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What Is Position Do Black American Hold in Society Today?

Essay by review  •  October 1, 2010  •  Essay  •  2,151 Words (9 Pages)  •  912 Views

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What is position do Black American hold in society today? If Black Americans were to just disappear without a trace, would it effect America economically, politically, and socially? The answer is yes, but we would not have the power to survive on our own. The only power that we truly have is buying power in America. Black Americans are infamous for putting their money into things that are materialistic rather than things that will turn their money over. Things that will build up the community such as black owned establishments. Despite the economic set backs we place ourselves in, politically we have no strong voices and our social leaders do not seem to understand how to elevate the problems that continue to plaque our society. Who can we turn to? I am convinced that if we trace back to learn theories of past African America leaders on these issues then we can eventually come to new heights. This paper will identify the primary economic, political, and social needs of African Americans at the turn of the century and determine if the philosophies of Booker T. Washington, WEB DuBois, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X can eliminate some of these issues.

The number one problem in for Black societies is the lack of economical development. True, there are Black owned business, but the businesses do not provide longevity in the communities. For example, in my community there was a soul food restaurant that just open up and before you could blink an eye it seem as if some on else other than Black American bought out the owners. Eventually that business will be passed down through the bloodline of whoever bought it and the person who has sold it has depleted the profit that they made form the business. That profit would have bestowed money that could have provided different venues of business therefore supplying more jobs in the community. Black Americans can build an economic standing community by increasing blacked own businesses, investment, money management, and the reduction of governmental policies that are race specific. In other words the government must provide equal access to quality education, employment for all Americans ( Williamso 332). Our present economic status can be blame on our past if there is blame is to be made. Other races are able to identify with home countries to improve their economic status, for example through trade. Black Americans on the other hand have a barrier because Black Americans were stolen of their homeland. Instead we can relate to Africa as a country of origin but we can not identify with their culture. Consequently we have had to build up our own economic status. For example, The Reconstruction Era is a perfect reason as to why Black American are having a hard time establish economic development.

After Emancipation Proclamation the nation was unprepared to deal with the question of full citizenship for the freed black population. I imagine after leaving the plantation, they left with nothing in their hands ("Reconstruction and Its Aftermath"). All they had were their trades that the learned form being slaves these trades could have definitely produce economic wealth. These are the ideas of Booker T. Washington. Washington believed that Blacks could obtain economic securities through vocational education rather than focusing on success through social and political advancements. During the Reconstruction blacks were most concern with acquiring equal rights along with their freedom and not establishing them selves economically. Washington implemented these ideas in his monumental speech September 18, 1895 and it later became known as the Atlanta Compromise. The Atlanta Compromise goes in further details about how "races could work together in the economic progress as united as one hand while remaining socially separate as fingers" ( Booker T. Washington and the Atlanta Compromise 1). Washington received many disagreements on his ideas of race relations, but it was also given positive feed back. Booker T. Washington ideas could have probably saved us from the economic devastation that we are now facing . At the turn of the century, Black Americans now have are more advanced in education, hold all sorts of degrees and things of that nature then they have in the past, but we still remain in this economic bind. If the ideas of Booker T. Washington was used now to promote a recuperating of Black America's economic status then there many be hope.

It is evident that Black Americans have excelled in the arts and things of that nature. There has been a culture started by young Black Americans over 25 years ago that is now being duplicated and imitated all over the world. Envision if Black America dominated the hip- hop culture totally, the outcome will result in definite economic power and there certain to be, coining the old phrase "more money, more power." This could have been achieved through the same ideas rendered through the Atlanta Compromise.

Another problem that seems to ride in the black communities is the vast unemployment rates. Blacks not being employed like they should clearly puts a damper on the economic situation. In book, Black Employment: The Impact of Religion , Economic Theory, Politics, and Law, Irving Kovarsky explains that:

The unemployment rate for Blacks is Twice that for whites. In fact it is higher for nonwhite high school graduates than for white high school dropoutsÐ'... labor force participation rate for nonwhites has been declining, but it has been stable for

Whites, not only that but blacks with equivalent jobs or education have lower incomes than their white counterparts. (77)

This information is to really be taken into consideration of how Blacks have limitations placed upon them. Limitations that will give a black man and a white man an equivalent job and education and the white man will make more money. Any Black who has experience life in the working force can definitely say that racism obviously there. That may yet be another reason to enforce Booker T. Washington's concepts of obtaining economic securities through vocational education rather than focusing on success through social and political advancements (Booker T. Washington). Investment in education, training programs, medical care, and housing to improve the quality of human capitol is necessary for economic growth ( 82). In the 21st century Black Americans are making strides in education, but so is every other culture and ethic group. It is not out of the ordinary to hold a bachelor's degree in this day and age. Therefore if we were relying the soul need of education Black American still would remain under because very few on them are attaining higher degrees to compete. Medical care is also something

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