if many of you are like me, you could best be described as being of the
'Old School.' Meaning that, many of us were infants and toddlers during
Brown vs. Board of Education and the first March on Washington; teenagers
at the time of the Jackson State University and Kent State University
murders (and, I am a KSU alum-Class of 1979), and became full-fledged,
card-carrying, tax-paying adult as the information age and the internet
broke into the International scene. But, we do have a struggle
before us for our generation!
In the words of one of my heroes, Tony Brown, paraphrasing a statement
he made in Indianapolis, Indiana nearly 20 years ago: "You
are the best educated, best funded, and best equipped generation of
on the face of the planet. You are America's bridge to Africa-or
she doesn't have a bridge! As a people, we control the wealth
equal to between the eighth and tenth largest nation on earth. If we
***Wall Street*** would collapse last week!
Now, this has always been a column written from a biblical, business and
common-sense perspective--and it will continue to exist from that perspective.
However, every generation is defined by the struggle before them.
Our struggle is to get our community back together again to fight for
and to receive payment for services rendered by our ancestors during the
more than 400 years we have been on American shores. It is called 'Reparations.'
In short, and to put it simply America. I've come to claim my 40 acres
and a mule-with interest, and in cash, please. I'm not alone, and we
going away. For those future African Americans who want to become
elected to office representing either political party, or, who want to
be regarded as 'leaders' in our community, where stand you on this matter
This is a two-pronged struggle for those of my generation to be involved.
We must get our community ready to receive what is due us-while at the
same time persistently pressuring the Federal Government to settle up
by our votes. Our rallying cry is going to be even more simplistic.
Reparations-Black History For a New Millennium
The issue of just, fair and reasonable compensation
for services taken from my people during the period of 1619 to 1865 is
not a new issue. The tab is into the trillions of dollars and the
note has come due. We were promised, by the Federal Government,
40 Acres and a Mule. We have not received either.
When famed lawyer Johnnie Cochran successfully
represented his clients against the forces of the Walt Disney empire
and won a judgment in excess of $220 million in court in August 2000,
dared say that his clients were not entitled to that jury award. They
were injured, and, under U.S. law, were entitled to compensation.
When Cochran's clients will get their money-or how much of the judgment
will ever see is not important. A court of law ruled that they were entitled;
a jury heard the evidence and made a decision that an injury did occur. It
was not a racial decision, but an economic decision!
However, the real struggle--once
we do come together--is to focus our people on receiving payment for services
rendered. It is not going to come overnight, but it is going to come if
we remain true to Jesus Christ, and fight for the cause of justice. And
the church-and its Pastors-must speak up!
Here is, in a nutshell, some Black History that many of us-even those
who claim to be teaching multiculturalism-have forgotten. African American
men showed up for every war and crisis that this nation has faced. African
American women watched their men suffer indignity after indignity, slaughter
after slaughter, for defending our adoptive homeland.
"America -Check Please!"
From A Biblical Point of View
The Bible is very plain on the subject of slavery.
During the Roman era of the New Testament, slaves were to be treated
well by slave owners and not abused-and vice versa-especially if one,
were of the Christian faith. The same was held for the employer/employee
But, as for the matter of Reparations, we must head back to the Old Testament
and the Book of Exodus. The Hebrews were held in slavery for some
430 years. It took God, via Moses; and ten plagues to break the captives
out. But on the way out, the former slaves spoiled Egypt-meaning
the descendants of slaves were compensated for their bondage. Read
it for yourself. In short, the Bible teaches that a man-and a people-must
be properly compensated for services rendered. Otherwise God steps
in and levels that nation through plagues, and a host of other curses
such as natural disasters, diseases, famine, social, marital and economic
We have to push for what is due us in the form of compensation, and we
have to build ourselves spiritually, morally, and economically to have
someplace to put that compensation once it does arrive-for the betterment
of all and as a proper remembrance of the sacrifices of not only our ancestors,
but the Lord Jesus Christ, as His Tithe comes off the top "America-Check