Magazine article The Crisis

The Journey Continues

Magazine article The Crisis

The Journey Continues

Article excerpt

After 500 years, "We have come, over the road, that with tears has been watered," as the great NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson wrote in the song that has become celebrated as the African American national anthem. And yes, we have trod our path through "the blood of the slaughtered." But we have not turned back in spite of the efforts to "keep us in our place." Through it all, we continue to lift our voices.

Yes, we have overcome so much to claim our full citizenship rights in these United States of America. And yet, we as a people continue to have the greatest number of unemployed; the highest rate of infant mortality; the majority of the prison cells (where Black men are six times likelier to be confined than White men); the most of the "bad" and the least of the good fruits of this rich land we call The United States of America. President Barack Obama addressed these disparities in his commencement speech to new graduates of Howard University. "We've still got a big racial gap in economic opportunity," he reminded them. "The overall unemployment rate is 5 percent, but the Black unemployment rate is almost 9. We've still got an achievement gap where Black boys and girls graduate from high school and college at lower rates than White boys and White girls. Harriet Tubman may be going on the twenty, but we've still got a gender gap when a Black woman working full-time still earns just 66 percent of what a White man gets paid."

Despite these daunting conditions and against staggering odds, we keep on the quest begun so many years ago with the same determination that has brought us "thus far" on the way for ALL of the rights and privileges of American citizens. …

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