreams and where you desire to be
in the business. Where do you desire to be in five to ten years? Remember, it is in
the maturity stage that the businesses perform well enough not to enter the dangerous
3. IS THERE A QUICK FIX? A quick fix between the WHAT IS and the WHAT
SHOULD BE? If you can quickly move into the next stage, then there is no need for
strategic planning. Just do it!
4. IS STRATEGIC PLANNING NECESSARY? This is a very important question that has
to be answered! If you cannot move quickly between WHAT IS and WHAT SHOULD
BE, then, yes, there is a need for strategic planning.
5. ARE THE PROBLEMS (OPPORTUNITIES) CLIENT BASED? When it comes to
improving your business, EVERYTHING IS CLIENT BASED; YES!
6. IDENTIFY THE PROBLEMS: List the opportunities using bullets or numbers and do not
leave anything out. Very important list.
7. WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS: brainstorm for possible, unique
alternative solutions to your problems or opportunities.
8. CONTINUE TO DETERMINE ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS: continue to brainstorm
with new individuals and develop a trusted nucleus for this activity. Remember, you
cannot trust everybody with your ideas and solutions. People can be fickle!
9. ARE THE SOLUTIONS GROUNDED IN RESEARCH? Research solutions used
by other outstanding managers and experts in management to determine if they have
compiled books or literature sharing their thoughts. This is extremely important. For
example, an individual doing research in education many want to look at Drs. Bynum,
Glasser, and Hardaway; additionally, research in management may, benefit from visiting
Michael Gerber or Dr. Drucker.
10. IMPLEMENT YOUR SOLUTIONS: implement and evaluate your solutions in the
marketplace. Feel free to make changes as needed and re-implement and evaluate until
you are satisfied with your product. Implementation and evaluation are very important to
the success of your business. Repeat constantly!
Some success stories you may want to read are McDonald’s, IBM, Disney etc. Ray Kroc,
McDonald’s brilliant founder/visionary, did something few businesses ever do; he created a
SYSTEM! Ray Kroc’s system was used around the world in developing his restaurants. This
is why the french fries at McDonald’s are the same in Chicago as they are in China. Develop a
system for your business that can be duplicated elsewhere. When you develop your system, do
not allow any employee to deviate from it; it’s grounds for dismissal.
What is the Future of Black Business?
Michael Woodard said in Black Entrepreneurs in America (1997) that the African American
business experience in the post-Civil Rights era is stalled because of racial barriers...
Woodard gave twelve life stories that clearly illustrate that race-based institutionalized barriers
to full participation in the economic arena still shape the Black business experience in the post-
Civil Rights era (p. 215). Black Americans have to work past this mode of thinking. They
should be aware of it; however, if they create an outstanding product or service, customers
will come. Or will they? A business client in Chicago started a computer-installation and-
service company. He told me that there are few professionals with his experience, and that
the corporation could care less if he was Black or polka-dot; they only wanted their computer
systems serviced and functioning for the 21st century. Black Americans presently gross nearly
$1.3 trillion. Who can stop them if they have their act together? Is it difficult? Yes, Will it be
more difficult than a White American? Yes, but you can do it if you have your act together.
Mr. Fuller, the Black founder of Fuller Brush Company, told me one Saturday afternoon in
his Chicago Englewood office, that White Americans boycotted him when they discovered
that he manufactured HA Hair Arranger, a hair product that sponsored the Chicago White Sox
and Chicago Cubs pregame show entitled Lead-off Man. He said he then brought in a White
employee to front for him in this venture. If Mr. Fuller could perform this feat during the Jim
Crow era, what is your excuse?
Tony Brown Talks Business
Tony Brown recommended to the Wall Street Journal that Blacks take control of their own
economic development. This will be done, says Brown, by pooling their resources and
leveraging financial power. Brown asked Blacks to reflect on their culture and history for
the answer. Remember how, after slavery, Blacks pooled their resources for leverage? He
called attention to the Yoruba esusu, the African lending association. This organization pooled
individual income in order to leverage capital more efficiently. After all, the Japanese, Koreans,
and other ethnic and racial groups developed and financed small businesses in this manner.
Brown recalled the days when West Africans used the credit union for leverage and reminded
Blacks that they are the only group which does not use this institution today. You have to know
your history and you can’t blame Willie Lynch in the 21st century; they progressed without
blame in the 19th and 20th centuries! What is your excuse?
The Universal Negro Improvement Association founded by Marcus Garvey, who was deported
back to Jamaica and sold out by some Blacks, was an economic self-help movement. They
started grocery stores, jewelry stores, tailoring shops, and real-estate ventures in the face of both
Black and White opposition. Blacks, according to Tony Brown, did not recognize the golden
egg and chose a path of government entitlements over building their own economic network;
yes, government entitlements.
Tony Brown was a solution-based visionary and author. He focused on solutions like few
Black leaders seem to do today. Blacks need to get off the racial problem, said Brown, and
onto the economic solution (p. 278). He said that Black leadership rarely stresses solutions in
modern times. He mentioned Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who stressed economic development
via Operation Breadbasket. However, some believed that Dr. King chose the wrong leader to
oversee the program. The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who was then and is now a very competitive and
brilliant individual, was believed by some not to have the personality for that ministry. Rev.
Jackson later left Operation Breadbasket to form a Chicago-based organization, People United to
Tony Brown discussed what he called Black Flight. He felt that many “successful” Blacks
abandoned their people after integration took place. He said that it led to a surrender of the
schools, businesses, employment, and future of their children and families. He made an
excellent point! However, many Black men were not willing to counter the drug and gang
problems in their communities.
This author believes there is a higher obligation called family that has to be addressed
by the Black community and will be addressed further in this book. Also, why would an
individual surrender his family’s safety in a terrorist environment when he doesn’t have to?
The responsibility for trust and empowerment covers both sides of the social coin. If Blacks
want “successful Blacks” to stay, then they, too, have a responsibility to clean up the gangs,
drugs, and other cancers in their neighborhoods. They should not ask successful Blacks to
sacrifice their families to stay in a community that, seemingly, doesn’t care. Frankly, it’s unfair
Brown eloquently stated that “blaming others for exploiting the free marketplace puts no
meat or potatoes on the table. The problem is with Blacks as much as Whites. Cultural unity
and economic development will free Blacks.” He further believed that Blacks lost faith in
themselves due to “racism, discrimination, and a debilitating welfare system.” When Blacks
regain their faith, they will improve their communities” (p. 279).
Failure to do for self is a form of betrayal. You cannot expect others to do for you. Black
Americans cannot spend 97 percent of their money outside their own community and expect to
blame Whites and others for 100 percent of their problems. Whites and others are busy working
and feeding their own families; they don’t have the time to entertain the woes of Black peoples.
SOLVE YOUR OWN PROBLEMS!
According to a San Francisco study, the Chinese community turns its money over five to six
times before letting it leave the community. Also, money changes hands four to five times
within the Jewish community and three to four times within the Japanese community. Tony
Brown stated that Black people retain money less than four hours before it leaves the Black
community. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!
Suppose they targeted 50 percent of their monies for only non-Black businesses and supported
the training and education by spending the other 50 percent with Black businesses and Black
banks like Covenant Bank owned by Living Word Ministries and Pastor Bill Winston? The
human and financial capital produced would overcome racist attitudes with economic strength.
Furthermore, says Brown, the inequality gap would close in median family incomes with White
Americans. Brown said that this is something that Affirmative Action can never do.
What do Blacks do with the trillion dollars generated annually? Although they make up 12
percent of the population in the United States, they purchase 40 percent of all musical compact
discs and tapes, 50 percent of all tickets to movie theaters, but fewer than 52 percent of Blacks
own their homes, and I’m sure with the 21st century depression, this number has been cut in half.
And, 20 percent of the Scotch Whiskey consumed. Brown said that if Blacks disappeared from
America, Wall Street would tumble. He believed that waiting for somebody else to save Blacks
made them vulnerable to the “prey” mentality.
Use Your Brainpower
Americas who are racist, said Brown, have always tried to cast Blacks as intellectually inferior.
This, he said, is their justification for enslaving the race of Black people. The 18th century
Scottish philosopher David Hume, whom Brown referred to as “racist,” claimed that Blacks
are naturally inferior to Whites. The Bell Curve, the most recent intellectual attack on Blacks,
claimed to offer scientific proof that Blacks are genetically inferior.
Attorney Donald Warden, who was one of the most brilliant men I’ve been blessed to know(he
use to visit my home weekly in Chicago’s Hyde Park community prior to his weekly television
forum) flew in James Brown’s black jet plane to Chicago weekly from San Francisco. Prior
to his weekly television show, Warden would meet at my apartment with four other people
for a weekly book forum. I remember him discussing his confrontation with scientist William
Shockley on an East-Coast talk show. Shockley, according to Warden, stated that Blacks were
genetically inferior. Attorney Warden, as fast as a lion on his feet, responded that if Blacks
were generically inferior, that Whites were genetically racist. Don said that Shockley became
speechless and left the stage. I have never forgotten this interesting anecdote.
Tony Brown said that he had evidence that might put this inhuman and time-wasting tale to
bed for good. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education and Theodore Cross broke this story.
Brown said the story went unnoticed in the British press, and was completely ignored by the
American media. It was entitled It was entitled “Black Africans Now the Most Highly Educated
Group in British Society.”
The article stated that over 26 percent of adult Africans, compared to a lesser percentage of other
citizens, hold academic qualifications higher than “A” in the United Kingdom. Brown stated that
Blacks in the United Kingdom with African origins are outperforming other citizens two to one
He also said that, though Asians surpass Blacks in America, they also take a back seat to the
Africans in the United Kingdom. Thus, Blacks no longer have the luxury of feeling inferior from
the low expectations of others. Why waste your time with this ungodly thought planted by the
ancestors of slave holders who benefited from your, sweat and tears?
KEY 4: EDUCATION BRINGS DIVIDENDS
Booker T. Washington whose inspirational autobiography Up From Slavery, used as an
additional reading book I used with my 8th grade class at Schmid Elementary School in Chicago,
said, “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has
reached in life, but by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” I agree
with Mr. Washington, but further believe that effective teaching is the key to Total Quality
Historical Case Study of a Quality Classroom, 1998).
Many Black Americans do not respect or appreciate education as their forefathers once did. This
is readily apparent when one visits the elementary and high schools of America’s major cities.
Blacks are dropping out at alarming rates and are spending excessive time watching television
and listening to rap music instead of reading in libraries. Reading and math scores of Black
students are below grade level and many, unlike their forefathers, cannot read or write at all.
Also, gangs are popping up like popcorn, and drugs, instead of sports, have played a major role
in the lives of the Black community. Additionally, teenagers are becoming parents like never
before. This is appalling, and the government and its welfare programs, have become the fathers
of these children.
In 1983, Secretary of Education Bell and the Reagan Administration released A Nation at Risk a
document highly critical of education in America. Experts believed low achievement in at-risk
students had been ignored in planning and intervention efforts, and, because of the educators’
behavior, the gap had widened between at-risk students and their higher-achieving classmates
(Winfield and Hawkins, 1992).
According to Lehr and Harrison, the population of students identified as “at-risk” had grown
and more students were at-risk due to complicated economic and social forces existing in the
schools. It was the at-risk students who required more of the teachers’ time in the classrooms.
Their research revealed that, although these students had a greater need for teacher support, some
teachers had communicated inappropriate expectations toward at-risk students.
Although truancy was mentioned as a major factor, there were also other variables affecting at-
risk students. The students, according to the 1994 Chicago School Report Card, are affected by
low income and limited language-proficiency skills, which affect the ability to attend school and
function consistently in the classroom (Hardaway).
Historically, in the earlier years of the Reconstruction period, Blacks learned to read and write
from many of their White counterparts and other Blacks in the community. Many Whites risked
their reputations and Blacks risked their lives when they decided to learn to read and write.
During the early part of the 19th century, much of the sentiment towards education disappeared
among Blacks. This occurred mostly in the Midwestern and Southern states (Carter G.
Woodson). Carter G. Woodson, who wrote The Miseducation of the Negro (1933), expressed
these ideas in The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861 (1915).The above-mentioned reforms,
said Carter, were forgotten when White America forgot the struggle for the rights of man (p.
The aristocrats, explained Woodson G. Carter, found this abandonment comfortable because they
had already begun to influence the government based upon representation of interests, restriction
of suffrage, and the ineligibility of the poor for office (p. 122). The work of enlightening was
then concentrated in only heavily Black-populated areas. Blacks were blessed when the bigger
cities began to grow. Not only were they able to see how others were living, but also to expand
their quality of life.
School construction was the watchword of that day. Friends of Blacks were also voicing the
need for additional schools for Black children. The address of the American Convention of
Abolition Society in 1819, Carter explained, was typical of these appeals (p. 127). Northern
Blacks were encouraged to save from their meager earnings for the education of their children.
They often said, “Encourage those among you who are qualified as teachers of schools, and
when you are able to pay, never send your children to free schools; for this may be considered
robbing the poor of their opportunities which are intended for them alone (p. 128). Black schools
were self-supporting in the cities and towns with a heavy concentration of Blacks. These
Blacks were able to provide for their own enlightenment because they developed a class of
self-educating Blacks. The exception to this rule was the South, which did not see the need
to develop its Blacks due to its pro-slavery and farming sections. Some people, like Santo
Dominican’s Julian Troumontaine, failed to let the legality of an immoral law stop them and they
eagerly continued to teach clandestinely until 1844.
In New Orleans, people of color, who had secured better teaching facilities, counted themselves
early in the 19th century as a substantial element in their society. People here, unlike those
in Savannah, did not regard the teaching of Blacks as unlawful. Furthermore, children of
Caucasian blood did not object to having classmates of both races. The Freedmen paid the cost
of this educational privilege. Self-educating urban Negroes in Charleston, South Carolina, said
Carter, furnished a good example of a center of unusual activity and rapid strides. In 1810,
driven to the point of doing for them, they organized the Minor Society to secure for orphan
children the benefits of an education.
Carter also said that a large portion of the leading mechanics, fashionable tailors, shoe
manufacturers, and Mantua-makers were free Blacks. These elite Blacks enjoyed a reputation
in the community that some say was better than that enjoyed by Blacks who lived in Northern
cities. He recorded that “the life styles were of such quality for some Blacks that some decided
to abandon the North and move back to liberal cities like Charleston.”
Another example of Blacks making strides was the Blacks who lived in the District of Columbia.
There Blacks were making progress at a very difficult time and place. Mrs. Maria Billings, said
Carter, was the first to establish a “real” school for Blacks in the Georgetown area. She had
pupils from all parts of the District of Columbia, and Bladensburg, Maryland. The high fees of
these schools were no impediment for these well-to-do Black Americans.
