By Vernon A. Williams
The only way future generations will succeed is if African Americans at every level firmly embrace the philosophy of giving back. Black Americans confident that in the final frame of our story the cavalry will ride in to save us are sadly mistaken. Don’t wait without a plan, for government, the Supreme Court, the church, or corporate America.
If African Americans are to survive, thrive and mobilize, it will be on their own volition.
There has rarely been a time of fractionalization more pointed than we see today. The psychology of our struggle has always, in part, relied on those outside the race to empathize and yield to their better angels. We have counted on the prospect of building alliances with good people to overcome obstacles.
Often, we give far too much credit for the roles played by others in our plight. Revered as he may have been, it is common knowledge that if Abraham Lincoln could have brought peace to a war-torn nation WITHOUT “freeing the slaves,” he would have done it.
Honest Abe was a reluctant hero at best and a pragmatist guided by circumstance at worst. His goal was to provide an exit from the plantation and an end to the tyranny of an institution that split the United States down the middle. There were no grand provisions for uneducated, poor masses suddenly on their own.
Lincoln did not intend to imply that a freed slave was the equal of a white American.
This week I attended two programs that help make the larger point. One was a “pinning ceremony” for first-year students at Indiana University Bloomington.
Members of the Class of ’23 were welcomed to the campus and assured that as they matriculate through the often daunting course of higher education, that their support system would be strongly comprised of Black faculty, staff, students and alumni.
It was a ritual to assure our rising stars that their peers and elders would do all within their power to help them pursue their dream.
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Source: Black Press USA