To continue from yesterday, if we go back 60-70 years or so, even though most black americans didn't have great education, family was very important. With it, having a hard work ethic. These were two things at the forefront of black culture. Now, there were stereotypes back then, mostly coming from the outright racism that was shown. However, those stereotypes didn't hold a lot of water back then. The majority south knew full well the work ethic of black men and women, which is why they were hired to do farm work and so on. Both my dad and mom talked about there experiences of going to school and afterward working in the field.
Today is different. Even if your educated and know stereotypes are generalizations, if someone asked you to name aspects of african american culture, hard work wouldn't be one of them. (If you ask the young generation) I bet if I conducted an experiment among young college graduates and asked them to name some things on black culture, I would get music and food, the stereotypical things among those two things. Above all else I wouldn't get hard work. So what happened within the last 60 years that led to 1 in 3 black men going to jail or prison? What happened within that time frame that lead to most black children being born to single parent households? (Of course being born in a single parent household doesn't necessarily mean both parents aren't involved with their children) I know we get tired of hearing these things, particularly if you're not black. Of course I also get tired of hearing these things. Every race have their problems, yet this is a huge problem. Too many black americans are falling by the wayside when it's not necessary. Quite frankly there's just too much opportunity in this country, no matter how bleak things look, for this to be happening.
To continue from some of the things said in the video, perhaps the biggest reason why things are the way they are now, is not because of racism, but might be because of the integration of schools. Now I'm not saying we should segregate again, that would be stupid. Yet I often wondered a couple of times in the past were there any slight differences in the way a black student learns, from the white majority way of teaching. I'm putting this into the cultural perspective. There's this thing I heard, I don't know from where exactly or when. I can't tell you if it is based on a real story, I heard it a while ago. (I can tell you it wasn't from a dream I had) Perhaps once I share what I remember of the story, someone might have heard it as well and have more information concerning it.
Someone wanted to test the knowledge of children from africa. Not anything sophisticated, but basic knowledge I suppose. So they went to a village somewhere in Africa, and asked the children to count the birds in a tree. They counted ten birds in the tree. It was then asked of them if someone shot one bird with a gun and it fell to the ground, how many birds would then be in the tree? Their answer was zero. The one who asked the question of course determined they got it wrong. Yet it was explained to him the reasoning of the children. If someone shot one of the birds, the sound coming from the gun would cause the remaining birds to fly away. Thus there would be no birds left in the tree. (Whereas the reasoning of the one asking the question was simply thinking in terms of the question, and not real life scenario if I could say that) Going back to my point on integration, back in the days of segregation, the saying was "seperate, but equal". However we knew full well things weren't equal by any means. In terms of school, the black schools weren't as fit as white schools. Now, here's what I heard my relatives have said concerning those days.....
What they really wanted was equal treatment. Again in terms of school, they wanted the latest school books and better facilities. They wanted the school busses to take the children to and from school, and also not have to sit in the back of the bus. They wanted true equality. They didn't really want to integrate. (One reason why is because in black schools, the teachers were free to discipline the students, such as giving them spankings when they got out of line. Once you integrate, that kind of discipline goes out the door. And of course black teachers lose their jobs. You're not going to have a black teacher teaching white students) Again what they wanted was for that slogan to truly hold up, and not necessarily integrate the schools. So ultimately we integrated, and our cultures collided together. If there were differences in culture, at least back then, both couldn't coincide with each other. One had to rule, and we know which one that would be. So for things like eye contact, one culture looks one in the eye, the other looks away. Which one became the rule? It was eye contact. The culture that lost out, either adjusted or never learned to adjust. So more than overt racism, I'm thinking perhaps the biggest reason why we see these overwhelming numbers of struggle within the black community is because of the cultural rejection.
I also want to expound a little bit on the school system and what's being taught. Every where you look in school, the people you learn about, no matter what the subject, they are all of european descent. For instance in the subject of science, you learn about cats like Galileo. In english you learn about Shakespeare. In math you learn about...., actually math might be one of the few subjects where there is diversity concerning the history of it, but who cares about math? When it comes to anything concerning those of african descent, it's always surrounding slavery and the struggles afterward. So if you're a black student coming up through the school system, the only contribution to the world you hear about people who resemble yourself, is surrounding the effort to survive racism and oppression. Then some might wonder why so many kids want to grow up being a football player/basketball player or singer/rapper. Those are some of the only things concerning black people that didn't immediately involve the topic of racism and the struggle, which I personally see racism and the struggle afterward as a very heavy topic. Not that I'm disrespecting my ancestors, or that I'm ashamed of them. When you really dig into the history of it all, you actually become inspired, no matter what race you are. (Because we are all humans) I believe however we are taught about it in a way that either leads to guilt if you're white, or feeling sorry for yourself if your black. In the black community we are taught like we've done nothing great in the world, and that we were enslaved because we weren't capable of anything great.
You don't see many black kids growing up wanting to be scientists. The only black scientist we knew of growing up, might have been George Washington Carver. You don't see many black kids growing up wanting to be doctors. Most don't want to be teachers, then again, who wants to be a teacher? (My mom was a teacher by the way) In essence, I believe once we think about these things, it's easier to see why there is such a huge hole in the black community today. Now again, every race have their problems. However things are out of porpotion in the black community in terms of struggle. The same can also be said for other communities in the US.