Pennsylvania Improves Conditions for Slaves
States like Pennsylvania were trying to improve conditions, while others were looking at putting
a halt to slavery altogether. The Quakers, who played a major role in the Underground Railroad,
were at it again. They took literally the instructions of George Fox as gospel to teach the slaves.
Many colonists, according to John Hope Franklin in From Slavery to Freedom (1967), were
teaching both slaves and free Negroes. In 1722, an individual offered to teach “his poor Brethren
the Negroes to read the Holy Scriptures” (p. 98). By the end of the century, numerous classes in
the rudiments, said Franklin, were being held for Negroes.
The climate on slavery began shifting. German and English Quakers were seeing slavery
differently. They shifted from opposing importation to opposing the institution altogether (p.
98). The Quakers also impacted Delaware on its attitude about slavery. Franklin stated that
Delaware drifted away from her mother colony and became more and more identified in interest
with their Southern neighbors.
Many Southerners didn’t believe in Blacks’ in ability to learn; so despite legal restrictions and
despite contentions on the part of Southerners like John Calhoun that Blacks could not absorb
educational material, Black people were murdered by some slave owners if they were taught or
heard reading being read to other children.
John Calhoun, like former Los Angeles Dodger executive Al Campanis, more than a century and
a half later, said that Blacks did not have the “capacity” for learning. This is interesting because
the Greek philosophers allegedly often set at the feet of Egyptian philosophers and learned
abundantly. Had Calhoun forgotten that Egypt is in Africa and Africa was credited with being
the beginning of civilization? Anyway, many people disregarded this unjust and ignorant law and
continued to teach, and the students continued to learn.
Strangely, many slave owners taught their slaves to read. Perhaps this gave them a feeling of
liberation from their guilt or perhaps they had a change of heart. William Pease of Hardman
County, Tennessee, was one of the Blacks taught by his owner. Many owners, like Phyllis
Wheatley’s owner, saw this as the right thing to do. The owners thought it gave them bragging
rights to discuss how well their slaves could read and write. One slave owner in Mississippi
bragged about his 20 slaves being able to read and write, and the slaveowners purchased their
In 1840, in Wilmington, Delaware, Blacks were permitted to attend school with White children,
although there is no way of knowing to what extent. Mulatto Blacks often attended White
schools posing as Whites. Julius Melbourne was sent to a White academy by his mistress and
remained until he was discovered passing for White. Other mulattos, said Franklin, had more
success than Julius, although there is no record or way to ascertain how many.
Franklin said many Southern Whites felt Blacks did not have the capacity to learn. Northerners
debated that the conditions had more to do with intellectual performance than their intellectual
capacities. Amos Dress and C.G. Parsons estimated that about 5,000 of Georgia 400,000 slaves
were literate and that one out of every 50 in the Southwest could read and write (p. 203). The
debates and insults continued, and many of the slaves continued to learn to read and write.
Slaves like Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglass were nurtured during slavery and
became outstanding Black American leaders.
Arnold Rose in the Negro in America (1967) recorded that the trend toward the increase in Black
education was of tremendous concern and importance to Whites and the relationship between the
two. Education was seen as assimilation and not dissimulation into the American culture. Rose
explained that Black education was a liability to Republicans, who preached the caste system as
compared to the Democrats. Education was seen by some as assimilation and not exclusion from
the rank and file. Rose said that increasing education provided theories and tools for the rising
Negro protest against the caste system. It also opened the door for an economic livelihood for
Some Blacks saw education as an avenue to get one up on their brothers. The community saw
it as a means of dividing Blacks into different social classes. This became the case not only in
the community, but also on the college campuses, where the Greek fraternities and sororities saw
themselves as the Black elite.
Education in Northern & Southern States
In the Northern States, education for Blacks was uninterrupted. Blacks had free education
for all. Rose stated that there the entire educational system was open to them without much
discrimination. The theme that hard work will result in success was handed out to Black and
White students alike. However, employment, said Rose, did not offer the same scenario, which
had to create some confusion in the minds of Black Americans. Although many “drank” freely
of the democratic way of life, others were cynical (p. 281).
The South presented a different scenario. Things were more complicated and segregated. In
addition, people with different interests and agendas other than educating “those Negroes”
controlled the Black schools. Blacks like Book T. Washington received philanthropic monies
from liberal Easterners, while the Southern liberals were still debating about totally freeing Black
Americans. “White liberals in the region and Northern philanthropists have given powerful
assistance in building up Negro education in the South (p. 281), reported Rose. The liberals and
philanthropists did not have power and control. Other Whites, who wielded the political power
in the region, had initially preserved control of Black education.
Surprisingly, college presidents, salaried officers, school principals, professors, and teachers
were now the Black wheelers and dealers. Rose reported that “between 1913 and 1932, they
constructed some 5,357 Black school buildings in 15 Southern states. The total cost of these
buildings was $28,408,520, of which $4,725,871 or 17 percent came in a flood of small
contributions from Blacks themselves-striking evidence of the desire of members of this race for
schools for their children” (Embree, p. 23).
During the period between 1913 and 1932, White community leaders maneuvered Black teachers
on all levels and made them totally dependent on them. With low salaries and zero security,
rural and elementary teachers were most venerable. They were often used to spread White
propaganda throughout the Black community, because their clientele often trusted them. The
elite Blacks betrayed their power in the Black community and watered down their community
influence, because most had no concern for the quality of teaching that took place.
What Was the Attitude of Blacks Toward Education?
Education had always been seen by society as the great hope and Black institutions patterned
themselves after White institutions even when they were segregated institutions. Education in
America had always been the foundation for launching everything else. It was the way both
Whites and Blacks improved society. Blacks really took education seriously (probably too
seriously). It was seen as the doorway to everything else--economic and social. Many Blacks
hoped and dreamed to escape “drudgery” through education, according to Rose. Education had
done so much that it was looked upon as a panacea.
Surprisingly, with all the expectations and success attached to education, the educator the teacher
is still underpaid and overworked. Teachers were not being rewarded at the level they deserved
in American society. Everybody else rich or poor, Black or White, Jew or Gentile--came before
teachers... However, like Christ in His day, American society delights in seeing educators
remain needy. They must keep them wanting.
Diametrically, Black society gave teachers a higher status, not economically but socially. It
was not unusual to walk into a Black church Sunday morning and see your teacher worshipping
God with you. Like the preacher, they had a special place in the hearts of Black people.
Additionally, because of the limited opportunities perceived and given to Blacks, many educated
Blacks entered the educational arena.
The first 60 years of the 20th century saw Blacks in partnership with education. Education was
preached at home, in churches and in schools. Black colleges, mostly in the South, were popular
among Blacks due to the Black Power movement. Black pride, with James Brown’s song “Say
it Loud, I’m Black and I [‘m Proud,” was soaring in the Black neighborhoods, especially on the
Black college campuses of America.
If a Northern Black wanted to matriculate at a Black institution, he or she had to go south to
Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, Florida, or Georgia. There were only a few Black
institutions such as Howard and Morgan State in the North. The ‘60s saw just that: a migration
to the South and its Black schools.
Booker T. Washington, who was foolishly considered an Uncle Tom by some Blacks but a hero
by others, had built Tuskegee Institute from the ground up. If Washington did sell out, as some
thought, he sold out for his own people, rather than for himself. He also preached the Three H’s
in earlier schools. He proponed “the head to think, the heart to love and the hands to build.”
Building was Washington’s middle name. He opened institutions to train his people in the skills
that allowed them to eat on a regular basis. Washington and Marcus Garvey had communicated
back and forth and had something in common Self Help! They were planning to meet and share
ideas when Booker T. Washington died.
Meanwhile, W.E.B. DuBois and the Talented Tenth were also speaking their minds. DuBois
saw skills of the hands as a waste of time and believed in developing only head knowledge.
It’s been reported that DuBois, A. Phillip Randolph and Abbott opposed Garvey to the extent
that some believed they teamed up with the United States government to imprison and later
deport Garvey back to Jamaica. Later in life, DuBois saw the error of his ways and reportedly,
apologized to Garvey before retiring to and dying in Ghana.
And the Beat Goes ON!
Madelline Stratton, in Negroes Who Helped Build America (1955), featured education and
educational institutions. She stated that “with more and better opportunities for a sound
education, the Negro like all other Americans will be able to contribute more to the development
of their country” (p. 64).
Stratton discussed the life and history of Booker T. Washington in full. About three years
before the Civil War, said Stratton, there was born a sturdy little boy who later named himself
Booker T. Washington. The life of this man influenced people in many parts of the world.
Washington, the father of Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University, grew as Tuskegee grew.
Stratton believed that Washington and the school were as one; the school made him and he made
In Up from Slavery, an autobiography by Washington, he walked to school as a young man
and slept in the cracks of sidewalks. But also, it was impressive that the community saw his
admission to school as a community victory. Before his departure for school, the neighbors
assembled and praised his success with hugs and gifts. This may be totally diametrical to the
attitudes of Blacks today. Many doctorial graduates have mentioned the jealousy that followed
them after graduation.
Washington’s adult work brought him in contact with many people of fame and fortune. As a
result, he never lost an opportunity to ask for support for his institution. He was often pictured
with men of financial means, such as Andrew Carnegie, Howard Taft, and Robert Ogden.
Mary McLeod Bethune, one of 17 children of poor Southern parents, was another founder and
encourager. She founded Bethune-Cookman College in Florida. Born of poor Southern parents,
she had vision, showed courage, and exercised her energy to become unique. Born on July 10,
1875, ten years after the end of slavery, Bethune went from a four-room cabin to becoming an
adviser to the President of the United States. She was often in contact with Franklin and Eleanor
Roosevelt concerning social issues. In 1905, a charter was issued to Bethune and at that time the
facility was officially named The Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Negro Scholars
(p. 83). She told her story and impressed her investors, including Thomas H. White, a sewing-
machine manufacturer. Upon his death, he left a trust fund of $67,000 to help build an assembly
hall (p. 83). Her political contacts included visits to the White House with Presidents Roosevelt
Carter G. Woodson was born to John and Anne Woodson, ex-slaves, on December 19, 1875.
He, too, was born poor, but like many took advantage of the educational doors that opened
to him. He wanted more and more education and encouraged Robert, his brother, to move to
Huntington, West Virginia, to attend high school. He waited for three years before he was
able to enter and later received his diploma toward the turn of the 20th century. Carter went to
Berea College in Kentucky and the University of Chicago, where he received degrees. He later
graduated from Harvard University in 1912 with a Ph.D. He was known for many things; among
them, an account of education in America for Blacks. Mr. Carter G. Woodson also wrote and
published The Miseducation of the Negro. There were some Black Americans who made huge
impressions on their people.
The ‘50s saw Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Bus Boycott demand the respect and economic
ear of Birmingham’s government. Prior to this, Blacks were treated with total disrespect.
Policemen were murdering Black men for no apparent reason; but the policemen and other White
males who, apparently, wanted to whet their sexual appetites, had no problem lying down with
Black women. Prior, to Dr. King, there was a minister by the name of Vernon Johns. Pastor
Johns believed in education and economic freedom for his congregation. His church consisted of
successful Black “elites” who felt embarrassed when he mentioned the ills of the city. They felt
that it would upset the powers-to-be for him to speak and preach about the injustices of the city,
and voted him out of the church. Pastor Vernon Johns was a pioneer and laid the groundwork
for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to pick up the torch.
The All-in-One Teacher
Mitchell Gordon, in Sick Cities (1965), used the phrase, ersatz parent to refer to the duties
of teachers as educators baby-sitters, counselors, trainers, instructors of the handicapped,
companions, and motivators (p. 219). Teachers had taught many successful individuals, but for
whatever reason, American society believed that teachers should be poor and needy.
The above-mentioned titles have become the titles of teachers in major cities of America. The
paradigm of the Black family changed in the later ‘60s and the beginning of the ‘70s after the
passing of the Civil Rights Bill and Black females going to work in greater numbers.
In the ‘60s, a majority of Black mothers, in the North, were home and dad was working. Many
of them, because of the high divorce rate and drugs neutralizing the Black community, had to
survive and feed their children; therefore, they entered the workforce. Others wanted another
television or second automobile. With this, education began tumbling and the children who once
exemplified home training, were exhibiting total disrespect for teachers and education.
Mitchell Gordon said, the problem that sprawl shores on urban education thus tends to fall
more heavily on the central city that is left behind in sprawl’s outward dash than upon newly
created suburbs” (p. 219). Gordon further stated that monies to build new schools in the newly
developed suburbs were not at all limited. It was in the inner cities that money was short and
where leadership, apparently, suffers from it even today. Gordon asserted that “The suburban
child is typically the benefactor of an educational resource far more vital to education than that
money can buy” (p. 219).
Education in the 60’s
In the ‘60s, Black Americans continued to move North for economic reasons. With this
movement brought exposure to big, sick cities. The schools in these cities were more segregated
than the in South, and racism and hatred were as prevalent. Chicago schools, like other
Midwestern schools, were as systematically segregated as the cities themselves. Superintendent
Ben Willis and the Chicago School Board equipped the Black schools with Willis Wagons,
which were portable units placed in the playgrounds of Black schools that were used for
classrooms. This was their answer to overcrowded Black schools and hindered Blacks from
being admitted to White schools that were not overcrowded.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had decided to spread his Southern boycott to Northern Chicago,
which he called the most segregated Northern city he had ever seen. Some Black ministers,
like Dr. J.H. Jackson, the national leader of the National Baptist Convention, had gotten their
marching orders and told King to go home and stay out of Chicago. Jackson echoed the voice
of the city’s mayor, who had built the high-rise housing projects that added to the high crime
of Chicago. Rev. Jesse Jackson, then leader of Southern Christian Leadership Conference,
referred to it as “putting a quarter into a dime,” comparing it to people being stacked on top of
Because the housing was systematically segregated, so were the schools. Lorraine Hansberry’s
Raisin in the Sun was a play depicting a Black matriarch who had lost her husband and wanted to
move her family to a White Chicago community. Although they eventually moved in, they were
not welcomed and were offered monetary compensation to change their minds in an attempt to
keep the community lily white.
Morgan Park High School
In the ‘60s, unlike the ‘90s, students went to the high school in their immediate communities.
Morgan Park High School was one of few integrated high schools of that era and my alma mater.
Probably, 95 98 percent of Chicago’s high schools were segregated. Morgan Park was chosen
because I believe it was an excellent example of what Black students endured during this era.
