Growing up in a family that prided itself on being servants to its community meant I was exposed to the many organizations that fought for African Americans at an early age. As a child and young adult I attended many events put on by organizations such as the Urban League and the NAACP. I was proud of the accomplishments that these organizations were making for minorities.
But as an almost middle-aged adult, I find myself asking, “What happened to the power and influence of these organizations?” As a child, just the mere mention of calling the NAACP to right a wrong would get a certain reaction from an offender who may have violated someone’s civil rights. Now, I don’t see fear. Now, I don’t see anyone intimidated.
So my question again is: what happened? Have these organizations lost focus because some battles were won? Have these organizations lost touch with what minorities are battling today? Or have the organizations gotten diluted with too many small fights instead of all of its energy focused on a few critical missions?
Whatever the reason, minorities are suffering now more than ever. There are more single parent homes, more men incarcerated, and more unemployment then there was 30 years ago. This tells me that these organizations need the leadership, focus, and tenacity that they had when minorities were struggling in the 50’s and 60’s. The struggle isn’t over, the struggle is just different now.