I am constantly reminded of the famous quote by a Persian prophet… “People who go through life with hands outstretched and palms facing upward will always be perceived as beggars.”

It has been disturbing to me for many years that we as a people have been neglect in reaching into our pockets to help ourselves. Over the years I have known a number of persons who had genuine concerns about the multitude of problems that confront Blacks across this nation and developed what they believed were solutions.

However, after a few months it becomes apparent that in order to put their ideas in motion they required financial support and it now becomes grant-writing time. It is apparent that foundations have multi-millions to award programs of their choosing, but does that mean we as a people are totally unable to raise money to champion our own progressions?

There was a breakfast held in a North Side church, and some non-churchgoing persons were laughing at the collection baskets. Some persons who attend church were indignant, but declined to say anything, so I took it upon myself to enlighten a number of confused persons who had no knowledge of what Blacks have been able to accomplish with the collection baskets. I told those who had no history of the Black church that prior to 501-c3 we paid our own way by reaching in our own pockets and filled the baskets up. The results were nursing homes, retirement centers and a large number of colleges.

Do you recall it was reported when the foundations were putting together funds to reopen the August Wilson Center, a person was overheard asking the pertinent question, “What do Black folks do for themselves?”

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