So a little background about me. I was born, and for about the first third of my life, raised in Jamaica. For the last two of those years i was raised by my aunt while my mother came to the US, as did a lot of my family, and prepared for me to come join her. We moved to Lakewood NJ, which even though you could find your hood spots, was still considered the suburbs. So now as an adult living in an urban environment I can't claim to have had the urban rearing experience. However, while driving home the other night I was struck by the conditions in which we accept to live.
During the civil war and the civil rights movement, blacks fought an oppressive white racist society and an oppressive unequal government for their freedom and their basic civil rights. So why now when we have acquired both to a greater extent than anytime before in the history of the United States, do black Americans accept the captivity in which we are being enslaved? The poverty stricken urban squallar...held captive not by an oppressive white society, but by drug dealers and gangs that continue to rob our youth of their future. The life-saver gangs that are doing nothing but the opposite. Do we only fight an enemy when they don't look like us? Do we accept this type of oppression of our people because it's coming from our people? or at least people who look like us? Where is the difference in those that would keep us enslaved and those who do nothing more than keep us in poverty and a state perpetual modern day slavery? Have the slave quarters simply been transplanted in the hood? When did we begin to subscribe to the notion of seperate but equal? Gone away are the old "white only" and "black only" signs that used to seperate us, but the color line still exists, only now we're being held back by some of our own people. The Church, once the cornerstones of the black community and a safe haven from the everyday troubles of the outside world, has been replaced by the corner, the hood, the block. This now is the gathering place of our youth, no longer recruited by the church or mentored by their elders, they are recruited by the streets and mentored by the hood and with that the cycle continues and the ellipse just continues to grow larger, engulfing even more of our promised. So when do we realize that yellow bricked road to the land of upliftment and success begins at our front door; by cleaning up the places we call home? Much like any cancer, if left untreated, the condition grows into a state beyond repair. I don't claim to have all the answers to every plight that the black community is now afflicted with, however I do realize that our shephards are really wolves in the meadow and too many people think everything is alright.