Niagara Gazette — “Now a-days,” Helen says, “when things go wrong, (young people) want to go to the divorce court, but our parents told us to go to God and pray.”
Helen also cites that in the current generation, though marriage is not as common as once it was, young people are just as apt to dissolve friendships and kinships, just as easily as they want to dissolve relationships, instead of simply working things out — hence we fight amongst ourselves.
Helen’s concerns, as they are with most people, are greater for her own community than for others.
“The hope for Niagara Falls,” she says, “is for African Americans to come together, quit turning on each and start to love each other.”
Though an intentional exaggeration, she cites one division in that, “We have 100 churches in Niagara Falls and there are six people in each of them.”
It is clear that coming from hardworking parents, as the Coleman’s did, that they would be hard workers themselves. Both worked in the electro-chemical industry for three decades to make a better life for their children than their parents were able to give to them. Upon asking her if one of the problems with youth is that we have given them too much, she said that she is one who don’t want to say that, but “The greedy gets more than the needy.”
Tying that in with the former conditions of the American south for African Americans, Helen responded to question on which was her greater priority, voting or education. She said that when she was back in Alabama, it was, “Voting over education, because if you could vote, then you could get a good education. But a good education for blacks meant little because there were no good jobs for black then. Today, I would go for the education because you are now allowed to vote. As they talk about raising minimum wages, it doesn’t matter, [without an education] you will still be just above the poverty line.”