When I was growing up there was a great divide between black and white people. I didn't really know any until I was a young lad. I liked the ones I met. I liked the ones I went to college with. Spent much of my time with them. Lived with them for a while.
It may explain why in spite of the long time since then, I have an affinity for the culture. The problem is I have a very good memory. I recall what things were like then, not thru rose colored glasses, but because I lived it. I have seen the before and the after. The days before MLK's Speech. The days before Birmingham. The days before the Great Society and Johnson's war on poverty. I remember Brown v Board of Education. I remember the landmark civil rights law. All with good intentions but with unintended consequence. The destruction of a whole culture.
Black Folk had made quite a bit of economic and social progress in the 1950s, despite Jim Crow and segregation. It was culminated by the Civil Rights legislation. Black owned businesses, and two parent families were the norm in most communities. The 1960s welfare programs increased the numbers of BOTH white and black family breakups since the money was distributed to women with children. Men were essentially cut out as breadwinners and/or heads of households. In effect, welfare programs-designed with the intention of helping-have had an equal or greater effect on blacks as institutionalized slavery in breaking up families. Some might even say that blacks exchanged one form of slavery for another. All implemented by politicians who meant well, but who were not farsighted enough to see past what they were doing. Politicians who are still kept in place by the very people most damaged by their efforts.
In New York City in 1925, 85 percent of black households were two-parent households. In 1880 in Philadelphia, three-quarters of black families were composed of two parents and children. Nationally, in the late 1800s, percentages of two-parent families were 75.2 percent for blacks, 82.2 percent for Irish-Americans, 84.5 percent for German-Americans and 73.1 percent for native whites. Today just over 30 percent of black children enjoy two-parent families. Both during slavery and as late as 1920, a black teenage girl's raising a child without a man present was rare.
We have seen the destruction of a culture I value by political forces that are still influencing those they prey upon.
It's time to declare independence.