During Black History Month, we are reminded of the determination of African-American people.
In 1965 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his fellow Southern Christian Leadership Conference members performed a 50-mile march to protest black voting rights in Alabama.
Louis Farrakhan organized the Million Man March in Washington, D.C. to renew the commitment of Black men to their family and community in October 1995.
Those leaders did their part and uplifted the status of African-Americans during their time period. But today’s generation has lost the momentum and seems to be waiting for a new leader to rejuvenate their spirits.
They are remaining content with problems such as racism and voting lethargy that still exist despite the years of struggling to obtain equality.
While these problems abound, the question of leadership will always exist.
W.E.B. Dubois introduced his belief in the Talented Tenth in his book “The Souls of Black Folk”.
Dubois believed the top 10 percent of African-Americans with the proper education, skills and character, should use their knowledge to educate the black race.
I am a firm believer in this theory. However, I believe there are many people with the ability to fortify the race.
The number of African-Americans attending college today is probably higher than Dubois ever dreamed, therefore 10 percent educating the masses is certainly not sufficient.
The problem is that people of our generation seem to be motivated by everything except helping others. Many young African-Americans become successful and lose all memory of the struggle they endured.
Only when the media is present do wealthy African-Americans seem charitable. Otherwise, they are hoarding their money and squandering it on useless goods.
African-Americans have endured countless problems in the United States. We have taken society’s strongest blow and emerged even stronger than before.
Dubois thought African-Americans would succeed with a Talented Tenth. I do agree with him — yet, I cannot help imagine what a Talented Ninetieth would produce.
Jabari Bodrick, 20, is a junior public relations student from Charlotte. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.