By CJ Guion
While reading a recent issue of the A&T Register, there was a column which posed the question as to whether there were still men around that resembled those of “The Greensboro Four?” In case you are unaware, The Greensboro Four was a group of young college students from North Carolina A&T State University that staged a sit-in at Woolworth’s Diner during the Civil Rights era, so that African Americans would be able to publicly sit in restaurants.
Out of the responses in the column some of the men interviewed believed that African Americans don’t face the issues that they faced then, and that there is no need for men to be like that anymore. One guy stated that “the younger generation has nothing to fight for so they would never know how to react in a situation like that.” Another stated that “we do not have to march for equality” and that the struggle is just not the same. While this is somewhat true, it must be realized that there are still struggles in society to fight. Have African Americans really come so far that we have erased all issues of police brutality, erased high unemployment rates, and addressed equality issues in public schools? Do we believe that the struggle is really over?
In January 2011, according to the US Department of Labor the unemployment rate of African Americans is 15.7 percent, almost double that of the White population which sits at 8 percent. In 2008, 24.3 percent of African Americans in North Carolina were living in poverty, that number is believed to have increased due to the recession. Out of that number, almost twenty counties in North Carolina have poverty rates over 20%. African Americans are still contracting HIV/AIDS at almost triple the rate of their white counterparts, but yet we believe the struggle is over. Right now, Wake County is in a battle over the continuous inequality in our public school systems, which continues to offer better educational opportunities to the rich and a lackluster education to the poor. We all should know by now who usually sits on each side of those respective playing fields.
This country is still facing an issue of unarmed African Americans falling at the hands of police brutality, but yet we believe the struggle is over. The struggle is not over and it’s far from being over. Most of our society still believes that BET represents the true personalities of African Americans. Many people still believe that the “Mad Black Woman” is the true representation of all African American women. People within our society are still afraid to walk past an African American male on the street in fear of being robbed. Many African American males at North Carolina State University can’t walk down Cates Avenue without encountering the double locking of car doors.
The unpleasant part of this situation is that many students around the world truly the same opinions as the males which were interviewed. We believe the theory that we are living in a post-racial society and that Barack Obama winning the Presidency of the United States marked the end of racism in America. We believe that all else, everything is equal. There is no work left to be done and we are complacent in our current situation in this country. Google Charlie Sheen and you’ll see how equal the world truly is. Is the struggle really over? You make the call.