(ThyBlackMan.com) As a people we must ask ourselves how can become more active within our black community? How can we not only look at the problems, but the solutions also?
Although African Americans have come a long way we are still challenged with unemployment, incarceration, poverty, crime and the lack of education. There are conversations regarding the plight of the blacks and how to improve our current situation.
Many of us look for leaders to make a change. We also plead to our politicians to improve our plight when in fact we should turn to ourselves.
Here are the top five ways to make a change in the black community:
- Teach Others to Arm Themselves
We must arm ourselves with weaponry, but I don’t mean guns and bullets. I am speaking of education and economic empowerment. Education through employment programs, on the job training, technology and fair education from the start of day care and beyond is an avenue on improving lives.
Economic empowerment is a direct path towards moving out of poverty and providing a better life for our families. This can be gained by providing the tools and skills required to gain and maintain independence from outside aid.
- Mentor /Volunteer
Our children and young adults need us. This is evident through the recent protests centering on the death of Michael Brown. Our young people are literally crying out for someone to listen to their pleas.
Have you passed by a group of kids in your neighborhood hanging out? Have you ever stopped to say “what’s up” just to see what’s on their mind? If you’re not comfortable with that reach out to one child. Join an organization that offers the opportunity for adults to come in and mentor young children and youth.
As an adult with years and wisdom behind us it is time for us to step up and answer the call. Become a mentor or volunteer to speak and guide our young people in the right direction.
- Come As You Are
Come as you are. You are not required to have degrees, professional experience or even money. Just come as you are offering your skills, knowledge and even your muscle in some cases. Wherever help is needed that’s where you’re needed. You can clean up your neighborhoods, serve food in soup kitchens and even coach a little league team. Unsure of where your help is needed? The United Way can assist those that are interested in finding groups to volunteer for. United Way 211 is a national program offering resources with food, housing, employment and more. They also offer a volunteer component for those looking to give back to the community. Visit http://www.211.org.
- Participate in Voter Registration
We need to become more involved in the political process. Many people have the tendency to only vote during big elections, such as the Presidential elections. However, local and state elections held in our communities directly affect decisions made in Washington, DC.
Registering and helping others to vote is one way to empower. Teaching people about their voting rights is definitely another avenue to increase empowerment.
- Keep Families In Tact
When it comes to the black family the media and government statistics paints a bleak picture of the black family. Yes we must admit that there is a problem, just as there is with other races. However, there is hope. We can make circumstances better for our community and it starts with the family.
Let us offer parenting classes for fathers and mothers. Let us create programs geared towards couples with children that are no longer together. Marriage is an important element when it comes to raising children. But we must be realistic in accepting that all households do not consist of two parents.
But we can push the need and show these parents how to become and/or remain partners in raising their children. The dad or mom may not be in the house with that child, but they can still participate heavily in that child’s life.
As the saying goes “It takes a village to raise a child.” Let that village start with the parents by building strong relationships between mother and father.
So as they as say “Talk Is Cheap”. Are you one of those naysayers sitting on the sidelines complaining about what black folks need to do? Instead be the man or woman that chooses to contribute to the solution instead of the problem.
Why wait for someone to come in and save us? Let’s save ourselves.
Staff Writer; Eleanie Campbell
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