In 1960, Morgan Park High School was academically in the top five high schools of Chicago
public schools. It was probably 85 90 percent White, 5 percent Black, and 5 percent Asian and
Hispanic. The students came from three neighborhoods: Morgan Park East, which was where
Blacks lived who served the Beverly Hills community; Mount Greenwood, a middle-class White
community; and Beverly Hills, the White upper-class community. Mount Greenwood, like
Morgan Park East, comprised working class people, but they were Whites who probably felt a
deep disdain for Black people. Blacks were not welcomed in Mount Greenwood. They felt it,
heard it, and saw it on the faces of many teachers, students, and administrators. It was no secret
that Black students were expelled at the drop of a hat and, seemingly, for minor infractions. Yes,
some did things that were, perhaps, immature, but that’s what teenagers do.
I discovered early on in high school that if you completed your school work and played a sport,
life would be much better at Morgan Park High School. I completed my school work and
played baseball, and life was much better for me. I was one of two Blacks on the freshman
baseball team and when I arrived at the varsity squad, one of three. I played first string and was
a seasoned outfielder at seventeen, because of my summer activities playing semi-pro baseball
with men twice my age, some of whom played professional baseball at the minor-league level.
Some individuals played minor ball with professionals like Hank Aaron and others.
Morgan Park’s Faculty
The Morgan Park High School faculty was an assortment of white chocolate with assorted
personalities. Many of them were not friendly; however, there were a few who made you feel
at home, like baseball coaches Campbell and Hanuer and my wonderful Latin teacher, Mr. John
Cunea. Also, the teachers in the business department were phenomenal. I knew my freshman
year of high school that I would be majoring in business and finance in college. I performed
service for one of those teachers, John Holzman, by helping him prepare his examinations
and marking exams. He often told me about his days growing up in Chicago in an integrated
community. I appreciate these individuals even today.
In spite of this stressful environment, we had Black students who excelled. I graduated from
John D. Shoop School along with nearly 200 other students. But, four years later, only 34
graduates marched through the doors of Morgan Park. We truly felt blessed to complete those
four years at Morgan Park. In spite of the social climate, we had a total quality education at
Morgan Park. A decade or two after I was graduated from Morgan Park, Astronaut Mae Jemison
put Morgan Park High School on the map when she became the first woman to travel to outer
The Ills of Education in the Last of the 20th Century
The ‘70s saw more mothers going to work and more children going to daycare. The cocaine
scene was underway and had become a way of life for many. If the movie Panthers is correct,
the Black Panthers and Black community were neutralized by legal authorities. According to
the movie, in 1970, 300,000 people had drug addictions and this number eventually rose to over
3,000,000. Most families were intact and children had the luxury of both parents being in the
home in the ‘60s. But the ‘70s showed a drastic shrift in the students attending Chicago public
schools. From 1970 to 1993, while I was teaching elementary school, I saw a drastic shrift in
education and family values. School principals were accused of drinking on the job and children
were running wild in the schools. Unlike the ‘60s when schools did not tolerate misbehavior,
corporal punishment took a walk on the wild side in the ‘70s and with it went God and discipline
for nearly 400,000 students. The church and other sleeping giants allowed Madeline O’Hare to
whip the game on over 250 million people when she had prayer removed from the schools. This
is when, even into the 21st century, all hell broke loose in the Chicago public schools and the
schools of America.
Many of the students who actually bothered to come to school were so disruptive and
disrespectful that it was difficult to teach. Teachers were getting in physical confrontations
with students and the teachers were being blamed. Many knew it was time to go and left the
system. During the ‘70s, I recall an incident during a math class, wherein a student, by the name
of Richard, brought a miniature bottle of whiskey to school. In the middle of teaching math, I
abruptly caught a sniff of whiskey. Even as a non-drinker, I immediately knew what it was. By
the look on the students’ faces, I knew the disruption came from Richard’s desk.
Richard was 12 years old and stood nearly 4’10” tall. He weighed in at 65 to 75 pounds and
was usually preoccupied with impressing the young and inexperienced girls in the classroom. I
was somewhat surprised because, due to Richard’s stuttering problem, he usually remained quiet
and I seldom called on him in class unless he raised his hand. When all eyes fell on Richard,
I walked back to his desk to find a miniature bottle of airline whiskey spilled in his desk. I
decided to call his mother at the end of the school day and she arrived the next day with a sob
story. This nearly 6’ woman explained to me that she couldn’t handle Richard. I was shocked
because Richard, unlike some of the others, did not have a mean spirit. I explained very clearly
to her that Richard was out of order and that I would not tolerate such conduct in my classroom.
I explained to her that, with her approval, I would take it upon myself to discipline Richard. She
agreed and from that day on, I had no more problems from Richard.
Also, during this period, social promotions were popular. Passing students from grade to grade
without meeting academic standards, were one of the downfalls of Black students, particularly in
the public schools of America. Again, like Welfare, the students received something they didn’t
have to work for. I refused to cooperate. This process took the hopes and aspirations away from
students and many didn’t even attempt to learn. They weren’t encouraged to read and complete
their home homework assignments because they knew they would be promoted regardless. With
more parents working, the students had begun to rear themselves. Students began to experiment
more with pot and sex, and “children having children was increasingly common. Also, during
this time, believe it or not, day-care was introduced to the high schools, and along with birth-
control pills. The authorities had the audacity not to notify the parents about birth-control pills
being issued to their daughters. More and more the government was rearing its ugly head in the
hearts of families.
The schools were also introducing the free lunch program. Schools were serving students
breakfast, lunch, and after school snacks. The breakfast and lunch programs were, foolishly,
tied to the school’s financial-aid program from the government. However, the rules were often
broken. This program actually opened the door for parents to lie and cheat; and they did. If
the truth be told, the free-lunch program was started by the Black Panthers and Chairman Fred
Hampton in 1970.
The Later Years of Education
The latter decades of the 20th century and first decade of the 21st century were worse. Blacks
exhibited more apathy toward education than ever before. Everybody wanted to be Michael
Jordan or Michael Jackson. When young people were told that Michael Jordan had a degree
from North Carolina University and that he knew how to read and write, they turned a deaf ear.
School administrators were also scared of the students. Many of them were so scared that their
fears allowed the discipline problems to grow. Teachers became more frustrated, underpaid,
and overworked. The students who were discipline problems often heard lectures repeatedly,
but there were no suspensions. The Students’ Code of Conduct was null and void due to some
irresponsible and scared school officials. Unlike earlier decades, Blacks were no longer as
loving and kind to one another. The Crack cocaine had taken a toll; it neutralized the Black
community that already felt hopeless and visionless. The violence in the schools had gone from
after-school brawls to after-school shootings.
“I”,” me,”and “my” were the buzz words of the day in Black America. Education was null
and void, and drugs and babies were the hip thing to do. Tony Brown, in Black Lies, White
Lies (1995), discussed how set-asides benefited people other than those for whom they were
intended, and the talk was Affirmative Action. Some individuals felt Blacks needed more than
Affirmative Action, and others, like my childhood friend and human-resource expert Marshall
Wordlaw, thought it should be altogether eliminated. Working at Sears Headquarters, I recalled
the human-resource specialist, a Caucasian male, telling me “White men have benefited from
Affirmative Action their entire lives.” Now, the same individuals see it as un-American.
On the other side of the coin, I remember my neighbor at the time, who was one of the most
kindest individuals I’ve ever met, awakened me to the other side of Affirmative Action when he
discussed what he called the White backlash. For the first time in my life, I was able to discuss
with a Caucasian gentleman both sides of the question. Ralph mentioned he applied for a job
and was stepped over in the name of Affirmative Action. I believe Ralph deserved that job;
but likewise, Blacks had been locked out for centuries and counting. The game of divide and
conquer and the race card were being played.
What about Church Schools?
As a young man growing up in Chicago’s Morgan Park community, I often over- heard my
pastor, Dr. A. Edward Davis, Sr., discuss church schools. He mentioned the importance of the
church having the children seven days a week. Well, Dr. Davis died in the middle ‘60s and
his replacement completed the task but not well. It was very difficult to get the new pastor to
perform his regular pastoral functions, not to mention having a vision for a church school. When
the church school was finally built, the pastor made himself the principal, although he had no
educational experience in administration. He later replaced himself with his wife, who, like him,
had no educational experience in administration. He ran the school in an autocratic manner and
got paid. Getting paid is what the Black church and leadership had come to. During this phase,
the paradigm had shifted from “we” to “me,” while the Black community appeared to be in a
trance, with nothing fazing them.
Blacks and Ebonics
When the topic of Ebonics hit the media, my initial thought was the elite and middle class had
come up with new means to get more set-asides. The term Ebonics turned 24 years of age the
month after the Oakland School Board passed its resolution. The name and practice, according
to The Real Ebonics Debate, was then two decades old. It was a new way of talking about the
language of African slave descendants. My initial thought was “Who is going to hire these
individuals?” After all, Black people don’t create jobs; others groups create the jobs!
With all teachers had to do to teach reading and writing to Black students, now they wanted
them to teach Ebonics. But when would teachers say? “Enough is enough, backoff Jack?”
Enlightenment had been a completely nonexistent commodity (p. 17). Teachers were often asked
what they thought of Ebonics -like it would make a difference. Blacks appeared to want to live
in the past and not conquer the future. Some said it was the language they heard as their mothers
nursed them and changed their diapers and played peek-a-boo (p. 17). Oh, really? I believe if
Black Americans choose to live in this country, like Hispanics, they should learn the English
I don’t agree with the philosophy of Ebonics; Blacks don’t have enough economic power to
hire or sustain jobs for those who cannot speak standard English. Additionally, I believe it is a
waste of time and effort, and that this energy should be spent on developing quality students and
building church schools; let’s move on!
What is the current climate for Black education? Worse than ever before! One look at the
statistics, says Gloria Ladson-Billings in Dreammakers (1994), provides some insight in the
fact that African Americans continue to lag behind their White counterparts on all standard
measures of achievement. African Americans, said Ladson-Billings, are three times as likely to
drop out of school as White children. They are also twice as likely to be suspended from school
(p. 2). She also said the dropout rate in New York and California is about 35 percent. In the
inner city, the dropout rate is 50 percent. Although Black students are only 17 percent of the
public school population, they comprise 41 percent of the special-education population (p. 2).
This would not have happened in the early educational years of Blacks when they cared about
education and the family structure was more intact. In the ‘90s and into 2010, they appeared to
care about everything else except education and the family. The blame cannot totally be placed
on the incompetent system, because if the family were intact, as when I was at Morgan Park, the
students would come to school with a different attitude.
Ladson-Billings said these statistics coincide with the poor economic and social conditions
of Blacks in America. She stated that the rate of infant mortality among Black Americans is
twice that of White Americans. Black children are five times as likely as White children to be
dependent on Welfare or become pregnant (p. 2)
Social conditions once prompted Blacks to look at themselves; now they appear to lack that
innate desire to do so. The 20th and 21st centuries have them looking to liberal Whites and the
government, as some did in earlier decades. As a result, they remain in the same pickle. The
schools in major cities are more segregated and unequipped than ever before. Ladson-Billings
and other experts noticed it in the ‘90s and nothing has changed today except to get worse!
Once again, I urge parents to take control of their schools and at the same time, establish church
schools that will have their children seven days a week. To repeat the same scenario over and
over again without positive results is classified as insanity.
A Mother Demands Quality from her Children
Ben Carson, M.D. stated in Think Big (1992) that his mother saw a problem and had the courage
to change it. Carson and his brother weren’t doing well in school and spent their after-school
time playing in the streets and being unproductive. They were staying out late and playing
instead of completing their school work. Mrs. Carson was supporting the family after their
father decided to take wings and leave. She came home one evening from a long day’s work
and had an announcement for Ben and his brother. The announcement was not at all pleasing to
the two sons, but, like the parents of old, Mrs. Carson said what she meant and meant what she
said. She said that she had heard from God and that it was time for her to take back her family.
God, she said, informed her that enough was enough and that He had told her that her sons were
to go to the library after school and study. In addition to their homework, she gave them an extra
reading assignment with weekly book reports. The results were amazing! Ben and his brother,
who had struggled badly in school and was failing, went from being “F” students to the honor
roll. Today, Dr. Ben Carson is known worldwide as one of the best surgeons in the world and
is on staff at Johns Hopkins Medical Center. Mrs. Carson had the courage to parent and take
charge. I can’t help but think about the students who missed the mark because their parents failed
to take charge of the situation like Mrs. Carson.
A Possible Plan for the Schools
In 1994, I read The Quality School (1989) by William Glasser, M.D. on the additional reading
list of a class at the University of Sarasota. Because of this unique, book An Historical Case
Study of a Quality Classroom (1998) was born. I worked with 30 students over three years and
recorded my findings. In my research, I wanted to know what would happen if Reality Therapy
and the Control Theory of love, power, freedom, fun, and safety were used in a classroom. The
research would determine if the students would:
● Improve their reading and math scores on the annual Iowa Test of Basic Skills
● Improve their behavior in the classroom and school as a whole
● Reclaim the “joy for school” they had in earlier grades
What is Control Theory?
Glasser and Hardaway discussed the importance of “control theory” in the quality school
and quality classroom. They stated that quality, or quality of life, was not difficult to define
or understand. Control Theory stated that human beings have five basic needs: love, power,
freedom, fun, and survival. Quality, said Glasser and Hardaway was anything individuals
experienced that was consistently satisfying to one or more of these basic needs. People
want control over what happens to them and the environment around them. They want to be
empowered. As people mature and grow older, they learn that satisfying their needs takes
planning, hard work, and sometimes patience.
What Is Reality Therapy?
The Glasser and Hardaway believe that Reality Therapy should be considered for all schools.
Reality Therapy states that people need outside love, but also have the need for self-love.
Furthermore, with these two needs fulfilled, a change should occur within the behavior of that
individual. It also says that you return that love to the person who exhibited love toward you.
Finally, when a person’s needs are fulfilled, his or her behavior should become more positive.
Glasser discussed the need for needs fulfillment in his research. He noted the need for more
mental hospitals, correction institutions, and psychiatric facilities because of a lack of teaching
in this area. People haven’t been taught to fulfill the needs in their lives. He also mentioned the
nonexistence of planned programs for mental hygiene to teach children how to fulfill their needs.
It appeared as though the society viewed children as having little, if any, worth.
Glasser, in Reality Therapy (1965), discussed the outdated mental-health departments in most
states. He felt that true mental hygiene failed to progress past the discussion phase in some states
and not even that far in most. This is a sad state of affairs for the wealthiest nation in the world,
but the healthcare system, as a whole, with its cost and lack of insurance for nearly 50 million
Americans and prescription drugs being too costly to purchase, is also a disgrace. Glasser
believed the focus of mental-health should be on teaching responsibility rather than emphasizing
mental illness. This latter outdated approach, he felt, had strangled the true mental-hygiene
program as it existed then and now.
