Posted by: Tony Carson | 16 October, 2007

The Tragic Black Problem

The most important step toward ending the tragic cycles of violence and poverty among African-Americans also happens to be the heaviest lift — reconnecting black fathers to their children.

“You go into whole neighborhoods and there are no fathers there. What you find is apathy in a lot of the males who don’t even know that they are supposed to be a father.”

NY Times Bob Herbert has an interesting column Tough, Sad and Smart on the two authors, Bill Cosby and Harvard’s Dr. Alvin Poussaint, of a vital book on the plight of young Blacks in America, a cri de coeur:  “Come On, People: On the Path From Victims to Victors.”

The book covers a great deal that has been talked about incessantly — the importance of family and education and hard work and mentoring and civic participation. But hand in hand with its practical advice and the undercurrent of deep love for one’s community is a stress on the absolute importance of maintaining one’s personal dignity and self-respect.

It’s a tough book. Victimhood is cast as the enemy. Defeat, failure and hopelessness are not to be tolerated.

Hard times and rough circumstances are not excuses for degrading others or allowing oneself to be degraded. In fact, they’re not excuses for anything, except to try harder.

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