The Glover Report: Family, Schools and Churches
(BALTIMORE – Novemeber 21, 2008) – Morehouse College President Robert M. Franklin has spoken truth to power. And while he would cite the illuminating scholar, Cornell West, as the best to speak power to the decay of the black family, he doesn’t do a bad job himself when it comes to laying out the ills and challenges facing black America and America as a whole.
Dr. Franklin talked about the hyper-individualism that was once on the periphery of black culture in the “red-light districts”, but that is now at the center of our culture. Instead of coming together so as to combine our resources, black America has been bitten by the “me, myself and I” fever that totally ignores and negates the concept of the whole.
Even more, his presentation before Associated Black Charities of Maryland at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum on Wednesday afternoon went into what he believes are the three major anchors of the black community that must be re-engaged such that black America can be all that it is supposed to be. After all, with the election of President-elect Barack Obama, this is supposed to represent a new beginning.
The challenge is, however, that black America is terribly bruised. While Mr. and Mrs. Obama have been able to navigate the challenges of being black in America to the point that they will soon live in the White House, much more of black America is, in fact, ready for the ICU at the nearest hospital.
Truth be told, black America has simply lost its way. We have bought into a individualistic mindset that separates us from the larger picture. That is why others come into our community like vultures and feast off of us.
Family, schools, churches: That is Dr. Franklin’s prescription. And when we think of these three incredibly significant institutions, we cannot deny just how important they have been and how they probably hold the key to a successful future.
Black America, in short, is in need of a healing. And that healing is closer for some than others. In any event, with the election of Obama on November 4th, and an impending inauguration on January 20, 2009 – quite possibly now is the time we all revisit the importance of these three major institutions so as to re-insert them into all of our lives.
And, to add my little spin on this, I would add in ‘love’ – the caring and sharing that is still within us. We have to return to caring and sharing with each other – the kind of love that forgives, soothes the savage soul, nurtures the bleeding heart, and heals the afflicted.
So, go to your children’s and grandchildren’s schools today – the final day of American Education Week. If you are Muslim, go to the masjid today; and if your are Christian, be sure to stop by the church on Sunday. And as for family, make it your business to visit or call a relative just to say you love them. This is but a simple solution to a 400-year old disease characterized by self-hate and individualism. However, it is a beginning. The beginning of a million mile journey, according to legend, is making the first step.