Unity in Action Magazine

Real Talk, Real Issues, Real Solutions

African-American Experience- We Have to Remember Where We Came From

Posted by [email protected] on November 15, 2012 at 12:10 AM

We Have to Remember Where We Came From,

To Understand Where We Are &

What can we do to build our future?

Where we came from?

We have to face the concern with police brutality and inadequate representation for defendants during trial. The warnings have been there that African-American communities need support.


By 2000, roughly one in 10 black men were in prison - a crisis level statistic because prisoners don't have jobs, pay taxes. And because many states bar felons from voting, at least one in seven black men will have lost the right to vote.

"These numbers are staggering," said Laurie Levensen, a former federal prosecutor and associate dean of Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. "We're incarcerating an entire generation of people."


The War on Drugs was a social and economic war. Our government went to war with no recovery plan for the people affected by the war. The reality is the US government helped start the war, by putting drugs in our community. This is a fact.


Every since the start of the War on Drugs, we have watched the African-American community remain in crisis level in poverty, prison, and education. Yet, our nation has not taken a stand against police brutality or racism in the employment, education, and justice system.


As we see the numbers, we have to think about the affect on the community left behind.

What concerns do we see TODAY? Nearly every black person knows someone in their family or support system affected by the justice system.


Children suffering from trauma and emotional distress.

Extreme financial burden on the family left behind. Especially, if they were the supporter.

More non-traditional family structures. More children in the foster system, who may end up with other family or friends.

African-Americans have lost the RIGHT TO VOTE due to a felony. In some states, you lose the right forever. In other states, you have to purse the right after as much as 2 years after release.


High long-term unemployment. Unemployment dropped for all races; except Black people. Most likely due to the felony question on the general job application.

Concerning rates of racism and unfair treatment still exists today in our justice system.

A large percentage of men recently released that were incarcerated for over 15 years have to re-adjust to life.

A high percentage of women to the number of men within a community.


In addition, we are left with a community of people that do not trust the justice system. The new stories of injustice are whispered in the African-American community everyday. The common feeling is that there is no where to turn for justice, especially if you are living in poverty and can't afford an attorney.


What can we do to build our future?

Increase mental health support to the African community.

Address the issue with felonies and employment on a national level.

Take a stand against judicial injustice in your community and in the nation.

Offer more financial education.

Prison reform to be more supportive to rehabilitation and family support systems.

Do not support spending cuts for social service programs. More support for mental health, reentry prevention, career education, and homelessness programs.


Categories: News/Commentary