Friday, July 17, 2009

A Message To All of Africa's Long lost Children....

Trust me when I say I don’t mind what the pundits say about President Obama’s slipping approval ratings. He has shown us that he is doing his best and as citizens of the world we must do our best too. One of Africa’s children has shown the world that no longer are the problems of Africa will be ignored. Corruption in the government, poverty, disease, and the weakened education system plagues the many governments but many, including the media turn away from it. Now why not visit his countrymen in Kenya many ask? His goal was not to show Africa’s problems but put the spotlight on a symbol of what the rest of Africa can become: Ghana. The rest of Africa know that of course help is on the way but that means that the governments must hold up their end of the bargain and end habits corrosive to the stability of their nation. Thank you Mr. Obama but it did not have to take this long before the spotlight returned to the dark continent.

Many black people in this country fail to acknowledge their connection to Africa. The conditions of black people’s separation from this rich continent still has an effect to this day and affects the apathy for its problems. The entertainment industry’s depiction of Africans as animals in many movies has made our black people even more ashamed of their continent and long lost heritage. The ills of this continent are as painful to black people in America as it is to Africans. The child soldier’s life in the Congo mirrors that of a young boy in an American inner city struggling to get by. While the file cases against racial profiling and police brutality in this country, our Africans cannot speak up against a government without a secret midnight ride in their future. The education disparities in this country do not compare to the illiteracy rates across the continent that continue to stagger in the midst of destructive changes in government.

Ghana is a shining example of what other African countries can reach one day. Yes, he’s our president but he said it before and he said it again today. He cannot make change without our help. He has acknowledged Africa, so now it’s our turn. So when are people on this side going to realize that an injustice in one part of the world is an injustice everywhere, especially where civilization started? Now is the time to grab ourselves up by the bootstraps and make a better tomorrow for ourselves in America and those of color across the world. African citizens are skeptical of the change that can happen in their countries. With a little more help, a lot could happen and change can be realized in many countries. We have a history of overcoming obstacles at our disposal and with the help of many, Africa’s dream can become true one day, but it’s up to Africa’s long lost children to know if they really care to help.

More coming soon…

- Samuel Collins, Jr.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Blog Post 06 July 2009

My recent work with kids in the Jumpstart program has forced me to
think about how to steer our young ones in the best possible path to
success, especially the young black males. This is a program geared
towards college retention but most people will never reach this stage
in their lifetime and this may be one of the reasons. Please read:,8599,1908243,00.html

TIME Magazine recently shed light on how the institution of marriage
has fallen to the wayside in the past couple of decades. Less people
are getting married and more children are born out of wedlock every
year. This year alone, births by single mothers nationwide has risen
to about 37%. Single- parents households are often times most
associated with lower incomes, gaps in education, and an increase of
juvenile criminal activity out of that household. It's no secret that
African - Americans are affected the most by these statistics. The
children, who are supposed to be the future by the way, fall victim to
choices their parents made and circumstances they were born into.

For a young black man, being without a father means not having someone
who could spend time with him and mold him into a responsible citizen,
often times leading him to find other influences such as what one
might see on tv or in the streets. The whole baby mama/ baby daddy
phenomenon shows him that it's okay to have babies and not take
responsibility for their well-being. The way that a young man out of a
single household treats a woman may be totally different than a man
with two parents. I don't mean to make a generalization, but my point
is that for African - Americans the deterioration of the system of
marriage and the breakdown of the African - American male's power is
where most of the trouble starts.

As president, there is only so much that Mr.Obama can do to alleviate
the disparities between the social classes in this country. Delivering
our people from this holocaust of poverty will take more than a set of
laws. Believe it or not, research shows that a good life for most
people starts with stable relationships and a good marriage. Marriage
promises stability in the home, more cashflow from combined incomes,
and an assurance that a child sees an example of the best that life
can offer them. Most importantly, a good marriage will end this
destructible cycle of out- of - wedlock marriages and single - parents
eventually perpetuating the rise out of the working class and into the
middle and upper class. The time is NOW to set the example and take
back our lives so that our children can see and be the best.
Samuel Collins, Jr.
Journalism and Mass Communication
c/o 2011
School of Media and Public Affairs
The George Washington University
Stephen Joel Trachtenburg Scholar
Co - President, GW Black Student Union
Leadership Board, The Black Men's Initiative