This information related to Black students who occupied the special-education rooms two to one.
Black students who were disruptive had unfulfilled needs that cannot be filled by purchasing a
pair of Michael Jordan athletic shoes. It goes deeper than that; Glasser, a psychiatrist, believed
that the public schools were the most logical place to teach mental hygiene or needs fulfillment.
However, with the stigma attached to mental illness, the schools may never take advantage of
this valuable teaching.
Glasser also discussed the need for schools and society to rid themselves of the old stereotypes
of mental illness being an illness. “Until we rid ourselves of the idea of mental illness and the
concept that people who need psychiatric treatment are sick, we will never be able to enlist
public support for a mental hygiene program in the public schools.” He further explained that
it would not take highly trained people to staff such a hygiene program in the public schools.
He saw individuals who needed mental-hygiene support as having unfulfilled needs rather than
mental illness. Blacks have many unfulfilled needs from their entry into America to the present
time. America never had
the decency to apologize for slavery and provide these people with mental-health services.
Is Quality Education the Answer?
Hardaway, in his research, discussed Glasser, who saw quality in some areas of schooling,
but little if any in academics. Students saw it in athletics, music, and drama, but only a few
saw quality in advanced-placement academics or shop classes. Students freely stated that they
were capable of quality work in the classroom, but had no plans, short or long term, to prove
it. Glasser further believed that only high-quality schoolwork would solve the problem of the
schools. He believed that teachers and administrators were hard-working educators, but had
failed to come up with a plan to get students to do quality work.
Glasser also believed that the goal of the schools was wrong and that as long as the goal was
to get the student through, the schools would only fall further behind. He cited the claims in
American newspapers that discussed American students falling further behind in science and
math. Black students are further behind than the students whom Glasser mentioned. Many
Black students, unlike many successful Blacks, may have chosen the easier classes. Glasser and
Hardaway believe the focus in the classroom should be on how the students are managed and
not on better teaching. When asked about the quality of the schools, they pointed out that people
said better teaching is the answer. They failed to see the relationship between better teaching
and better management. They reflected on earlier years when people saw their teachers as
being effective and need satisfying. When teachers failed to teach in need-satisfying ways, they
resorted to coercion to make students learn. Effective teaching, then, manages students without
Effective Teaching Is Not Difficult
Drs. Glasser and Hardaway believe that educators have to overcome the obstacles that keep
them from moving from boss-management to lead-management styles of managing. One of
the obstacles that stand in the way of making this necessary change is the failure of people to
understand how to teach effectively. They view it as an obstacle, because they fail to obtain
the tools necessary to teach effectively. Unless educators view it for what it is, they have little
chance to overcome it.
Both men believe that effective teaching is the most difficult job in our society. An effective
teacher, said Glasser and Hardaway, is one who is able to convince, not half or three quarters,
but essentially all, of his students to do quality work in school. Effective teaching is getting
students to work up to their capacity and not lean on the shovel. They further believe that the
measures of school failure the high dropout rates, low test scores, and students’ refusal to take
math and science courses were due to students’ failure to expend the effort to do quality work.
How To Get Started in Quality
All students need a different model in the classroom. However, if any body needs it more, it is
the Black students. Individuals interested in creating a quality school should begin with a faculty
meeting. At the meeting, the administrator should discuss creating a quality school and getting
involved in control and reality-therapy training. Teachers who take this training will learn how
to talk to students without using coercion. Initially, the admintrator should take the training, then
the faculty. Glasser and Hardaway believe all administrators and teachers need two one-week
training sessions on learning how to relate to students.
Secondly, the administrator should present the idea to the teachers in a lead-management style,
without coercion. This will show the teachers that he is serious about empowering them and
giving them the option to become a part of this newly created project. Teachers will not be
interested unless they can see where they and their students will benefit.
The administration must ask the faculty, “How can we help you much more than we have in the
past?” The administrator may ask for suggestions at this meeting and should listen intently to
the teachers’ responses. Although new answers may be offered, they all should be very carefully
recorded. The teachers may be slow to respond for fear of being seen as a complainer. This may
change when they see that the administrator’s level of seriousness has increased and their work
conditions are better.
Glasser and Hardaway suggested that the question of preparation time for teachers should be
addressed in the initial meeting. This time will allow them to perform research, preparation, and
counseling of students. The other question that needs addressing is the apparent state of amnesia
that non-classroom staff get after leaving the classroom. Some non-classroom staff forget what
occurs in the classroom daily.
A way to reduce the skepticism about not receiving preparation time would be to address these
questions immediately. This can be resolved by having non-classroom staff relieve teachers
weekly. This weekly contact with the students will also keep the teaching skills of those non-
classroom personnel sharp. The administration, counselors, and others should schedule several
hours a week for relieving the classroom teachers, to allow the teachers time to counsel with
students who are at-risk. To make sure coercion does not slip into the equation, the teachers
should be empowered to solve these problems as they see fit.
After the initial meeting to form a quality school, the teachers should be asked to make
themselves available for after-school meetings to learn more about the quality school. This
should happen immediately. Assuming that there is an interest by the teachers, they will study
An Historical Case Study of a Quality Classroom (1998) and The Quality School (1989) on
a chapter-by-chapter basis. Upon the faculty approving their involvement in the project, the
doctors suggest that the school spend the first year studying the rest of the books. The theories
will also be tested in the individual classrooms during this initial year of training.
Uncommitted teachers should be given the option to attend these meetings without coercion
or intimidation. Administrators should design a statement of purpose that is general in nature.
Dr. Edward Deming called it, “improving constantly and forever the system of production and
service.” The Japanese called this process kaizen. This is a commitment to improve daily,
regardless of the degree of improvement. Black Americans and their families have a need
to get back on track and improve their educational capacity daily, regardless of the degree of
improvement. This can only be done by having children seven days a week in the hands of
individuals who care about human progress and commitment. The Jewish community had a
valid idea when it came to building strong church schools and emphasizing their history with
American history. If you give other individuals control of your children and families, you will
continue to have a 50 percent school dropout rate and crime that is off the chart. It’s time to
wake up and control your own destiny.
Recommendations for Improvement
The author made the following recommendations for educational improvement for the 21st
1. Black churches need to establish church schools. This will allow them to have their
children seven days a week. Saturday and Sunday can be used for social and athletic
2. It is recommended that teachers and administrators take a second look at the Quality
School and An Historical Case Study of a Quality Classrom.
3. Children have to have their needs met in order to learn. Safety is one of those needs;
this being said, it is highly recommended that America take a serious look at the safety
of schools and neighborhoods. It’s difficult for children to learn under duress. The
gangbangers should receive an unconditional ultimatum and the message of zero
tolerance should be preached and enforced. Because of a lack of protection, many
students have decided to protect themselves, and rightly so. But as a result, weapons
have entered the public and private schools of America. Also, violence has become a
part of the common culture of inner city and rural communities. If the politicians cannot
protect the children, then they should be replaced immediately, if not impeached. The
time for youth sacrifice is over in America.
4. It is further recommended that diversity become a priority in the schools. Many cities,
like Chicago, were systematically segregated and had to look to other cultures to
determine diversity. This program can begin with urban and suburban students becoming
Facebook friends and pen pals. This interaction will eventually lead to interaction
between the schools. This will prepare children for the workforce and learning culture
5. Effective classroom teaching and managing have to be priorities. Money will never be
a cure-all for our educational system. America cannot throw money at this problem and
call it a cure-all. It’s just a fraction of the answer. Experts like Glasser and Deming
agree that quality management is the key that drives quality schools and corporations.
Each school system has to budget its funds more effectively, but they have to also operate
their classrooms and schools more effectively.
Something is sadly wrong when an administrative system cannot operate its schools more
effectively with $7,000 per student. In a system like Chicago, that has 440,000 students for over
$3 billion, these funds are sufficient to operate a quality school system when the proper goals are
William Byham in Zap in Education (1992) wrote how empowerment can improve the quality
of instruction, and student and teacher satisfaction. He compared the management, morals,
and environment of two schools. He discussed one school that had been empowered by its
principal and the other that had not. He revealed the positive attitudes, cooperation, and self-
esteem present in the empowered school. Additionally, the school that had been empowered by
its principal had a happy and cooperative staff that empowered its students.
This was compared to a non-empowered school where little had been done, and where the school
had a faculty and student body with low self-esteem and no motivation. Many Blacks students,
after being told about the Bell Curve and other irresponsible reports, have low self-esteem. The
above ideas will work in any environment where teachers and administrators are sincere about
change in their schools.
A New Learning Paradigm in the Quality Classroom
One of my proudest experiences as a classroom teacher came when I convinced 30 students,
many of whom were at-risk, to buy into the quality-classroom experience. That year, 1994,
was the beginning of what was to be the proudest years of my elementary teaching experience.
The principal had asked me to leave the upper-grade class level where I had taught for several
years and take an at-risk class that was entering 5th grade. They were at-risk because they had
low reading and math scores, behavior difficulties, truancy problems, and an intense dislike for
school that I later discovered was because of an insensitive 4th grade teacher.
I was starting my doctorial studies that fall at the University of Sarasota and my first class was
a communication class with Dr. Robert Gourley, a Harvard professor who later became the
chair of my dissertation committee, my mentor and friend. In addition to our regular classroom
assignments, he gave additional reference material for our enrichment. One day while reviewing
the reference list, I saw a book entitled The Quality School and curiosity got the best of me.
After reading the first three chapters, I knew immediately that I had discovered something
unique that would work in my newly assigned 5thgrade, at-risk classroom. Now I had to get the
students to buy into the philosophy of quality learning. Because of my reputation in the school
with their friends and siblings, I presented the idea and stepped out of the classroom to allow
them to discuss it; It was ten minutes before Christine beckoned for my return to the classroom. I
proceeded with caution with the following ideas:
1. Dividing the students into teams of fours. Empowering them to choose their own team
captain, co-captain, secretary, and social secretary.
2. Including at least one accelerated student, one average student, and one or more at-risk
student in each team. This was for additional support for the at-risk students.
3. Rewarding students collectively when they completed quality work and conducted
themselves in a quality manner.
4. Eliminating coercion and focusing on encouragement and building self-esteem in the
students. Their 4th grade experience was extremely difficult, with no Christmas parties or
5. Empowering the students to assist in compiling the Class Code of Conduct. They later
decided to have a classroom court that was very interesting.
6. Empowering the students to appoint a classroom council that would plan and interact
with the teacher in planning outings and events for the class.
7. Allowing students to establish clubs for learning and entertainment, e.g. and a chess
8. Teaching students to express words of kindness and provide support for one another
in the classroom. The teacher started this process by choosing a student and saying
something kind about him or her. For example: “Christine, I love the way you work with
Chad on his classroom assignments; pass it on!”
9. Teaching conflict resolution. In many cases, if a student was not comporting himself
in the Quality Classroom with respect and dignity, before I could say anything, another
student would confront that student.
I decided to introduce the students to Control Theory and Reality Therapy. Some responded
better than others, but the class was displaying sizable improvement in conduct, academics, and
self-esteem. I discovered that many of the students had never been told they were loved. I told
them daily that I loved them and that God had a special assignment for their lives.
The students in the Quality Classroom decided to call themselves the People of Kemet
and assigned African names to each team. The students called me King Solomon; The
administration also decided that I should keep them for 6th and 7th grades. Their Iowa Test
scores improved annually, along with their conduct and self-esteem. Two of my at-risk students
were receiving additional support through special education and they learned that extra support
was a blessing. Finally, their attendance increased with their academics, behavior, and self-
esteem. For example, one day, the social worker came to the classroom to check on Chad’s
attendance. Prior to the Quality Classroom, Chad’s attendance was probably 50 percent. When I
explained to her that he was present over 90 percent of the time, she was shocked!
I recall one year, prior to the Christmas vacation, that Chad, who seldom said anything in front
of the class, raised his hand. When I acknowledged him, he said, “Doc, I just wanted to tell you
that I thank God for you!” It brought tears to my eyes.
In 1998, after defending An Historical Case Study of a Quality Classroom on campus at the
University of Sarasota, I returned home to learn that the Chicago Tribune had printed the
1998 District 229 Report Card wherein my Quality Classroom was listed AS THE MOST
IMPROVED 8TH GRADE READING CLASS IN ALL OF COOK COUNTY ( Chicago of
which is part).
For three years, 5th through 7th grades, I had taught these students quality behavior, academics,
responsibility, and self-esteem. The final year my colleague Bennie Colvin picked up the ball
and ran with it.
KEY 5: POLITICAL POWER
Unlike most Americans, Black Americans give their votes away freely without consequences
and fail to negotiate necessities for their community, improve their educational system, or create
a safe environment for their families to thrive. They give their votes to politicians who don’t
have their interests at heart and repeatedly lie about their accomplishments for the community;
and the beat, in this community, goes on. Because they fail to negotiate services for their
community, the Black community continues to decline and Black Americans continue to fall
behind other ethnic groups who came to America much later.
Tony Brown in Black Lies, White Lies (1995) discussed the pain that has been caused by the
immaturity of many in the community and how it has affected many lives. As a result of their
immaturity, the mayors, city council and police don’t respect them. They aren’t respected or
protected, but are fenced into a meager area of the city called the Projects. The powers that be
disrespect them and the results are perpetual police brutality, like the Northwestern University
football player who was shot and killed in his car for no apparent reason. Or the foreign Black
man who was sodomized in New York City. Additionally, many Black pastors and other
opportunists join these politicians for a few pieces of silver and freely become sell-outs.
Blacks give away their votes, not for a few pieces of silver and gold, but for nothing. The
politicians get the silver and gold, and their pastors get their names on street signs with the silver.
As a result of these phonies, the Black community has the worst schools, safety, and economic
climate in the country. They lack manufacturing and services that other communities take for
granted. The neighborhoods are gang- and drug-infested and human services are only a dream.
Many believe the problem background stems from slavery. Black Americans, according to
many, are still reaping the pain of slavery and the Civil War. Lerone Bennett pointed out in
Before the Mayflower (1967) that the Civil War changed, drastically, the whole fabric of this
thing we call American life (p. 297). Bennett said the political changes began with the secession
of the Southern states. America was picking up the threads of her social, political, and economic
life from 1865 to the end of that century.
The South Carolina political scene was affected by more than the presence of the Negro in state
politics; Negroes also affected it in other positions of public trust. Professor Howard K. Deale,
Bennett pointed out, said there is no way of understanding Reconstruction unless an attempt is
made to study it in its historical setting (p. 297). Reconstruction, said Bennett, is an integral part
of the national history.
