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What Can Blacks Do to Help Themselves?
2/13/2013 1:01:36 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch

On Work ……

Stop sitting around whining about how you can’t find a job.  Have you looked, lately?

Have you prepared yourself?  Don’t give employers reasons not to hire you. 


Just for men:  Pull your britches up on your butt; get a haircut; clean up your language; leave your gold necklaces, gold teeth, earrings and bling blings at home.  Do your research on the company.  And don’t let the first sentence after your name be “what is this job paying and am I going to get paid?”


Just for women: Dress conservatively; get rid of your beehive hair do, glue do, and red, white and blue do; take the earrings out of your nose and tongue; don’t wear nails that are longer than your dress; cover up the boobs; leave your children at home.  Do your research on the company.


On Education……

Educate your household. Parents, it is your responsibility to provide the opportunities for your children. Stop pleading with your children to go to school.  You establish the rules in your home; if not, your children will.  Children need road maps to help them find their way to success. Encourage your children to read, use the library and computer for research.  Volunteer at your child’s school; attend P.T.A. and Board meetings.  If your child has difficulty mastering the basics, be patient. Never use the words “dumb” or “stupid” when referring to your child’s failed efforts. Be supportive!  Always compliment and be sure to reward good behavior and achievements.



On Violence ………

Stop telling your child “If someone hits you, hit him back.” That’s how it all gets started. Let your child know that there is something better than fighting and that is to retreat.  It is better to walk away than to lose your life.   If your child encounters a fight or an adversary with a weapon, tell him to leave immediately and report the incident.  Let your child know that it is all right to report something they know is wrong.  It has nothing to do with being a “rat.”  It is just the right thing to do. Be sure that your child knows adults have the final word.  Teach your child not to be argumentative and to respect police officers.  Let them know that stop means stop and put your hands up means not waving their hands around trying to be cool or putting their hands in their pockets. Violence is never the answer. 


Fathers, you can’t slap your wife around and expect your child to understand that he should refrain from violence.  Don’t ever tell your child to “not do as I do, but do as I say do.”  Your child will pattern himself after what he sees. Monitor what your child watches on television. There is just too much violence and sex on the tubes.   If you are a positive parent, you can be the best role model you child will ever have.  Let your child look up to you; If not, you may be looking down on him in an early grave because he made the wrong choice for a role model.


On Drugs ……..

Drugs are a “no-win” situation.  Drugs kill.  Drugs imprison.  Drugs destroy homes.  Drugs deter dreams.  Drugs does not have any boundaries.  Drugs will make you drop out of college and hang around on street corners.  Drugs will make you leave a reputable job to prostitute in dark alleys.  Drugs will make you steal from your mamma and grandmamma.  Drugs lead to violence and death.  Continue to say “NO” to drugs.  Take your complaints to the local police department when you see drugs being sold in your neighborhood.  Write your representatives and senators and ask that some legislative bills with teeth be introduced to rid our streets of this self-destructive evil.  Stop covering up for family members and friends who sell drugs and split the profits with you.  If you know of someone using drugs, try to get help for them.


On Religion ……

There is nothing wrong with a little religion.  This is a delicate subject.  Some folks got too much religion and not enough common sense.  You see one without the other is dangerous.  Children should be exposed to Sunday School and Church.  They need to have an element of fear as they grow and mature.  When there is no fear, children grow up thinking that they are invincible. The number of violent crimes committed by young black males can be attributed in part to the missing element of fear.  They fear no evil or no one because they do not know that there is someone greater than them. The church has been our refuge in years gone by and we need to get our children back into the church.  You can’t get your children there if you don’t go. And you can’t teach them what you do not know.  So, make it a point.  Go to church.  I am not the daughter of a “preacher man” but I sure enough know about the Golden Rule. 


I tipped out of Sunday School and spent some of my little Sunday School change at the corner store but I had enough sense and fear to tip my little butt back into church before my mom and dad got there.  If y’all don’t know what fear is, I do.    Not only did I fear mom, dad and those good ole church folks but I also feared the Lord.  In our climb from slavery to the present moment, we left a lot of things behind but religion should not have been one of those things.  Religion saved many of our forefathers from an early death.  Now, I am not trying to incite any riot or anything like that but y’all know if our forefathers didn’t have that old time religion, woe be unto “Massah”, his whipping lynch men and those branding iron fools.  It was the fear of God that saved us from beating  “Massah” cockeyed and giving his hired hands a dose of their own medicine.  Fear is what kept us from a premature death and that same fear will save our children.


(Stay tuned next week for more of the same as we observe Black History month.)




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