It was one of Dr. Martin L. King’s last dreams to have his people and the country move from Civil Rights to “Silver Rights”. This seems like the most opportune time to remind us where the 60’s were supposed to take us. Civil rights guaranteed every man/woman would be judge by the content of their character not by the color of ones skin. There has been much headway made in that regards. We now have a President of the United States as proof.
However, not much has been done in regards to Silver Rights….the advancement of our thoughts, economic rise and power within the minority communities (especially African-American)! No longer will we be just the fish that get to swim in the sea, we will strive to own the sea we swim in.
The quickest way for our communities to be granted a seat at the table is to own & control 100% of an industry (ANY INDUSTRY)! There is much we have left behind and there are many of opportunities we have let slip through our grasping hands. Take for instance, African-American hair care and weave industry. Here’s an industry we are 100% consumers yet we own less than 1% of the industry. How can this be? What other race would dare let another control a product industry that hinges on their dollar to survive. Yet, here we are satisfied with just being consumers…thinking there’s nothing we can do? What has happened to us since the vaunted 1960’s? Do we not remember that during the Jim Crow era Durham, Wilmington, Tulsa & Atlanta were thriving communities? Durham was titled “Black Wall Street”! Why were these colored men/women able to create so much even with the tight hand of America clasping at their liberty.
That’s brings us to 2011, Jan. 17 the nationally celebrated birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He would have been 82 years old on January 15th. I wonder if Dr. King would have recognized this Black America. I wonder if he would have appreciated the culture, our rap music, “Pants on the Ground” or our lack of community caring. I know Dr. King would be saddened by our lack of movement towards the “Silver Rights” project? What say ye?
There is still hope. Industry leaders like Oprah, Bob Johnson, Tiger woods, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson & Don Peebles Quintin Primo III are writing blue prints for us to follow. But, what will it take to follow those footsteps? Courage, insight, faith, intellect, education, love, gratitude are the tools we must begin to master. All of us not just some!
We have to stop focusing on cars, a stunning wardrobe, rims, the lottery & pawning our ancestral heritage.
I proudly stand up and salute each and every one of my brothers and sisters who are making “a change”, who “dare to hope” & who march towards our “Silver Rights”….