The period after the Civil War saw a disturbing political climate. The withdrawal of some states
was only a part of the problem. The unsettlement also included the state of national affairs.
The President at that time had taken advantage of exercising wartime powers that would not
be tolerated in peacetime. Additionally, Congress made it known that it was anxious to restore
balance to the branches of government. Congress also felt that the pendulum had to swing back,
not to be disturbed by Lincoln and other politicians. They felt that constitutional government
had to return. President Andrew Johnson and his unexpected accession only complicated
things. Bennett said he made the Congress more determined than ever to restore balance to the
What Were Some of the Relevant Theories?
In the 1944, election, 72 percent of all votes were cast for the Democratic candidate, Franklin
D. Roosevelt. Mississippi and South Carolina cast 98 percent and 95 percent of their votes,
respectively. But in 1940 only 28 percent of the adult population voted in 12 Southern states,
compared to the North and Western votes of 53 percent. Arnold Rose stated in The Negro in
America (1964) that “disrespect reared its ugly head in South Carolina, which only recorded
a 10 percent turnout.” The eight Deep Southern states of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi,
Louisiana, Florida, Texas, South Carolina, and Arkansas recorded a combined population of
nearly 4,000,000 Negroes, but only 80,000-90,000 voted or a mere 2 percent. Rose reported
that all votes were recorded in the general election. He said the difference between politicians
in the South and the rest of the nation was so great that it visibly affected the personality of
Southern members of Congress (p. 155). The Southern members remained a distinctive force in
Washington, although they were far away from the national norms. This fact, said Rose, became
all the more important, as they had a disproportionate influence in national politics (p. 55). The
four million Negroes gave the Southern representatives a good share of their seats. Rose also
pointed out that the same electorate, the one-party system, and the well organized local machines
created a near permanency of tenure for the average Southern member of Congress which is
seldom paralleled in the North” (p. 156). With acquaintance and seniority a necessary means for
retaining their Congressional posts, the Southerners were given the advantage of permanency of
tenure in Washington.
In some literature, Tony Brown discussed Socialism and its failure in the United States.
Socialism is a failure in the United States Brown pointed out. We have only to look at the
leadership in the Black Unaccountable Machine (BUM) to understand that. The BUMS
were Blacks who had become a liability to their people and an asset to those who didn’t want
Blacks to achieve in America. They criticized welfare recipients but got set-asides and other
Brown also discussed the greed of the Democratic Party. He said that the national debt is due to
the grab by the greedy (not needy) for more government handouts. “Unless we stop demanding
government handouts, I believe we will all, very shortly, find ourselves clinging to the debris of
the democracy ripped apart by collective greed. The national debt is the result of our greedy grab
for entitlement programs, and this will destroy us” (p. 32). Of course, this was written before the
Bush wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that cost the nation trillions of dollars, including billions that
Entitlement Socialism, Brown said, is turning Americans into indentured servants. He defined
it as a system in which those elected officials used the government treasury to transfer wealth to
special-interest groups in exchange for their vote. Or, interest groups also give politicians favors
or payoffs for their favors and vote, which, I might add, usually go against the welfare of the
Historically, Lerone Bennett pointed out that the sun never shone as brightly as it did when ex-
slave Blanche Kelso Bruce became a United States Senate representative of Mississippi. In
Louisiana, Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback, whom Bennett referred to as young, charming
and daring, was seated in the Governor’s mansion (p. 183).
Negro lieutenant governors were sitting on the right hand of power in Mississippi, South
Carolina, and Louisiana. In Florida, a Negro was Secretary of State; a Negro was on the State
Supreme Court in South Carolina (p. 184). They were superintendents of education, state
treasurers, adjutant generals, solicitors, judges, and major generals of militias (p. 184).
Natchez, Mississippi, elected Robert H. Wood as mayor, and Galveston, Texas and Norris
Wright Cuney were in a mayoral runoff. Would you believe, that in addition to the above, seven
Negroes were seated in the House of Representatives? This was in Dixie, a few years after the
Additionally, the biggest Southern White fear, interracial marriage, was jumping off. Although
it was more fashionable for White men to marry Black women, Black men were also marrying
White women. The races were now sharing the same classrooms and riding on streetcars
together (p. 184). Professor Richard T. Greener was teaching at the University of South
Carolina, where an interracial board was presiding. Green was teaching metaphysics and logic to
both White and Black students.
Bennett said, “Now that the Blacks had made unique achievements, there was hope!” Also,
knowing that their sons could now become governor, Black parents walked miles to put their
sons in school. They worshipped and bowed down to education. “They bowed down and
worshipped the miraculous ABC’s, from whom so many blessings flowed” (p. 184). The parents
saw the mountaintops as the limits for their sons. Mothers and fathers bent over washtubs to pay
for their children’s schooling. They had a flare of hope. Blacks could dream. Black boys in
cotton fields or no fields could dream of their success. This all came about because of the Black
politicians who dared to dream and pursue those dreams.
The economic conditions also changed for Blacks; they began filling government jobs. They
were postmen for the United States Government. If an arrest took place, it was not unique
to have a Black policeman make the arrest of a Black suspect. The juries and prosecutors
were Blacks, and Black judges were passing out time on the benches of America. They were
James S. Pike, a Northern reporter, reported on a Black speaker. He reported that “the Speaker is
Black, the Clerk is Black, the doorkeepers are Black, the little pages are Black, the Chairman of
Ways and Means is Black, and the chaplain is cola Black” (p. 185). The confidence was up and
the Blacks in position were, too.
The Healy brothers were occupying the Bishopric of Maine and the presidential chair at
Georgetown, America’s oldest Catholic university. These successes failed to corroborate the
Willie Lynch Letter and his prognostication that Blacks would be psychologically injured for
nearly 400 years. Ninety years ago, the New Orleans’ Bourbons and their ringleaders referred to
Governor Pinchback’s children as “good enough niggers.” They were good enough niggers, but
niggers just the same” (p. 185).
In Columbia, South Carolina, men were finding democracy to their liking. The product of a
White-Black union, the Rollins sisters were operating a Paris-type salon for everybody--movers,
shakers, and hostile critics. Rumor had it that more legislation was passed there than in the
legislature. Blacks and Whites walked arm in arm on hot nights and went to Find’s Saloon for a
cold drink. The Social life, said Bennett, was gay (happy), glittering, and interracial. A military
man gave a ball, and Blacks and Whites glided across the polished floors. At official balls,
Blacks and White sat together and rose in peace and harmony.
Bennett said that, a hostile Republican, years later, made fun of these dashing affairs. “These
things, improbable as they may seem now, happened in America during the ten improbable
years, 1867-1877, of Black Reconstruction. The Talented Tenth King, W.E.B. DuBois, called
these trifles made by some and the ’mystic years.’”These things, improbable as they may seem
now, happened in America during the ten improbable years 1867-1877 of Black Reconstruction.
The Talented Tenth King, W.E.B. DuBois, called these trifle made by some and the “mystic
The North Does One Up
The North decided to try democracy. This was called the longest stride America had ever
taken. The decision, said Bennett, was not made at once and was not an abrupt decision.
Few politicians at war’s end knew what to do with all the Black people. Charles Sumner and
Thaddeus Stevens were said to be exceptions to this rule. Abraham Lincoln, as late as April
1865, was contemplating deportation. According to former Union general and Massachusetts
politician Ben Butler, Lincoln asked him to figure out the logistics of deporting the freedmen to
another land, perhaps back to Africa. Butler reported two days later with a sad, sad story. He
said to Lincoln “Mr. President, I have gone carefully over my calculations as to the power of the
country to export the Negroes of the South and I assure you that, using all your naval vessels and
all the merchant marine fit to cross the seas with safety, it will be impossible for you to transport
to the nearest place…half as fast as Negro children will be born here” (p. 186).
Bennett said the Black American was here to stay. Frederick Douglass, the Martin Luther King,
Jr., of that era, said “Do nothing with him. You doing something with Blacks is their greatest
misfortune” (p. 186).
Douglass continued, “The Negro should have been let alone in African (you couldn’t do it) let
alone when the pirates and robbers offered him for sale in our Christian slave markets…let alone
by the courts, judges, politicians, legislators and slaver drivers…if you see him plowing in the
open field, leveling the forest, at work with a spade, a rake, a hoe, a pick-axe, or a billet, let him
alone.”. Many believed that Douglass couldn’t have said it better. Douglass continued “If you
see him on his way to school, with spelling book, geography and arithmetic in his hands—let
him alone…if he has a ballot in his hand, and is on his way to the ballot-box to deposit his vote
for the man whom he thinks will most justly and wisely administer the government which has the
power of life and death over him, as well as others—let him alone” (p. 186-7).
Charles Sumner, who was probably enjoying the remainder of social balls and festivities,
said, “Give him the ballot and treat him like a man” (p. 187). Sumner, appearing very logical in
his explanation, spoke these words while a Massachusetts Senator. Thaddeus Stevens said “No,
give the people forty acres of land and treat them like human beings.” Congress decided to create
the Freedmen’s Bureau. This was done in the midst of debate and confusion. This bureau had
the charge of building the bridge from slavery to freedom. According to Bennett, “during its
short life (1866-1872), the Freemen’s Bureau was an Urban League, CIO, WPA and Rosenwald
Foundation all rolled up into an early NAACP” (p. 187).
The Freedmen’s Bureau was an agency that gave total support to the millions of freedmen. It
established direct medical aid, and hospitals, and gave rations to Blacks and poverty-stricken
Whites. The Freedmen’s Bureau established everything from day school to night school to
industrial schools. Surprisingly, the universities Howard, Fisk, and Morehouse were founded on
financial aid received from the Bureau (p. 187).
The Freedmen’s Bureau, as you have probably guessed, had insufficient appropriations. They
were handicapped by inadequate money, a poorly trained staff, and the bitter hostility of White
Southerners (p. 187). The Bureau, however, did an outstanding job with what they had and
served four million freedmen. The Bureau was important because, in addition to not being
wanted by Lincoln and others, Blacks were protected neither by law, love nor greed. The
Freedmen’s Bureau saw many emancipated Blacks die. Bennett explained “They died by the
tens of thousands in privation, disease and want. It was called a ‘catastrophic social crisis” (p.
Twenty-five percent were reported dead in some communities, which is one out of four. Dr. C.
K. Marshall, described as a learned and wealthy minister, was more precise; he predicted that
by January 1, 1920, 55 years after slavery had ended, the Black population would be so meager
that it would be difficult to count them (p. 188). But, Blacks, like in slavery, survived it again.
Black males were emasculated in slavery. Bennett called it “systematically emasculated.” The
law would not allow them to have any say over their wives or children. The slave master often
would come into his shed and order the man out, and enter the shed and Black woman. In spite
of this, the Black man saw himself as a head of household, and most Black women submitted
to male authority with conscious respect for their men and families. Other Black women drove
their men away by being headstrong and disrespectful.
One of the first things many Blacks did when they received their freedom was to look for their
husbands, wives, daughters, sons, brothers, or sisters who had been sold during slavery. They
would often walk roads for miles, asking others if they had seen “Sarah” or “Toby” (p. 188).
With all the deeds of the Freemen’s Bureau, said Bennett, the thirst and hunger for land was not
satisfied. After Lincoln’s assassination, President Andrew Johnson killed the suggestion of 40
acres and many Blacks were landless. Black people realized what many fail to realize today, that
freedom has a price. They realized they needed a firm economic foundation.
Thaddeus Stevens Speaks Out
Thaddeus Stevens, like Charles Sumner, raised the issue again about the 40 acres, but this
time his cry was “40 acres and a mule.” When Congress turned a deaf ear, Stevens called the
possibility “still born” (p. 189). At the age of 74, he was described as old and gnarled like an oak
tree, but one day he stood in Congress and he said:
In my manhood, in my old age, I had fondly dreamed that when any fortunate chance should
have broken up for a while the foundation of our institutions [that we would have] so remodeled
all our institution as to have freed them from every vestige of human oppression, of inequality of
rights. This bright dream has vanished like the baseless fabric of a vision (p. 189).
Sumner made another attempt. He also attempted a fight in the Senate where there, too, it was
rejected. Andrew Johnson, as evil as Sumner and Stevens were just, returned the land intended
for Blacks to its previous owners. Johnson pardoned the owners, and the land, like a passing
star to many Blacks, was returned. General Howard, who had called a huge assembly of Blacks,
was speechless after seeing the sea of Blacks, and eventually asked them to sing him a song.
And they did As the song “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” rang out from among them,
Howard, a deceit humanitarian, perhaps knowing the spiritual retribution the nation had brought
on itself, broke down and cried (p. 189).
Stevens and Sumner were amazed at the conduct of Johnson, who had complicated the issue.
This was a period of much pain and tears in the Old South. After all the progress that had been
made in earlier years, the South attempted to reestablish slavery under the name of the Black
Code. The Black Code restricted freedmen’s movement and conduct. The evil forces were
back, and America turned back to its evil ways, perhaps adding to its liability and day of spiritual
Blacks Cast a Jaundiced Eye on Politics
Politics in the lives of Black Americans continued into the next decades, and they continued to
cast a jaundiced eye on the political system. David Hunter, in his Black political account The
Slums (1964), said that people who are low on the scales of social and economic status do not
participate in voting as much as people who are higher (p. 172). He and Warren Miller said that
voting is at best an occasional activity for those who have an income of less than $3,000 and
those with no more than a high-school diploma.
Forty-seven percent of eligible Black voters, classified as unskilled laborers, did not vote in
the 1956 election. This is compared to 15 percent of professional and managerial people. This
attitude had become a habit in the 1948 and 1952 elections; there were 50 percent and 40 percent
Nearly 80 percent of the lower class, said Hunter, did not belong to any formal organization. He
gave several reasons for non-participation in community affairs: people in the slums often move
from place to place, urban renewal, people replacement, public housing, movement into the area
(within and without), and a response to improved economic status (p. 177).
Most movement to improve communities is done by the middle class. This is relevant because
some lower-class people feel used in the process. As a result, they remain distanced or withdraw
altogether. Lower-income groups, said Hunter, tend to envision life in a pessimistic manner.
They have a self-defeating attitude. The self-defeating attitude, he continued, is probably the
strongest. This is a way of saying “I feel helpless and have no hope.”
Will the Black Leadership Please Stand Up?
