Are We Our Brothers’ Keepers?

Looking  over a few notes from college, (yes, I keep them), I stumbled upon a line that caught my attention. It said:

“Du Bois considered the black racial elite the key to black advancement.”

First, if you don’t know who W.E.B. Du Bois was kill yourself, educate yourself on the man and his accomplishments.  I thought about the “black racial elite” of our time, as well as those Du Bois were referencing. Most of the black elite of Du Bois’ day were professionals, (teachers, lawyers, doctors, etc.) and were wealthy for their time. Like Du Bois, they were also advocates for education and social change given the harsh social climate of the early 20th century. Now, if you think of the “black elite” of today, whether famous or not so famous, middle class or upper class, majority are charity givers, donating their money, but not so much their time and afforded skills. Which brings me to question, are we advancing in the uplifting of our race?

You at some point have heard someone say that once someone black “make it big” they forget where they come from and run off into the lavish hills of the suburbs and enclaves to never physically return back to their humble beginnings of the inner city. They just send money as a substitute. In fact, during the 2008 Presidential elections, then candidate Barack Obama was constantly undermined by others, both white and black, because he once had a job as a community organizer. Never mind that he was a Columbia graduate and quit his job as a Financial Consultant to take on the humbling new role, for them, the fact that he worked to help the poor and disadvantaged was a joke.

Most of us were temporarily inspired by President Obama’s efforts, but we never did much, never took any action. One way to uplift our race is to become more active in the poor communities and schools. When a people have only been exposed to one way of living and to one group of people all their lives- that is all they know. Now I am not saying that just because people are poor that they are lost souls, but these are people who are oftentimes in need of guidance and mentoring. We must donate our time to these communities and serve as examples.

This should be applied to the church as well. Since the church is such a staple in the black community we should hold them to a higher degree when it comes to inspiring their congregations to become more involved in the communities. It’s easy to write a sermon and give special offerings, but how about creating community service ministries that will serve our people in a proactive way. This is a month of giving so naturally we will see an increase in community service and giving, but when the turkey gets put away, let’s continue on and make this an everyday occurrence.


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