- With EDUCATION promoted by Chavis as the great enabler for Black people - do the real world circumstances in regards to what is going on in our schools today support this forward vision? This despite having won control over these entities - per the struggles of our community's past activism?
- Dr Chavis sets out the goals of:
- Attainment of full freedom
- Economic Empowerment .................with more of these points waiting to be delivered by the "favorable people" who are now in more power over our key institutions than ever before - are we advancing in any of these 4 areas per the present mode of engagement?
Does Chavis recognize the fact that "favorable people" are now controlling these "school systems" today, more than ever? Is his rhetorical reprimand outward focused or inward?
By Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.
The struggle for the liberation, self-determination and empowerment of Black people all over the world continues in 2010. African-Americans, in particular, should never lose sight of our circumstances domestically and internationally.
That is why the proper and best education of our children is so important to the future of Black people. It is without question that we have made remarkable progress during the last 50 years. But it is also without denial that we still have a long way to go to attain full freedom, justice, equality and economic empowerment.
Our struggle, at the end of the day, has always been about improving the quality of life of our children, families, businesses and institutions in our communities. The civil rights movement continues to be about challenging and overcoming all the societal prejudices and systems of racial exploitation and discrimination.
Yet, the movement also has always been about the economic development and the expansion of the economic wealth of African-Americans and others who have historically been oppressed.
Too often today there are some who get embarrassed in social settings to hear anyone speak up about the persistence of poverty and economic dislocation that is so prevalent in many African- American communities. The steady increase in the size of the Black middle class also should help pave greater opportunities for more of our brothers and sisters to escape the plantations of urban and rural poverty.
There is no one single factor that keeps so many of our people in poverty today. But the truth is the mis-education of our children in school systems across the nation is one of the major factors that cements poverty, unemployment, incarceration, poor health and the utter sense of hopelessness for those who remained entrapped at the bottom of socioeconomic level of society.
That is why the Black Press is so important. We need the information that will tell us not only the truth, but also to tell us what each of us can and should do to contribute to changing the plight of our people toward full freedom and empowerment.
Our brothers and sisters in Africa and throughout the African diaspora are also struggling with the issues of social transformation, cultural and educational excellence, and sustainability of wealth creation for present and future generations of African nations and communities.
African-American's annual spending power is approaching a trillion dollars in 2010, ever during these 'hard' economic times. But not enough is being spent to ensure that the children in our communities are being educated. Violence and self-destruction in our communities are linked directly to poverty. Poverty from one generation to the next is linked directly to the absence of a good education.
We, therefore, cannot afford to be silent or inactive concerning these issues.
We need to develop and build the kind of educational institutions from k-12, from prep school for college to strengthening our HBCUs that will give our young people the best education in the world.
Anything less than the best education is insufficient. Mediocrity is not an option. Continued poverty and hopelessness are not options.
None of us should be satisfied with the status quo. President Obama is correct by challenging us to stop accepting failing and non-performing school systems. That is why the sight of parents overflowing parent-teacher meetings in many communities is a welcome sight. Parents have to demand better options for their children. We cannot afford to lose a generation of our children due to failed school systems.
To move out of poverty and begin creating wealth in our communities are not impossible dreams. It requires struggle and self-determination. It requires diligence and persistence to demand institutional and social change.
It requires, in the end, an irrepressible love for our children.
Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. is a national civil rights leader, senior advisor to the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) and president of Education Online Services Corporation.