Charles Silberman wrote in Crisis in Black and White (1964) that a group of businessmen
in Oakland, California, decided to take the initiative to develop a program to open up new
jobs for Blacks. But when it was time to discuss alternatives, they did not think to call on the
Black community. Norris Nash, vice president of Kaiser Industries and ad hoc chairman of the
businessmen’s group, explained that “we wanted sound men who would be willing to ignore
the past and just concentrate on the future, so we asked Mr. __ to get a grou0 together.) He’s
a sound man; in fact, he’s the Whitest Negro we have in town” (p. 197). The Oakland Blacks
viewed this as a stimulus to attract Blacks to the Republican Party. They wanted to replace D. G.
Gibson with the Whitest Negro in Town.
Silberman said the problem was not that the program was successful and eventually worked
out, but the lack of respect in recognizing the need for grassroot Blacks along with the Whitest
Negro in Town. This was the case in the ‘60s. The city of Chicago performed this act, as they
called in the ministers and NAACP to dance around the issues without inviting the grassroot
Black Chicagoans. This performance was not unique to Oakland; it was played out in the social
theaters around the country, and the beat goes on today. Negroes, says Silberman, can be co-
opted into activities against their self-interest.
William Dawson, a United States Representative and Chicago power broker, was a power
figure in Chicago politics for nearly 30 years. He was rewarded for leading the change from
the Republican Party to the Democratic Party. His reward was the Committeeman position in
the Second Congressional Ward. Dawson was rumored to have been the power broker who
flung Richard J. Daley into his 20-year seat on the 5th floor of Chicago’s City Hall, with his son
Richard M. Daley to follow for another 20 years. Dawson did not believe that he could have
pulled the Black vote to get the seat, so he chose second best. Dawson was successful in gaining
four other wards, for a total of five, and, with this, the majority of the Blacks voted on Chicago’s
With all this, Congressman Dawson was unable to turn this passive power into real power. He
had what one might call generic power. He was unable to open the doors of fair employment,
open housing, and opportunity for all. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., later declared Chicago
the most segregated and perhaps racist city in the North. He recognized it, and many, others
including this author, agreed with him. The ‘60s saw men like Dawson, unlike Booker T.
Washington of the 1800s, who were out to achieve for themselves.
The average size of a Chicago ward in the ‘50s was 72,000, compared to New York’s 300,000.
This was the vehicle to get elected. However, there was a saying in the ‘60s that was apropos to
this occasion: “ Free your mind and your behind will follow.”
Unlike their ancestors of the 1800s, Blacks in Chicago did not know how to spend their power to
serve their people. It was a seat of power for Blacks to be the Head Negroes in Chicago. Some
older Blacks respected the Black politicians, but many young Blacks could not stand the sight
of them. The Black Panthers referred to them as paper tigers. Sitting here writing this book
the week of Memorial Day 2011, Blacks appear to be in the same predicament. This month,
Chicago installed Rahm Emanuel for mayor after 40 years of Daley. There were 20 candidates
challenging him, and ten were Black Chicagoans. After attempting to come up with a consensus
candidate, which at the time would have been Congressman Danny Davis, the other Negroes
refused to cooperate and Davis dropped out.
Professor James Q. Wilson might have said it best when he stated that “Dawson before being
co-opted into the Democratic Party was an outspoken and vigorous champion of race causes.
Once inside an organization that was strong and which manifested held the key to the future, race
matters were subdued” (p. 206).
Dawson, with the likes of Pastor J. H. Jackson, president of the National Baptist Convention at
that time, performed a perfect Amos ‘n’ Andy routine. They both were disgraceful to the history
and strength of Nate Turner, David Walker, and real historical men. Jackson, a Southside pastor,
sang the songs of the mayor and told Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to go home. Irv Kupcinet, a
columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and a national talk show host on American Broadcasting
Corporation, aired his show on Saturday nights and Pastor Jackson was his guest. I knew as
a 20-something year old that you never rat your brother out like he did. When they appeared,
many Blacks tuned out. During this era, Black politicians and ministers often surrendered and
echoed the sentiments of the master, the mayor. Nobody wanted to solve community problems
because, like today in the 21st century, they’re getting paid.
Professor Wilson said “An analysis of how things get done on behalf of Negroes in Chicago is
made more difficult by the fact that so few things seem to get done at all” (p. 206). Many believe
individuals like Dawson socially injured Whites and Blacks. Perhaps one felt innocent and the
other inferior, and a disservice was performed to both races of people. Also, the true feelings of
Black people were kept unknown.
The Woodlawn Organization took root in 1961. Silberman called it the first successful attempt
to mobilize the residents of a Black slum into a large and effective organization. Their initial
move was to get the Blacks around 63rd Street in Chicago to register to vote. They registered
to vote, and Dawson, who recognized the threat immediately, had his lieutenant post warning
posters at the bus terminals. They told Dawson they wanted their rights and told him this in no
uncertain terms. We’ve had enough favors; now we want our rights, they said (p. 207).
The year 1963 saw the Civil Rights movement boomerang into marches, boycotts, pickets and
City Hall marches. The revolt grew until city Hall heard the rumble. Mayor Richard J. Daley,
who echoed the shoot-to-kill order in 1968 when Dr. King was murdered, had his city council
vote a wordy open housing law. But it was too little too late. Blacks were angry and tired of the
foolishness. The challenge caught fire in other cities and the call went out to challenge Black
The King Comes to Chicago
Martin Luther King, Jr., decided to come to Chicago in the mid ‘60s. He was successful in the
South and wanted to test a Northern city. The Daley-ites and their allies were livid. They called
out all the ministers and politicians on their payroll to voice a negative opinion about his coming.
King came anyway and trouble raged. He marched into Marquette Park and other areas of the
city, revealing the racism many knew as native Chicagoans.
That Sunday, Dr. King was stoned, and many cars were turned over and destroyed. According
to my friend Kenny Vaughn, the people of Marquette Park were in their windows, on the corners
and in their yards. They called Blacks, and Jews every filthy name they could imagine.
Rita Starr, author of Healing Racism, gave her account of this madness in a 1999 seminar I
attended in Flossmoor, Illinois. Ms. Starr talked about the need to be bold with her resentment
of those who told racist jokes. She talked about speaking out against these individuals. She also
gave an account of the Sunday afternoon King march into Marquette Park. She told of herself
shielding a Black man who was attacked by two White men, and how she put one of the men in
a headlock. This gave the Black man time to escape. She later discussed her conversation with
the White Supremacists who wanted to “Kill a Jew.” She further discussed her attempt to talk
them out of this and told them to shut up every time they yelled insults. This was Chicago!
She eventually said that she was told that her life was too valuable to the movement for her to
place herself in jeopardy of losing it. She agreed and pulled back. During the march, some
White men attacked a Jewish gentleman, who was rescued by the Chicago police. Ms. Starr was
born in the German section of her hometown, and is a German American. She was a unique lady
with deep principles and love for her fellow man. In 1999, she was traveling around the country
giving seminars and speaking love to all Americans. Bless her heart!
The ‘60s saw a group that the Federal Bureau of Investigation called a danger to the welfare of
America, the Black Panthers. The Panthers spread like wild fire. Started in Oakland, California,
by Black men, the Black Panthers started the breakfast program and other programs for Black
and poor people. They were young men, many of whom were in college planning to attend
law school. Fred Hampton was one of those men in Chicago. I knew, Fred, his brother Bill, his
parents, and Fred’s sister from my Sunday school class at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Morgan
Park when I was nine years old. Sundays, they drove from Blue Island, Illinois, to church. I
remember Fred being extremely quiet, as though he were in deep thought. Bill and I talked a lot
more than Fred and I, and to this day, when I run into Bill, we embrace. They later moved to
Maywood, Illinois, a western suburb, and I lost contact with them. Later I learned that Fred had
become one of Illinois’ Black Panther leaders.
In 1970, while preparing for my graduation from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, while
walking through the Union Building, I discovered on network television that Fred Hampton,
had been shot and killed by the Chicago Police Department at the behest of the State Attorney’s
office in an early morning raid on their apartment while they slept--while they slept! According
to the news, there was a clandestine raid in the early morning and they shot and killed Fred
Hampton and Mark Clark. The brothers on campus were shocked!
Many believed that State Attorney Harahan thought he was making a political move to guarantee
White votes; but it backfired and he never won another election. To this day, when I run into Bill
Hampton in downtown Chicago, I can still see the sadness in his face and feel the sadness in his
The movie Panthers portrayed the FBI and Director Hoover as being out to get the Panthers.
The movie spoke of Director Hoover’s desire to neutralize the Panthers by contracting with the
underworld to spread crack cocaine throughout urban cities. The crack cocaine fueled a drug
fire in the urban communities like never before. It spread like a wild fire, and the Blacks, who
could no longer stand the pain of hatred and disrespect America offered, reached for it. The
hopelessness was a pandemic and the drugs pushed many over the edge.
Mike Royko Speaks in Boss
Columnist Mike Royko published Boss (1971), a revealing political tale of Chicago’s politics.
Royko discussed the assembling of the Machine’s patronage. Royko said that, “on certain
special occasions, it is possible to see much of the Machine’s patronage army assembled and
marching”(p. 63). The annual St. Patrick’s Day parade down State Street, with Daley leading the
way, is a display of might that knots the stomachs of Republicans”(p. 63).
It was the very year when Daley and his soldiers dyed the Chicago River and celebrated St.
Patrick’s Day. Many people Irish, Blacks, and others—enjoyed the parades and celebration.
Another show of power by the Democrats of Chicago is the State Fair in Springfield, Illinois,
the state capital. They celebrated a Democrat’s Day at the Fair, where thousands of Chicago
City workers were loaded into buses, trains, and cars which carried them to Springfield. The
highlight was when the Mayor, Richard J. Daley, was raced down the duty track by his devoted
workers running behind him with their straw hats and derbies.
Royko said “The Machine is difficult to measure because it possesses an extended family. They
have individuals with Machine jobs at racetracks, public utilities, private industry, and the
Chicago Transit Authority and have been known to arrange anything you desire.” This persisted
for 20 years until December of 1976 when Mayor Richard J. Daley made his transition. Michael
Bilandic and later the first female mayor, Jane Byrne, replaced him. After Byrne was Harold
Washington, the first African American mayor of Chicago. Upon Washington’s death and a
power struggle, Gene Sawyer had a short stint, followed by another Daley, Richard M. Daley, for
another 20 years. At this writing, Richard M. Daley has announced his retirement. Forty years
of Daleys! Today, Memorial Day weekend 2011, Chicago is managed by new mayor Rahm
Emanuel, who was President Obama’s Chief of Staff.
The ‘80s started off in a unique manner. Chicago saw its first Black mayor, Harold Washington,
and City Council wars that were mostly racist and hate filled. Washington was a well-educated,
articulate Chicago native who had decided to run for City Hall after serving as Congressman
in William Dawson’s First Congressional District. (His seat is now occupied by Congressman
Bobby Rush, a former Black Panther). Harold, as he was affectionately called, was no William
Dawson. He was a people’s mayor and change agent. Chicago was opened to all races,
religions, and genders. It was a unique and wonderful atmosphere to live in as a Chicagoan.
One could walk down the street and see the mayor’s car parked in front of a famous restaurant,
and he greeted his public with a sincere smile and wave. Mayor Washington loved reading and
Harold was a wonderful mayor who loved his hometown, and the citizens loved him. He opened
the city to everybody--women and so-called minorities. The old power brokers were often red
in the face and were successful for a season in blocking many of his proposals, but he prevailed.
During that season, it was like what Chicagoan Michelle Obama said when her husband now
President Barack Obama, was campaigning: “For the first time I was proud to be a Chicagoan/
American” He planted the seeds for now President Barack Obama to achieve success in Chicago/
Illinois and go on to the White House.
Harold Washington won a second term and many believed he could have been in office for,
perhaps, 20 years, but he suddenly had a heart attack and died. Many concerned Chicagoans
questioned his diagnosis and the facts in the case. He was allegedly sitting in his office with his
press secretary in November of 1987 when he slumped over his desk after a meal. Some Blacks
believed he was poisoned. To this day, many Chicagoans believe his end was hastened by his
ability to reach and serve all Chicagoans.
BARACK OBAMA AND CHANGE COMES TO AMERICA?
My true introduction to Senator Barack Obama was through my friend and business partner
Minister Shawn Vaughn, who alerted me about an articulate and brilliant African American
gentleman whom he had met at a social event and whom Shawn referred to as the first African
American President of the United States of America; this was in 2007 or 2008. Shawn
said, “Doc, I just met the first African-American President.” He felt that Obama’s intellect and
oratory skills placed him in a unique and unusual position to become the leader of the “free”
My friend was correct; after throwing his hat in the ring, the man with the complete package,
Barack Obama, the United States Senator from Illinois, entered the race for the White House.
His unique temperament also set him apart from most. He had the temperament to deal with a
nation that was economically, morally, socially, spiritually, and politically bankrupt, and many
believed that he was God sent. It was a gift!
Here Comes Barack Obama
Barack Obama had run and been successful in the state election for an Illinois senate seat.
Although he was there for a very short period of time, he decided to campaign for United States
Congress, where he had previously lost to former Black Panther, Bobby Rush. Later, he ran and
was successful for the seat held by Senator Fitzgerald. It appeared that everybody who opposed
him in this election had luggage that was revealed, leaving State Senator Obama available to
receive the United States Senate seat.
He opened his White House campaign on the steps of the Illinois State House of Representatives.
It was a cold and grey day in January when the senator, his wife Michelle, and his lovely
daughters stood in the January cold to announce his candidacy. Afterwards, he made his
campaign felt around the country. Many people of color were concerned for his safety and
well being. I had a friend, Claude Spivey, of the Original P – Parliament Funkadelics, who
accompanied him on several tours of the state. His battle with former First Lady Hillary Clinton
was tight and competitive until the Iowa Caucus.
The Iowa Campaign
The Iowa Caucus put Obama over the top. People followed the campaign with enthusiasm like
never before. United States Senator Hillary Clinton of New York was his closest competition,
although John Edwards and others competed fiercely for the White House office. That Tuesday
night, Senator Obama won the Iowa Caucus, which was the turning point in his campaign.
When he won Iowa, the momentum followed him all the way to the White House. After
his victory, it appeared that his campaign, which many Blacks feared race would be a major
issue, took off like a lear jet. Yes, the race card was played often, although sometimes using
symbols and clandestine comments. Although Obama was born in Hawaii, some questioned his
birthplace and legibility to run for President. Although he attended Trinity Church in Chicago,
many questioned his religion; the ignorant people of America wanted to believe he was Muslim
just because his father was born in Kenya, and his middle name was Hussein. They tried to
do everything they could to keep this highly intelligent and articulate Harvard graduate from
becoming President of the United States of America.
