Niagara Gazette

Columns

January 17, 2014

HAMILTON: Is Martin Luther really the King?

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — We should take charge of our neighborhood and charter schools. If you are not comfortable with either of those, then have our churches start their own parochial schools, or use the fine Catholic ones in the city. The people who are supposed to be educating our children use those schools to educate their children, as they use your children to earn the money to send their kids to them.

We have a responsibility because we can no longer say that we are not empowered — it is not the white man’s fault anymore. As Reverend Pridgen of True Bethel Baptist Church suggested — “We are there!”

Your city council president is once again black, as is 40 percent of your city council. We have a larger representation at the county level than our percentage of the county population. We have had two black state senators, a comptroller, a lieutenant governor, a governor, and even a half-black president and we even have a highly influential black executive director of the housing authority.

Even so, we are far worse off than were those largely under-educated and weepy-eyed parents and grandparents of ours; those who escaped the south with hopes and dreams for themselves and for us — and once watched, with us, the events that took place on those old black and white television sets in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

But we also have a responsibility to become more involved in a New York state that has a larger population of blacks than any other state — yet, even though we know that race plays an issue in education, and education plays a role in poverty, there is not one historically black college or university in the entire liberal state; and that speaks volumes of who and what we are. Perhaps there should be one in Niagara Falls.

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