I am directing this letter to my African-American brothers and sisters.
We have some problems that are affecting us as a race, yet we are refusing to acknowledge them publicly and work to find solutions. Any time we meet socially, religiously or politically, some of us will bring up our problems, but never reach any conclusions for a plan of action to solve them.
I would consider some of the following problems listed below as impeding our progress:
- the lack of unity - too many self-appointed leaders and organzations;
- more consumers than producers;
- large number of children born out of wedlock;
- huge number of men in prison;
- no common agenda, letting others set our agenda;
- failure to take advantages of available opportunities;
- blaming former oppressors for deficiencies;
- use and sale of illegal drugs;
- a subculture operating outside the mainstream culture;
- too many affected with HIV and AIDS;
- too few business owners.
The problems listed above aren't common to African-Americans only, but to people who have been oppressed.
As I read the history of oppressed people in other countries who have gained a certain degree of freedom, I find a similar pattern in which a portion of the people will take advantage of opportunities through self- and outside assistance, and move on into the mainstream culture acquiring education, and engaging in politics and business.
Many teach their children to honor their history, traditions and culture.
On the other hand, some of the people have trouble dealing with newly found freedoms, and lack the initiatives to operate in the general population. Therefore, they turn to illegal activities, shun social mores and create their own culture.
I hope to offer some solutions that I have acquired from my people in a follow-up letter.
Tracy E. Williams Jr., Augusta