Technology in the Campaign
Senator Obama changed the paradigm of political campaigning and it will never be the same
again. He used computer technology to reach and sustain his base, young adults. He also
campaigned on the theme of Change; and God knew this country was in need of change. He
out-spoke and out-thought his opponents. When it was obvious that Senator Clinton would
not win, the gloves came off and questions about his readiness for the White House came from
Republicans and the McCain camp. The amazing thing was Republican George W. Bush had
ended eight years and the country had entered one of the worst recessions/depressions since
the 1930s, and readiness was never mentioned in his campaign. But they wanted to know, was
Obama ready? It was my understanding that all Presidents undergo some on-the-job training.
The young people in colleges around the country received text messages and emails daily
explaining his intent and strategies. Technology had never been used in this manner
before. Although hate raised its ugly head in the die-hard Conservatives, many people of all
backgrounds and ethnic groups climbed on board the ship of Change and rode it into the White
House. The thirst for change was in the air after George Bush had given the banks billions of
dollars with no strings attached and they did what greedy, selfish people always do: ignored the
masses and kept the money. The banks, automobile industry, and housing market were a mess.
The banks had undercut the housing market and gotten wealthy while middle-class Americans
lost their homes, and nobody seemed to care.
Also, the state of Louisiana had endured one of the worse hurricanes in history in 2005. In New
Orleans, more than a thousand died and the White House under Mr. Bush fumbled the ball, the
country was literally a mess, but the Republicans wanted to question the readiness of Senator
Obama for the White House. Many believed they wanted to dodge the bullet and didn’t want
the nation headed by a Black man, although he is probably the most intelligent and articulate
President in decades, if not centuries.
Boy, did Senator McCain, the Republican nominee, have a difficult time dealing with Obama’s
intelligence! They debated and Obama stunned America and the world with his eloquence
and intellect. Comments begin to surface from ignorant Blacks about him not being “Black
enough” about him being an unusual Black man, his light skin and his roots being from biracial
parents. Some Southerners began to attend Town Hall meetings with guns on their hips. Many
Americans showed their insanity and others displayed their genius. They hid behind the Second
Amendment right to carry arms and the world saw America for what she was, a huge hypocrite.
Healthcare & Obama
It took nearly a century and a new President by the name of Obama for healthcare to come to
America for an additional 50 million Americans. America is the only industrialized nation that
doesn’t give all its citizens national healthcare. Thanks to President Obama and the Congress,
led by Senator Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, people who never had healthcare
will soon be able to see a physician without fearing bankruptcy. Also, insurance for people with
terminal illnesses will not be able to be canceled.
The fallout from the passage of the healthcare bill is also amazing; states are talking about
seceding from the country and people who had never before picked up a sign, were picking up
signs calling for an end to Socialism. Most people knew that the resentment wasn’t really the
healthcare bill but President Obama. The Republicans promised not to cooperate and wanted to
see him fail in the White House. They didn’t care if the country failed as long as he did.
Racists in America, due to his many votes, were amazed at this Black man in the White
House being called Mr. President. Even in the Congress, while he was delivering his annual
State of the Union address a South Carolina Representative shouted out “That’s a lie.” to the
President’s remarks. Yes, in the Congress! Also, on MSNBC, a guest on a show called him
disrespectful names. Many Blacks believed that these nay-sayers were attempting to set him up
for assassination, which I’m sure this country could not endure.
Recently, the healthcare bill has been challenged in federal court; two out of three judges ruled
it constitutional, but a Southern judge called it unconstitutional for people to be forced to pay
for health insurance. The bill allows Americans to receive subsidies if they cannot pay for
their insurance. This mandatory law was necessary if the cost of insurance was to come down,
reducing the national debt. We’re expecting this fight to land in the laps of the US Supreme
Court Justices sooner rather than later.
The large majority of foreign nations appeared to welcome President Obama. His first year
in office, 2009, he received the Nobel Peace Prize and the bigots and racists in America went
completely wild. They were so sick with prejudice and hate that they opposed bills that would
improve their lives, like healthcare and tax cuts. But, throughout the world, wherever Obama
went, nations received him with open arms. After eight years of George W. Bush, they probably
found President Obama to be a breath of fresh air.
Recently, the President met with the Russians and signed an agreement to reduce nuclear
weapons arsenals by a third. At this writing, the Republicans in Congress are fighting this
agreement and promising not to make it law. The Republicans say it will weaken the nation.
Also, as I write this, North and South Korea are at odds and close to war. North Korea has
Russia and China as allies, and South Korea has the United States of America. Finally, the
Middle East is a catastrophe waiting to happen. President Obama is completing his third year
this January of 2011 and I pray he can make viable changes to improve the lives of the middle
class in America, because we’re having a class war, even in the area of the quality of food.
The Tea Party
During President Obama’s first year, the Tea Party was formed to “take back America; take back
their country.” What’s so amazing about the Tea Party is that during President Bush’s two wars,
banking disaster, catastrophe in New Orleans, unfinanced tax cuts for the very rich, etc., the
people who formed the Tea Party were as quiet as a mouse. Suddenly, when this Black man took
the office of Commander in Chief, they “wanted their country back.”
The Republican Party and the Tea Party were singing in unison the title song of reducing
taxes. They sat quietly by when the Bush Administration gave the banks trillions of dollars
with no strings attached. The banks received the funds but refused to help American people in
foreclosure. Strangely, when it came time for the President and Congress to renew the Bush Tax
Cuts, which had a $700 billion price tag, they suddenly came down with acute amnesia. The
Republicans wanted the millionaires and billionaires to join the middle class in receiving tax cuts
and held the unemployment benefits renewal as hostage.
When a nation is in a recession, (and, by the way, many people were in a depression) and
money is not circulating for retailers and manufacturers, how are jobs created if the government
doesn’t step up? The Obama Administration rescued this nation from a full-blown depression
and nobody wanted to give this President credit. The Wall Street Journal reported the stimulus
funds approved by Congress helped states keep policemen, teachers, firemen, and other vital
services that would have been cut. All the Republicans and Tea Party members did was sing in
unison, “WHAT ABOUT THE DEFICIT?” Remember, prior to George Bush, President Clinton
left office with the nation in the black with a huge surplus.
America has been at war for a decade and it’s costly! Also, the Republicans opposed medical
care for firemen and policemen who rushed into the 2001 calamity at the World Trade Center to
save lives. Recently, movie-maker Michael Moore took a boat load to Cuba to receive medical
care that was, by the way, free! Yea Cuba!
Wall Street is without shame! Congress held hearings recently and the bankers had no shame for
fleecing the American people and taking them to the cleaners. But, more importantly, nobody
was locked up!
This was a part of the mess from the previous Administration. Also, in the news, a journalist
had the audacity to call the First Lady the B-word. Many Blacks saw red and still see red from
this incident. Once again, the Black community was asleep at the wheel and failed to make the
sponsors pay big.
Additionally, the Obama Administration and Congress approved another cash outlay to the
banks and, yes, they had the audacity, again, to issue bonuses on Wall Street while Main Street
was fighting foreclosures and unemployment. Americans are, perhaps, headed for a class war.
The Republicans are fighting hard to eliminate the middle class and reward the rich and super-
rich. Congressman Grayson of Georgia reported recently that the top 1 percent of the population
earned 80 percent of the income for the last 25 years. Finally, America is in big debt to China,
and China refuses to accept a devalued dollar. Talk of changing the color of money has been
on the table for quite sometime and economists predict that by spring of 2011 when secured
bonds are due American states will not have the capital to honor their debts, and the Federal
Government will be in no shape to help them.
KEY # 6: FOUR PATHWAYS OF A BETTER AND HAPPY FAMILY
The Black family has abandoned its first love, God, who brought them out of slavery, Jim Crow,
and into a trillion-dollar economy. That, my friend, was the beginning of disastrous living that
has brought 12-15 percent of the United State’s population into this terrible dilemma.
In 1960, when the Civil Rights Bill was signed by President Lyndon Johnson, it was rumored
that he told Dr. King, “Make me do it,” and he did. Dr. King created an atmosphere for passing
this legislation. He performed marches and sit-ins, shining light on the injustices of a nation.
After the passing of the Civil Rights Bill, the Black leadership chose to integrate more into the
American society rather than combine integration with some segregation and own businesses.
This is believed by many to be the beginning of the breakdown of the Black Family: no job
creation and no turning of the dollar in their communities. And because of this lack, total
dependency on other groups took place.
In the ‘60s and after the passing of the Civil Rights Bill, Black women went to work and their
children became latch-key children. For the first time, a large number of single-parent homes
reared its ugly head. Marriages were breaking up and women were telling their men “There’s
nothing you can tell me; I work just like you!” And those women who didn’t take jobs were
supported by the government, and many of them viewed the government as their male supporter.
During the later ‘60s, the schools began their downward spiral; free-lunch programs were
needed because many children weren’t fed at home, and homework was being eaten by the dogs
of America. Furthermore, the government decided to listen to an atheist and the churches of
America went to sleep at the wheel and God was taken out of the schools. When God left, guns,
drugs and violence against each other came in.
The Black male, who was a major part of the Black family, decided to leave and Welfare and
other support programs came in. The church, which many grew up on with its tutoring and social
programs for youth, began to focus more on the pastor’s anniversaries and birthdays and forgot
about the flock who built the churches.
Jessie Bernard, in Marriage and Family Among Negroes (1966), discussed the social injustices
heaped on the Black female by the slave master that her husband and brothers didn’t have. He
said that slavery didn’t have the same impact on the Black male that it had on the Black female.
Black females were sometimes sassy and violent toward the slave master. If she was his woman,
she would sometimes say things to him that other slaves wouldn’t say. Slave status was a less
flagrant violation of the female role than of the male, said Bernard. The enforced subordination
and subservience was not so far out of line with the Western world’s definition of a “woman’s
place.” (p. 68).
Bernard mentioned female slaves like Crecie, Lucy, Aunt Sissy Ann, Aunt Adeline, and others,
who were sometimes violent toward their overseers. Take Crecie, for instance; she pulled up
a stump and whipped the overseer with it when he tried to lash her (p. 68). Cousin Sally was
another feisty woman. She hit her master over the head with a poker and put his head in the
fireplace. This spirit continued into the 1900s as these same women, with the same kind of
attitude, tried it with their husbands.
Bernard said that Black females have shown this kind of spirit since the beginning of time.
Females were susceptible to fewer hereditary defects or mental and emotional breakdowns (p.
68). He further said that they were exposed to a society that shows their superiority as unnatural
superiority. He cited the number of Black males per 100 females as an example. This is also
due to undercounting of the Black male, who sometimes left for economic reasons.
Education was another area where the Black female excelled. Black women, said Bernard,
had more years of schooling than Black men did. In 1960, Black women averaged 8.5 years of
schooling compared to 7.9 for Black men. Today, in the 21st century, this gap has widened. He
said that Black women were destined to marry men with less formal education than they had.
He also stated that the White world had always been more available to Black women than Black
men, and still is today.
Bernard said the Black man had always been more feared sexually and occupationally than the
Black woman. In fact, the Black woman had often proven attractive to the White world. Black
women had more intimate contact with it, had lived in White homes, and had more access to
White America. They were sexual partners for White males and mammies for White male
babies. Unlike Black males, they had been less isolated by the White world. Bernard then
explained “Negro men and Negro women have, in brief, tended to live in somewhat different
worlds” (p. 69). This, he stated, was true in slavery, the emancipation era, and now.
He said that slavery was more destructive to men than to women. Black men were more likely
to run away during slavery. Slavery had two terrible effects on men: it prevented them from
coming to emotional maturity by inflicting on them a perpetual childhood and it resulted in them
identifying themselves with their masters (p. 70).
Bernard compared slavery to the Nazi concentration and extermination camps and discussed
how the inmates of these camps often became silly by giggling at the drop of the hat. This was
usually at very trivial occurrences. He further discussed their scheming to get what they wanted
by any means necessary. Bernard said probably the most devastating effect of slavery was when
Blacks came to identify with the slave master. They imitated him in dress and mannerisms, and
were often more cruel than he as overseers.
He discussed Elkins’s Slavery: a Problem in American Instructional and Intellectual Life
(1963). “In a similar fashion, the role of child was forced upon the slave; the master was the
father.” Nonconformity brought severe punishment or death (p. 71).
Current courtship among Blacks is a burst! Shahrazad Ali in The Blackman’s Guide to
Understanding the Blackwoman (1989) stated that “The Blackman and Blackwoman in America
have a problem. They do not get along. Before the Blackman can devise a solution, he must
know the components of the problems. The first factor is that the Blackwoman is out of control.
She does not submit to guidance by her God-given mate, the Blackman. Her intention to
overpower and subdue the Blackman is motivated by several factors, the most prevalent being
her self-inflicted, nearly psychotic insecurity. “Her disrespect for the Blackman is a direct cause
of the destruction of the Black family” (p. V).
Ali continued, “As the Blackwoman grows and develops intellectually, she eventually lands in
a spot that her practices lead her to, where there are several levels of Blackwomanhood that she
can strive for that are determined by her and her desires. Also, how she was reared and what
she is willing to settle for determine it. The more lofty her goals, the more sophisticated she is.
Education (institutional or self-education) always raises the goals. This knowledge might be
material or sexual. She is often a victim due to being a displaced female (p. 1).
Ms. Ali mentioned three types of Blackwomen and said that they are dissimilar only by the depth
of their problematic behavior. Historically, said Ali, “The Blackwoman has had a different
lifestyle than the Blackman. That moodiness, fickleness, or pettiness are emotional personality
traits of the Black female gender. There are no age limitations on the characteristics of these
Blackwomen.” Prior to mentioning the three types of Blackwomen, Ali said she didn’t mean to
be comical or condescending. The three types are: (1) the Lower Grade, (2) the Average, and (3)
the High Class.
According to Ali, the lower grade had been exposed to generations of poverty, illiteracy, and
shame as a child. The average Blackwoman, Ali called an enigma. She surfaces as a steady
employee and makes big preparations for parties and other weddings. She is extremely neat,
probably a churchgoer, and is a hair fixer. She has, in many instances, finished high school and
may have some college or vocational education classes. The High Class Blackwoman, says Ali,
is smart and may be a raging beauty. She is sexy and is the most difficult to reach and train. She
has it all—confidence, intellect, and beauty. She also wears the finest clothes and prides herself
on being well read (p. 14).
Ali said the Blackwoman/wife with a sense of humor is “worth her weight in gold; however,
she has a great deal to learn.” She needs to greet her man with a smile, she has to abandon her
moodiness to control her man, and she has to educate herself about different programs for her
child. She stated that having a baby is seen as slowing her down and keeps her from tracking
her man. She sees having a baby as having the responsibility “of a squalling brat from now
on” (p. 21). Ali said the Blackman has as many problems as the Blackwoman, only different.
