The black community is falling to pieces. Time is out for sugar coating the truth. By every measure, the place we used to call the black community is in peril. Most would agree that at the core of this problem is the unraveling of the social fabric of this community. From broken family structures to lack of employment opportunities, there are a wide array of institutional failures to justify the tragic state of black America. The institutions of the black community have fallen apart. Families, neighbors, schools, social clubs, churches, and businesses are the backbone of any community. Without these institutions no community can thrive long.
Yet, what has led to this weakened social arrangement? I propose that the mortar between these social bricks has eroded. The very thing that holds masonry together is the mortar. Our communities mortar is the value we have for the institutions that sustain us. Our faith in and value for families, neighbors, schools, social clubs, churches, and black businesses has eroded. Since integration, we have placed tremendous value on all things not-black. My grandmother used to say, "we think white folks ice is colder." As a result of our unconscious buy "white" campaign we initiated "a don't buy anything black campaign." This has led to the massive erosion of value for all things black. For the sake of time, I will not make a list of examples. If you need them, just look out the window or walk down your street. Look for black men married to black women; or black businesses supported by black people, or black schools that black people want to attend, or black neighborhoods that black people want to live in. The lack or absence of any of these is evidence of the decline.
Here's the good news. Just like tuck pointing can save an old water damaged house, we can refill the gaps that exist in our social structure. It starts with restoring the value of our institutions. We must make a concerted effort to value blackness once again if we hope to save the people who belong to this community. We must restore a sense of honor and integrity to our institutions. That means holding each other in high regard. That means remembering the importance and value of marriage. That means seeing value in our neighbors and neighborhoods. That means supporting black businesses and organizations. In essence, to restore the black community we must do something that requires little to no money. We have to find value in her.
How do we begin? Every person who is concerned about the academic, financial, social, emotional and health disparities of black people has an opportunity to reengage their emotional connection to these issues. Much like our psycho-kinetic readers, you are connected to this cause whether you realize it or not. I encourage you to choose to feel the energy in the room. Re-sensitize yourself to the plight of children dying in the streets of Chicago. Re-sensitize yourself to the massive numbers of black men being locked away from their families. Re-sensitize yourself to the sexual health concerns plaguing black women. Allow yourself to feel the pain and hurt of these people in pain. Let that feeling guide your actions.
As my students practice the psycho-kinetic reading exercise, I see two amazing things happen every time. First, the children most unlikely to read suddenly become the most engaged readers. I have seen quiet boys and disengaged girls jump into the reading process. This results in shocked teachers and very happy students. Second, a community of trust and respect develops among the readers. Every person is empowered with the ability to halt or promote the process. Most students choose to use this power for good. As a result, the assumption of ill-will, a feeling of being disrespected, is replaced by an assumption of good-will, a feeling that we are in this together. This youthful demonstration should give us insight to what is possible if we choose to see value in each other.
I encourage you to join our movement to reignite the emotional fire in the black community. Visit www.resensitize.com and reconnect emotionally to the plight of hurting people.