|Blacks must interact with whites but not lose their identities.|
Yes, this article hits close to home for several reasons.
1. I grew up in Huntsville, Ala. and lived there for 22 years. My voice teacher, Madame Lee, taught at Oakwood College, now Oakwood University. My parents were on the faculty of A&M College located on the outskirts of Huntsville in Normal, Ala. These two black schools were noted for high standards; one was tied to a 7th Day Adventist Church philosophy and the other was a school for blacks operated by the State. I understand that A&M has a major drug problem....Instead of staying in Huntsville for college. I decided to go to Indiana University and graduated in 3 1/2 years after an internship, landing a job in Kentucky in my field during the height of the recession at an educational television station. The key: assistance from my teacher and mentor, Dr. Winona Fletcher. Teachers with connections can help students get jobs!!!
2. I have interviewed Dr. Darity myself, and he believed in 2011 we needed a federal jobs program. (http://wingcomwatchdog.blogspot.com/2011/08/economist-gives-solutions-to-end.html) He is probably right. I'm thinking that if the political climate changes after the next presidential election, we will go back to the days of Reagan and Bush when black unemployment was high. When the economy is bad, it hurts those on the bottom first. Also, black businesses suffer during these times, so getting ahead as a black businessperson depends on the competition and partnerships, not mind power or inventiveness. The main thing that Dr. Darity states harms blacks in this NY Times piece is not the lack of education, but racial disparities. In the U.S., racial disparities are directly related to criminal justice systems. After recently visiting Orange County, Calif., I think our country is getting more segregated, and whites are interacting less and less with blacks in the workforce, in housing, and educational institutions. "Our Nation Is Moving Toward Two Societies, One Black, One White—Separate and Unequal”: Excerpts from the Kerner Report...Whites don't really see their world as being segregated, but normal. Blacks let into the "white" world tend to lose all sense of identity. Neely Fuller states that racism/white supremacy is the basis of all our problems in every human activity, including education and employment.
3. I am blessed that my kids, who all finished college by using the HOPE scholarship, living at home, and accruing a small amount of educational debt, have jobs. Jobs not only provide income but a sense of self-worth. I also feel that if they were white, they would be making more money. Educational systems make administrators, researchers, and teachers a lot of money, and they must be held accountable if graduates can't find jobs. Maybe we need to steer our youth into education and research instead of healthcare. Additionally, my daughter wants to go to grad school, but the company she works for won't help her pay for classes. I recently applied for a job at that same company and was told I was overqualified which just let me know that ageism/racism was at play. We need ways to pay for advanced degrees so we can compete, land better jobs, but not become too "overqualified" and unemployable while still owing large sums in educational debt.
4. Going to Dubai or working overseas may be an option, but for black women not the best move, especially seeking employment in Arab/Islamic countries. I was informed some years ago that my husband would be welcomed in Saudi Arabia, but it was not wise for me or my daughter to work there. Europe also has high unemployment. Switzerland may provide some opportunities if you have connections there. On the other hand, if we can't make it here, we can't make it anywhere!