She believes that the disobedience of the Blackwoman is what has led the Black family into its
James Dobson, Ph.D., claimed in What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women (1985)
that woman have universal problems with time pressure and fatigue. He asserted that men need
to be more sensitive to the needs of the ladies they call wife. Dobson further said that (1) women
tolerate pressure a lot better when another individual, the husband, knows that she is enduring
it, (2) that men understand that when their women are overwhelmed they should get them some
help, and (3) that couples guard against over-commitments.
Some Black men complain about Black women devoting too much time to their friends and not
enough time to their families. Additionally, their church responsibilities have priority over their
families. Black men understand the importance of spirituality, but they know enough about
spirituality to know that God doesn’t place the church before their family responsibilities. Also,
many women are carrying their own load as well as somebody else’s.
What Makes a Black Family?
The large majority of Black families in America have African roots. Although there are
some Blacks whose ancestors were not enslaved, the large majority are descendants of slaves
who were chattel for Whites. Very few Blacks in America maintained their African names.
Remembering my freshman year at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, I met a classmate
named Edith Bobo. I discovered Bobo was an African name maintained by her family.
The pain and hurt from slavery lives on in Black families and many are having a very difficult
time moving on. Some believe this is due to a lack of mental therapy and financial relief to
better themselves. Whatever the problem, Black families in 2011 have appeared to backtrack
from the progress of their people.
What makes them a Black family? Slavery and racist injustice that was perpetuated and is still
being perpetuated by the people who became wealthy off of slavery. For example, a Black
man in America with a Ph.D still suffers the same injustices he did prior to obtaining a Ph.D.
President Obama is another example; he is still facing racist and hateful injustices at the end of
his third year in the White House. I have never known a First Lady in the White House to be
called a “bitch” like Mrs. Michelle Obama.
Also, what makes a Black family a Black family are the ghettos into which they were pushed.
Black people were pushed into high-rise projects in every major city in this country. I remember
Rev. Jesse Jackson comparing it to putting a quarter inside a dime. Initially, this may not have
been a problem, when the fathers were in the homes. But with just the female parent, many of
whom refuse to manage their children and don’t want the schools to discipline them. Also, it’s
believed that single-parent homes have paved the way for higher crime in major and rural areas.
With single mothers refusing to discipline their children and the public schools refusing to
teach or discipline them, the public schools have become a total disgrace in the major urban
cities. With all the educational materials I cited in this research, why can’t the politicians and
parents demand quality in their schools? Even today, many blame Willie Lynch and his sick and
hateful mental and physical anguish in 1712 for this mentality; but how could he have had such
advancement in psychology in 1712 to affect Blacks today? Another question is: What makes
many Black Americans lack the motivation and foresight to keep them, from falling further and
further behind other “minority” groups?
How Have Changes in Values and Morals Affected the Black Family?
In the ‘60s, while growing up in Chicago, family, school, and church were like apple pie,
baseball, and Chevrolet. Also, while teaching elementary school in Chicago, students were
asked on Mondays, who attended church on Sunday? Unlike children growing up in the ‘60s,
very few students raised their hands when asked that question. It was our upbringing at home
and church that kept us on the straight and narrow. Young people in 2011 don’t have that
support and the abundance of Black churches in the community lack concern.
Parents today don’t take the time to take their children to church; some may send them, but
many families are not rooted in spirituality. This freestyle freedom is also revealed in the sexual
freedom of Black children. Yesterday if a guy received a kiss, he considered himself lucky; but
today, it’s all the way or no date. Of course, this doesn’t suggest that the entire Black race is like
this, to the contrary, but I venture to say a large percentage had this mind set.
Furthermore, regarding the politicians, they expect the school system to do everything; they
expect them to teach coursework, morals, nutrition and feed the children 2-3 times a day. Yes,
some may be missing meals at home and it’s a good thing to feed them, but I don’t consider it a
good thing for the school system to have total parental responsibilities. They can’t perform all
these responsibilities in 6 hour shifts. The problem, Black Americans have is they have lost their
first love for Christ who rescued them from slavery; and they’ve forgotten how they overcame
during slavery and Jim Crow.
Finally, during to 60’s the fathers worked and the mothers stayed home to raise the family. Who
has this responsibility now? The father isn’t in the home and the mother is concentrating on other
things. In addition to the above, the children are entering puberty too fast and the consequences
are plentiful. The church has also changed! The focus has gone from the flock to the pastor
and his celebrations. Also, the focus has gone from the flock to brick and mortar instead of
establishing church schools, after-school programs, and parenting classes. The Black church has
failed the people and God is not pleased!
Dr. Donald C. Davenport mentioned in Healthy Stages in Male and Female Relationships
(2008) the Ten Commandments of Dating. He discussed the following:
● Thou shall not get yourself into something you can’t get yourself out of
Don’t put yourself in a position sexually or socially that would compromise your
conscience as a believer.
● Thou shall get to know their parents.
You may see behavior and character traits that may give clearer insights into why your
date views life in the way they do.
● Thou shall get a clear understanding about your dating relationship.
The other partner may not be where you are mentally or socially.
● Thou shall not be exclusive.
This means you will not just see one individual on a regular basis.
● Thou shall not live or take up residence with each other.
Dr. Davenport believes this type of arrangement creates too many false realities that
usually end up a bankrupt relationship.
● Thou shall make sure you are equally yoked
As a people of faith, it is important for the couple to have similar values, and beliefs, that
will help give balance to each other’s lives.
● Thou shall decide early what you will and will not do as a dating covenant in this
This covenant will force both persons to be honest and transparent.
● Thou shall realize that you are preparing this person for their future mate.
The reality is that in one’s dating life, a person may date five to seven people before
eventually meeting their life partner.
● Thou shall not try to change the other person into a carbon copy of yourself.
I believe the greatest gift we can give each other as friends is the freedom to allow that
person to truly be himself or herself.
Dr. Davenport said there is a right way and wrong way to pursue the course on the path of
dating. He discussed ten areas to assist persons to know when they would be ready for a dating
● First, when you have found someone of the opposite sex, with whom you have
established a trusting friendship.
● Second, when one is not seeking a marriage partner
● Third, when in a friendship relationship you both feel comfortable with understanding
each others values and interests.
● Fourth, when on the first date you are willing to equalize the date which means each
person pays his or her own way on this initial date.
● Fifth, when you feel comfortable in letting, your initial date is at your date’s parent’s
● Sixth, when you have healed from the last painful relationship (usually a minimum of six
to nine months).
● Seventh, when the person you are dating is someone you sense that you can possibly pray
with and for.
● Eight, when one feels that they can let the partner know that this is not an exclusive
● Ninth, when you feel as comfortable with being alone as you would be with someone
● Tenth, when you are willing to deal with the truth about any sexual tension that may occur on
Dr. Davenport in Healthy Stages in Male and Female Relationships continued discussing
marriage and the husband and wife role in the marriage.
He began with “Proverbs 30:23” tells us three things that make the earth tremble and one of
them was an unloved woman who is married.” He then asks us to consider these principles
for a husband:
● The husband should derive pleasure and fidelity with his wife.
● He should live sacrificially for her.
● His prayer life is connected to how well he treats his wife.
● He needs to recognize her as God’s gift of joy.
● Treat your wife with strength and gentleness
● Give plenty of praise and reassurance.
● Define areas of responsibility.
● Avoid criticism.
● Remember the importance of little things.
● Give her a sense of security.
● Recognize the validity of her moods.
● Cooperate with her to improve your marriage.
● Lastly, discover her particular needs and try to meet them.
Dr. Davenport then discusses the wife of noble character and the needs that only a wife can meet:
● A husband needs a wife who will respect his leadership over the leadership of any other.
● A husband needs a wife who is an illustration of biblical compatibility with him.
● He needs a wife who reflects the character of a Godly woman through what she says.
● He needs a woman who is an illustration of a holy woman trusting God.
He gives 10 commandments for wives.
● Learn the true meaning of love.
● Give up your dreams of a perfect marriage, work toward a good marriage.
● Discovery your husband’s personal and unique needs and try to meet them.
● Abandon all dependency upon your parents and criticism of his relatives.
● Surrender possessiveness and jealousy
● Give praise and appreciation instead of seeking it.
● Greet your husband with affection instead of complaints.
● Abandon all hope of changing your mate through attack or criticism.
● Outgrow the Daddy’s-little-Girl syndrome.
● Pray for patience.
If Black families are to survive, they have to rediscover many of the principles and ideas Dr.
Davenport discussed. I suggest you purchase his book for further reading.
What Will the Black Family Look Like in 2050?
In 2050, some believe there might not be a Black family. Today, eight out of ten Black
households are headed by females, many of whom believe they are better able to live by
themselves; and many of them should! The Black male in 2050, unless the genocide is stopped,
will be very limited. The powers that be sit back and allow crime to take place; employers
discriminate against Black men and create havoc in the Black family by hiring her and not
him. Today, in New York, only one in four Black men between 18-24 is working. In Chicago,
Detroit, Cleveland, and Buffalo, it’s 50 percent and better. This cannot be an accident! There are
Black men with two & three degrees not working.
Also, when it comes to the Black female, many Black men choose not to deal with the drama
that comes with the majority of Black females. Many Black men have chosen to go elsewhere
and date outside of their race. Many of them are just looking for peace of mind in a meaningful
relationship. Recently, I had breakfast with a former co-worker who informed me that he
doesn’t date Black women anymore; he says it’s just too much drama, and lack of integrity.
In order to survive, the Black male and female will have to awaken to a new day and return to
the mind-set of caring, trusting, and loving one another. If by chance they awaken, I believe
there are several issues they have to confront to stay afloat in this country. I call this program S-
S – SPIRITUALITY
SPIRITUALITY – If Black families are to succeed, they have to get back to their first love, God!
God delivered them from slavery, Jim Crow, and America’s historical racist and self-centered
attitudes toward supremacy. Blacks attend church, but it doesn’t progress pass the church’s
back doors. Many of them wouldn’t give their brothers and sisters a slice of bread if they had it;
totally diametrically opposed to their ancestors from earlier decades. They attend church, clap
their hands and shout, but it’s just an extension of the Saturday-night party group. Likewise,
many of the pastors/preachers are some of the biggest problems in the community. One can
drive through a Black community and see church after church, but they’re passive and totally
null and void in the community. The focus continues to be on the pastor’s anniversary and brick
and mortar. The church has to take the lead or get out of the way. We need church schools and
there’s no valid reason for them not to be developed in the many Black churches.
EDUCATION – Needless to say, Black families have lost their hunger for education, their
educational focus. Many parents are more concerned with their appearance rather than the
appearance and success of their children. The public schools are a total disgrace and nobody
says or does anything with force or power. While all this is taking place, nobody is attempting
to plant church schools or give the public schools competition to force them to create quality
in the public schools. Year after year, the state cuts the budget, and the news media, the fourth
branch of government, report what they want on the 6 and 10:00 o’clock news programs. Black
families have regressed to such an extent that they are last among minority children in just about
everything. The nation as a whole is 17th and 25th in reading and math, behind Singapore, which
is excelling in most things. Once again, the ball is in their court; they can wake up and excel or
ENTREPRENEURSHIP – Black Americans probably had more inventors, like Garrett Morgan,
Granville T. Woods, and Elijah McCoy (the real McCoy) in the 19 th century. The 20th and 21st
centuries saw little to no inventions. They apparently saw no value in entrepreneurship, or with
the absence of slavery, had no need for shortcuts. Furthermore, the dollar remains in the Black
community for only 24 hours and doesn’t turn over even one time in the community. They are
eager to give their money away to any and everybody who crosses the lakes and rivers to take
their $1.3 trillion annually. They have no sense of business and apparently don’t want to have
it. I often wonder what God says about His people whom He gave so much and who do so little.
They’re too comfortable with nothing!!!
Too many educated Blacks were taught to get a job rather than create a job. Many obtained
one; others obtained two and three degrees and came home to no business ventures. As a result,
unemployment during this 2008 recession, which is a depression for Blacks, is between 50-75
percent for Black males.
DIVINE FAMILIES – Black women and men, it’s about your children, your seed, and not you.
It’s about growing and surviving. In order for this to occur, you have to bring your butts out of
the malls, nail and hair salons, and do like our mothers did: polish your own nails. Why do you
have to pay somebody $40-50 to put polish on your nails? Also, why do you need a $3,000 hair
piece? I know with your self-centered attitudes you’re going to say, “THAT’S MY MONEY
AND I WORKED FOR IT! “And you’re correct, But with this attitude, you and your family
won’t survive, let alone thrive, in this economy. Get back to Divine Families and nurture your
children; teach your daughters to keep their dresses down and your sons, their pants up. Sexually
Transmitted disease is at an all-time high in the Black community. Why? Can’t you control
yourselves? God gave you a well-developed brain to think. It’s totally embarrassing seeing
children having children. On school nights, turn the television off and tutor your children in
homework and the importance of reading. If you don’t, you will decline; and there’s no place to
go except in the basement.
Black people, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee, and move on together toward self-
independence; this is the only way you will be successful. If at all possible, it’s time to get
over the hundred years of pain and despair in this country. Your ancestors had the misfortune
of being placed in one of the most devastating situations known to mankind: slavery. It’s
imperative to remember that all of America wasn’t involved and that the African kings and
chieftains had a role to play in this devastation.
Your ancestors survived slavery and moved into Reconstruction with self-love, cooperation
and a desire to construct a successful future for their people. The Negro Wall Street in Tulsa,
Oklahoma, in 1901 was an excellent example of Africans in America coming together and
You may also want to know that your people in the city of Baltimore rallied together and created
their own school when the city officials refused; after seeing that Blacks were prepared to do
for self, they changed their minds and created another public school for Black children. They
gathered monies from the Black Cross, Civil War Veterans, Black churches, and others, and built
it themselves. This is what you have to do if you are to be self-significant: do for self.
You need to do whatever it takes to get over being dependent, having a childish mentality and
needing somebody to TAKE CARE OF YOUR BUSINESS. THIS IS NOT HONORABLE!
Too much time is being invested in whining and crying instead of planning and proceeding.
More time needs to be spent in developing an action plan like Dr. Claud Anderson has stated,
and do for self.
It’s imperative that you realize you cannot make another human being accept you; you can only
make them respect you. You’ve been here 300 years and should know by now how the game is
played in America. You gross nearly $1.3 trillion annually; combine it with motivation and an
action plan, and you’re on your way to success. May God bless and keep you, and may you hear
this message from the Lord!
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