4 The Hampton Roads Messenger Editorial

The Civil Rights Movement: We May Have Won the Battle But Did We Win the War?

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Hampton Roads Messenger Publisher Angela Jones and A&T Four member Jibreel Khazan BY ANGELA JONES


I attended a fundraiser for the Civil


and Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina,

recently, to celebrate

Center the

60th Anniversary of the Sit-Ins. The Sit-In Movement was started by four students from my alma mater, North Carolina A&T, on February 1, 1960. The students, Ezell Blair, Jr. (now Jibreel

Khazan), Franklin McCain,

Joseph McNeil and David Richmond, bravely took a stand against the racial injustices of the era by sitting down at a Woolworth’s lunch counter where ‘colored’ people were not served. The fundraiser, which was well by approximately

attended 2,000

people including, another A&T alum Reverend Jessie Jackson, Sr., actor Danny Glover and the governor of North Carolina, paid tribute to the actions of these four students. They set-off a domino effect that launched civil rights protests throughout the country. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks and Fannie Lou Hammer were some of the activists that emerged during that era. While the tenacity of the four

A&T students should be commended, we have to ask ourselves, “Are African Americans in a better position in the categories of education, finances or health than we were in the 1950s? Is the environment at schools as nurturing for African American children as it was in the 1950s?” What good are new books if children

are so psychologically

traumatized by being a minority in the classroom or being taught by teachers who look at them as inferior. Please do not assume that the dynamics at school do not affect the psyche of these young minds. It was designed to do so. Are we financially better off

than we were in the 1950s? There are individuals in the African American community who some might call “tokens,“ who are doing quite well. Professional

athletes, entertainers

and anyone else who can distract us from dwelling on our plight are well compensated. That does not mean the race, as a whole is moving forward at the same pace as other races of people. The wealth gap is real, the

homeownership gap is real and the savings gap is real.

In 2016, $17,600 in wealth was

attributed to Black households while the median White household’s wealth was $171,000 or 10 times more than Black

households, according

to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's net worth is estimated between $160 and $196 million; and college-educated Black households have 30% less wealth than noncollege degree White households. When it comes to healthcare,

African Americans do not fare any better than the financial inequality reality. Just try to find an African American doctor in private practice. If you can find one, they are so few and far between that their schedules remain booked solid.

I wonder what would have been the economic

outcome if

desegregation did not take place. I often think African Americans must have been tricked into pushing for it. Who would choose to send their young innocent children into a lion's den every day without being tricked? Although I had not been born, as yet, during the 1950s, from what I have heard, there were more Black

doctors, more Black-owned

businesses, and better educated and well rounded Black youth. Black people even owned more land in the 1950s than today.

Some African Americans work for themselves, homeschool their children,

attend Historical Black

Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); their doctors are African American and their

dentists are African

American. So, I guess one could say, they are segregated and I do not see a problem with it. Maybe it is one of those things where I had to see it to believe it. Right now, I do not understand how segregation could have been worse than what African Americans are

experiencing today.

By working together and supporting each other, as other communities do, African Americans can eventually rediscover the wealth and happiness of our forefathers.

The Dr. William R. Harvey Musem of Art The ceremony was brought to a

close with a standing ovation for an emotional Dr. Harvey whose remarks reflected on the immense impact that Talladega has made on his personal life and historic career as a leader in high education and in business. He also shared priceless information to the current students at Talladega, who will carry the responsibility of forging the next chapter in their institution’s history.

“I want you all to know that the

Lord has ordered my steps,” said Dr. Harvey. “I could not have done all the things that I have done if it were not for the Lord. One of the things that Talladega taught me is that Talladega folk care. I hope that some of you older Talladegians remember people like Dr. Hopson and Ms. Montgomery, Professor Harrison and many others.”

“Understanding the impact alone

Established 2006 Angela Jones, Publisher Chris Parks, Editor

Sarah Parks, Graphic Designer Brenda Buchanon, Contributing Writer Sales and Information: Copyright pertaining to contents of this edition. All rights reserved.

that this institution has played in my life and recognizing the importance of giving back and supporting Black colleges is the primary reason that Dr. Hawkins came to my office. And I am just as happy as I could be. I hope that some of you can continue this. I like to raise money for worthy causes and this is absolutely a worth cause. For those students that are here, I want you to know how fortunate you are to be a part of this great legacy that is Talladega College. The kind of leadership you have is absolutely outstanding. Board

Photo courtesy of Hampton University

members, continue to support him, because he needs support,” said Dr. Harvey.

“If any one really wants to be a

leader, if anyone really wants to be great, if anyone really wants to be a person of honor, I want to tell you something, to both the young and old, you must do what Jesus said, serve others,” said Dr. Harvey.

In addition to housing and

preserving the Amistad Murals and other works of historic and artistic value, the Dr. William R. Harvey Museum of Art will help maintain the legacy of Woodruff and advance local, regional and national tourism.

In 2008, Talladega College

President Dr. Billy C. Hawkins had the murals removed from the walls of Savery Library, where they had hung for almost 70 years, and had them appraised. They were valued at $40 million, but in danger of disintegrating. With the assistance of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA, the murals were restored and sent on a three-year, eight-city tour. They received rave reviews from the New York Times and the value of the historic collection soared to $50 million.

Tours at the Dr. William R.

Harvey Museum of Art will begin in March.

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Harvey Museum FROM PAGE 1

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Volume 14 Number 5

February 2020

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