Home > Uncategorized > The 21st Century Civil Rights Issue by Kelvin Lassiter

The 21st Century Civil Rights Issue by Kelvin Lassiter

Each generation throughout the history of time has experienced certain obstacles.  In the 19th century, the battle fought was abolishing slavery.  The Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1, 1863.  This legislation made it illegal for another human being to own blacks as if they were material property.

One hundred years later, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 became law, giving blacks the right to vote without any restraints such as poll tax, literacy tests, intellectual or physical intimidation.  Ironically, in the 21st century, the main ingredient that kept us then and still keeps us now from experiencing spiritual, physical and emotional emancipation is education.  The 1954 U.S. Supreme Court case Brown vs. Board of Education declared separate but equal education unconstitutional.  Not only was this a landmark decision in our nation’s history, it set the tone for today’s issue. 

In order for laws and policy to take effect, the minds of the oppressor must be challenged and forced to comply.  Today, minds are still oppressed, people and schools are still segregated, and if a minority even attempts of thinking about pursuing higher education, he may be ostracized by being labeled as “acting white” (snobbish, academically inclined black students shunned by their peers), according to Roland G. Fryer in 2006.  This mentality is damaging and psychologically worse than being in slavery. 

The effects of our history has desensitized us to the current method of bondage; the promotion of more entertainment and less “info-tainment.”  I guess mainstream America may label this as “acting black.” 

It’s common knowledge that blacks were not afforded the same educational qualities 100 years ago that are available today.  At this time, in most cases, some are reluctant to pursue educational opportunities.  They would rather massage the ego of the “dream stealer” (someone who discourages success, education or happiness).

Our educational system is in need of desperate repair.  Our mentality as a people is in greater need of repair.  The days of succeeding with just a high school education are a thing of the past.  According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, over a million students who enter ninth grade each fall fail to graduate with their class four years later.  “No Child Left Behind”, really?  Real education starts in the home, not in the classroom.

Here are a few things to do to improve your educational situation:

Believe in yourselfReceiving a decent education is essential; however, believing in yourself before you start will give you the experience and tools necessary to achieve your goal.   Do not listen to those who doubt your abilities including people who are close to you. No one will believe in your dream more than you will.

Read every dayPlease abide by the popular slogan “reading is fundamental.”  Read books that are spiritually uplifting to build your confidence.  Also, you want to read books that relate to your desired goal.  Teaching yourself how to study will train your mind to prepare for your future.

Decrease the entertainment and increase the informationThe fastest way to keep people in bondage is the lack of information.  There is an old adage that states: “If you want to hide something, put it in a book.” The entertainment industry has the ability to allow the human mind to “hide” its true potential.  The design of videos, video games, and playstation is portrayed as entertainment.  The addiction to these things keeps your attention off of the prize, your desire to succeed.

Know your talents and strengthsFind out the thing you enjoy most.  Examine if this is something you would do for free and that will determine if the profession is for you.  An obstacle to success is doing something just for the money.  That’s the mentality of a job.  If you do what you enjoy, you will never work a day in your life.  Utilize all your God given talents.  Do not shortchange yourself.

There is no time like the present to go after what you dream of.  You can do it!  Your life depends on making and shaping the dream of destiny!  Your family depends on it!  The will to win has to be greater than the skill to lose.  This is a lifelong journey and your children’s children must benefit.  The internal fire inside of you should never die; just throw some wood on it from time to time. “Victory” awaits you!

Kelvin Lassiter is a motivational speaker, author, and consultant based in Washington, DC.  For more information about his books, programs, and seminars, visit www.kelvinspeaks.com. He can be reached by email at info@kelvinspeaks.com.

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