LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

What will you remember

As we go through these extremely difficult times in society, older people are inclined to hearken back to days of old, when things were different. Many of us wish for days of old in many respects. We lone for the days when children acted like children and grownups acted like grownups. Some of our memories are fading fast. However, most of us manage to hang on to many of the important things that helped shape our lives. For instance, we remember what it was like to be surrounded by many people who were barely literate. Fact is, some were totally illiterate.  We remember how they were taken advantage of at settle-up time with white landowners. We remember our parents walking several miles to work in the cotton mills for eight hours and coming home and hitching up the mule and plowing until dark.

We have fond memories of how all grownups appeared to have to best interest of the children in mind. We remember when children had the utmost respect for grownups and were usually at their best behavior when in the presences of elders.  We remember when children enjoyed being in the presence of their grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and even distance relatives.

We remember walking three or more miles to schools on dusty unpaved roads-rain or shine. We remember sharing books with no backs.  We remember walking to school with cardboard in our shoes and patches on our pants and shirts. We remember something caused us to keep on walking despite all kinds hardships. We knew we were walking to fulfill the dreams of our forefathers. We knew we were walking where they were denied the right to walk-to school! We remember when going to school was deemed an obligation to self, parents, forefathers and community. We remember when schools and churches were deemed sacred establishments and deserved the utmost respect.  We remember when teachers were seen as being in equal partnership with parents in child-rearing matters and exercised practically the same authority and parental control over children in their stead. We remember when most school related issues were settled in school and neither parents nor the police department had to intercede in school matters.

We remember when grownups were expected to have some kind of job, doing something, to earn an honest living.  We remember when grown men living with their parents were frown on.

I am certainly not advocating going back to the way all things were in days of old. However, going back to the things that had a positive impact on our lives would certainly help our cause. Two very important things deserve consideration-education and respect. The loss of interest in both or either of these is causing almost irreparable destruction in the black community.  I fail to see how something so achievable manages to evade such a large segment of our community. Education certainly requires funds, but respect does not cost a dime and will do wonders for a people.

Children, what will you remember?  Will you remember Fifty-Cent or WE Dubois? Will you remember Nelly or Booker T Washington? Will you remember George Washington Carver or Michael Vick? Will you remember Harriet Tubman or Monique?  Will you remember Martin Luther King or Labron James? Will your remember Rosa parks or Little Kim? Will you remember AG Gaston or Martin? Will you remember days in school or days in the juvenile system?  When you reflect back on your life fifty years from now, what will you remember?

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October 9, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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