port of harlem magazine

America’s Chief Moral Dilemma Continues
How Much Has American Black Life Changed Since:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
Richard Gordon Hatcher
Nannie Helen Burroughs
Martin Robison Delany


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
America’s Chief Moral Dilemma

"It didn’t cost the nation anything to integrate lunch counters; no expenses were involved. No taxes were involved.

It didn’t cost the nation anything to integrate libraries, motels and hotels. It didn’t cost the nation anything to guarantee the right the vote.

Now we are dealing with issues that will cost the nation something in terms of billions of dollars and the other thing that we must see is that we are now dealing with issues that will demand a radical redistribution of economic and political power."

- Martin Luther King, Jr. May 17, 1967.

Median Household Income by Race: 2012
the typical White Household has more income than the typical Black household
source: U.S. Census Bureau
Asian White Hispanic (any race) Black
$68,636 $57,009 $39,005 $33,321
Median Net Worth by Household and Race: 2012
no matter the income level, including among the wealthiest, Whites’ net worth far exceeds that of Blacks source: U.S. Census Bureau
Asian White Hispanic Black
$69,590 $110,729 $7,424 $4,955
Number of Black Elected Officials: 2005 Blacks are 12% of the U.S. Population
Office # %
President and Vice President 0 0
U.S. Senators 3 3
U.S. Representatives 49 11
Whatever Happened to the Revolution? - The Americas
Looking Back With Richard Hatcher

richard hatcherThe 1967 elections of Carl Stokes in Cleveland and Richard Hatcher in Gary, represented major victories for the civil rights movement. Before their elections, never had voters elected an African-American to manage a major American city. After the elections, there was hope that Black Americans would soon reach the promised land with Black dominated communities becoming multiracial model cities.

In short, said Hatcher, the Gary experiment proved that having Black political power is not enough. "There could be no political decisions made in the City of Gary unless there was a Black or Blacks in the room,” he said.  The problem was that, “all the major economic decisions in the city were being made in rooms where there were no Blacks at all.  In the end, the economic decisions were far more powerful than the political decisions," counseled Hatcher.

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12 Things The Negro Must Do For Himself
12 Things White Folks Must Stop Doing

12 Things The Negro Must Do For Himselfnannie helen burroughs

  1. Learn to put first things first namely, education, development of character traits, a trade and home ownership.
  2. Stop expecting God and White folks to do for him or her what he or she can do for themselves.
  3. Keep themselves, children and home clean and make surroundings comfortable and attractive.
  4. Dress more appropriately for work, business, special occasions and leisure.
  5. Make religion an everyday practice and not just a Sunday go to meeting.
  6. Highly resolve to wipe out mass ignorance.
  7. Stop charging their failures up to their “color” and to White people’s attitude.
  8. Overcome bad job habits.
  9. Improve their conduct in public.
  10. Learn to operate business for people not for Negro People only.
  11. The average so called Negro will have to come down out of the air. He is too inflated over nothing.
  12. Stop forgetting his friend
12 Things White Folks Must Stop Doing

  1. Stop penalizing Negroes for not being White.
  2. Stop fighting integration in public education in the daytime and practicing social equality anytime they want to.
  3. Stop making social excursions into the Negro race, depositing White offsprings and then crying out against social equality.
  4. Stop teaching basic untruths about race.
  5. Stop trying to disprove the biblical and scientific fact that “God hath made of one blood all races of men.”
  6. Stop misinterpreting the Bible. It did not say that God cursed Ham, but that “Noah cursed his son, Ham.”
  7. Stop making unjust discriminatory laws, molding social sentiment against respect for human personality...to prove the Negro inferior.
  8. Stop putting all kinds of barriers in the way of progress of the Negro race and then declaring that America’s high purpose is to build “One nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
  9. Stop using Negroes as political mudsills and stepping stones to get Whites in power, politically, then deny them full citizenship rights, responsibilities, rewards and privileges.
  10. Stop making laws to protect the legal and civil rights of all citizens, only to deny Negroes their legal rights, persecute and lynch them.
  11. Stop teaching race prejudice to children in order to perpetuate contempt for people who are not White and thus make segregation a permanent institution in a democracy.
  12. Stop calling the land “Christian” and the government thereof a democracy, while brother and sisterhood and fellowship are not practiced in many American Churches.
He (The Negro) is also the best spender because he spends all of his money with American merchants . . . This is not true of other laborers who spend some of their money ‘Back home’ … to feed kin, to bank, and buy land.

Selected Quotes By Martin Robison Delany, Published in 1852
martin delanyIn conversation, in the city of New York, a few weeks ago, with a colored lady of intelligence, one of the "first families," the conversation being the elevation of the colored people, we introduced emigration as a remedy, and Central America as the place.

We were somewhat surprised, and certainly unprepared to receive the rebuking reply--"Do you suppose that I would go in the woods to live for the sake of freedom? no, indeed! if you wish to do so, go and do it. I am free enough here!" Remarking at the same time, that her husband was in San Francisco, and she was going to him, as she learned that that city was quite a large and handsome place.

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