It is because African-American News&Issues is a publication that has thrived for over 20 years as a platform that highlights and addresses both current and historical realities affecting our communities; that I stand strong in exposing these elements that continue to impose on the African-American community. As publisher I have made it my business no matter what anyone else says or does to write and talk about the things that matters most to our people. Throughout the years, a lot has changed. Some of it for the good, some for the bad and some things have just continued to remain the same. Such is the case with this Blackness. But, having the appropriate knowledge and being made aware of certain issues and factors is a tool that will assist members from our communities with the will and “know-how” to combat these elements as they continue and as they arise.
Last year, I addressed a couple of issues that have existed to destroy our communities. The fact that many members from our communities have left and abandoned it after going off and being mis-educated and thinking that they have gotten to a point where they believe that they have arrived has crippled our communities. So much so to where many of them are constantly being inhabited by people that does not look like us. Hence we are losing our communities. Another issue I wrote about was the fact that integration did not strengthen the nation in the way that so many people believe that it did. Truth is, it destroyed our communities! Before integration Black folks were self-sufficient people who relied on one another and supported each other because we really were not allowed to go outside of those boundaries anyway. So we knew no other way than to network and work together, because we literally had no other way to survive.
We MUST Understand that before we were allowed into public schools with our White counterparts, we were educated at the church. In fact, many of the Black schools, colleges and universities that exist today were first established at the church. When Black folks couldn’t eat at the typical restaurants as everyone else, everybody cooked at their homes and gathered to the church and each one brought food and fellowship was held there. Morals, values and ethics were also instilled in many of us at the church. There were times that our parents worked so hard that they could not always afford to go to church but they made sure to send their children. Because they knew that where they were not able to teach certain things because they were too busy trying to make a living to provide for the family; they knew that some form of righteous teaching would be going on there.
Furthermore, history is even a witness that many of the Civil Rights movements that began were first formed at the church. The Black church in times past has always been a meeting place for members of our communities to come together and discuss these issues that plague our culture and to brainstorm and come up with techniques to help us overcome them. So I wrote all of this to state that the Black church is definitely an integral part of our communities. And it has not just now gotten this way, it was established that way.
But here we are in 2017 and for some reason, one of the very landmarks that have been responsible for being the bridge that helped to tide many of us over is being abandoned, neglected and forsaken. Somehow, all of a sudden the religion and teaching that was good enough for our parents, our parent’s parents’ and their parent’s parents’ are just not good enough for our children. As a result, our mis-educated children are going off and coming home and going to other churches surrounded by people that do not look like them. They don’t want to go where Mama and Daddy went because it’s old-fashioned or does not display the current trends. This mindset is one that is helping us to lose the Black church. There are many other reasons and examples that I could give to help us understand that we are losing the Black church rapidly, but space will not allow me.
In closing, I would just like to state that, I have never been the overzealous religious type, but I know right from wrong. Regardless of who I am, I know that my parents kept us in church as a child. Even though I’m Catholic and my wife is Baptist, we recognize and understand the need for the Black church. Therefore, I decided to address the issue. Because with us constantly losing vital facets of the Black community, before too long there will be absolutely nothing to lose. For the simple fact that so many of our people are freely giving it away, with no regard to the struggle that was made just for us to have it to begin with. So I would like to reiterate that the Black church in our culture has always been a very important landmark not only for our communities but for the people in them as well. So I urge our faithful and loyal readers to examine this and return to our old landmark.