There was a period of time in which we were the property of another man and in spite of the horrifying and inhumane treatment at the slave master’s hands, there still existed a concern and love for each other. A vast number of slaves refused to allow their yearning to be recognized as human beings taken away from them. Families torn apart by being sold to other slavers could not stifle the Nat Turners, Harriett Tubmans and untold numbers of others.
After the signing the Emancipation Proclamation, the physical yokes were removed and we eventually began to shape our own destiny. We elected Black men to the Congress and the Senate, built schools, colleges, churches and even cities. Across the nation the growth of successful Black-owned businesses occurred. There were business corridors throughout the south in particular but also in the northern cities. We became the owners of almost every conceivable business, but as we moved through the civil rights era our spending and shopping habits began to change.
Our neighborhoods through the U.R.A. began to disappear and the phrase was born “Urban renewal is Black removal.” Some Blacks became real life George Jeffersons as we joined the ranks of the corporate world and began to move on up. Large numbers of us developed amnesia, because we forgot where we came from.
Yes, the shackles are back as we fail to do anything for ourselves. We have become relentless as we solicit funds for almost every facet of our lives and our children’s.
Blacks in America generate in excess of $800 billion a year. What do we do with the money? Do we help historical Black colleges, reopen Lemington Home and summer camps? Do we help our children go to college?
Aesop said, “As long as we go through life with hands outstretched and palms facing upwards we will be portrayed as beggars.”
The Kingsley Association still needs your financial support.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)