Acton Institute Powerblog

National Urban League Conference Must Address Critical Issues

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The National Urban League forgot to invite me to be one of the keynote speakers at their annual conference meeting in St. Louis this week, July 25-28. I’m not mad. I’m sure it was just an oversight. I would have been much cheaper than Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards. But, if had a platform at the conference I would make the case that black America will self-destruct if we don’t address the following issues immediately:

(1) The marriage and family crisis–nearly 70 percent of all black kids are born to single parents; 43 percent of black women and nearly 53 percent of black men will never marry

(2) Abortion–over 43 percent of all black pregnancies end in abortion

(3) Education–almost half of the black kids in urban schools don’t graduate and of those who do they are primarily female.

(4) Nearly all black colleges and universities have become women’s colleges–most black colleges average 60-67 percent female populations

(5) The declining significance of the black church among the hip hop generation (those 40-years-old and under).

(6) HIV/AIDS–Black women make up almost 70 percent (7,586 out of 11,859) of all new AIDS cases among women.

(7) Ghetto culture and misogyny in some segments of hip hop culture.

(8) Rhetoric vs. Reality–Do massive government programs help poor blacks in the long run?

(9) The need for promotion of Black Enterprise Magazine’s “Declaration of Financial Empowerment“–A wonderful savings and investing tool!!

(10) Saving Black Men–Black men in America are in trouble. Low high-school graduation rates, fatherlessness, high incarceration rates, lack of moral and spiritual formation, and, worst of all, black men have no venue to discuss personal pain and heal from deep woundedness (physical or psychological). The League has a “Women of Power” workshop and that’s part of the problem. What is needed is a “Men of Power” workshop. There’s been such an emphasis on developing black women that black men are being left behind.

There are wonderful workshops this year as well ranging from entrepreneurial activities, to professional development, to health. Maybe I’ll get to speak there next year.

Anthony Bradley Anthony Bradley, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics in the Public Service Program at The King's College in New York City and serves as a Research Fellow at the Acton Institute. Dr. Bradley lectures at colleges, universities, business organizations, conferences, and churches throughout the U.S. and abroad. His books include: Liberating Black Theology: The Bible and the Black Experience in America (2010),  Black and Tired: Essays on Race, Politics, Culture, and International Development (2011),  The Political Economy of Liberation: Thomas Sowell and James Cone of the Black Experience (2012), Keep Your Head Up: America's New Black Christian Leaders, Social Consciousness, and the Cosby Conversation (2012), Aliens in the Promised Land:  Why Minority Leadership Is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions (forthcoming, 2013). Dr. Bradley's writings on religious and cultural issues have been published in a variety of journals, including: the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Detroit News, and World Magazine. Dr. Bradley is called upon by members of the broadcast media for comment on current issues and has appeared C-SPAN, NPR, CNN/Headline News, and Fox News, among others. He studies and writes on issues of race in America, hip hop, youth culture, issues among African Americans, the American family, welfare, education, and modern slavery. From 2005-2009, Dr. Bradley was Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology and Ethics at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO where he also directed the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute.   Dr. Bradley holds Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from Clemson University, a Master of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Westminster Theological Seminary.  Dr. Bradley also holds an M.A. in Ethics and Society at Fordham University.


  • Billy Wilkerson

    (Good Topic to talk about)in the United States of America,we have a hidden never talked about little secret of racisum.why are we called Americans when we are at war?yet we have the capital of our country called the White House,where only White men have served in as leader of our country?That sends a bad message to the other races.I feel the White House name should be change to the American House,since we are all Americans.then maybe people of color will have a chance to be president,and the hidden racist name the white house will,be put to death where it belongs,and we can start a new america,of the peole,by the people for the people.

  • Juan Reynoso

    As a rule a person is the product of the environment in which he or she grow up. What we need to do is change the environment. Under our present system no one is accountable for the development of our most precious element our children’s, our children’s are the seed of our future and we must make sure that they become the best they can be and be a contribution to our communities and our country. I’m convince that we as individuals can work together to change the environment in our communities so the future of our children’s be full of opportunities and prosperity. We must take full responsibility for our future, the root of most of our community problems, is poor education, discipline and moral values.
    The number one impediment to the development of our children so they can become productive members of sociality is our organizational community system for the poor.
    1- Housing projects that lacks facilities for after school recreational, sports and academic tutorship, community center with service such as employment opportunities, service referrals and business development and self employment opportunities.
    2- Intercity schools are breeding grounds for criminals and drug traffickers, poor graduation rates, lack of discipline and out of control, no one is accountable for the education of the students.
    3- Parents fail to take responsibility for the education and development of their children’s.
    4- Our Federal, State and city government, that lacks the creativity to address the issue and contributed to the waste of our community human elements, with programs that rob the community of their self respect, dignity, capabilities, self worth and most important the will of working to be the best they can be.


    1- Re- housing, the city government should build gate community housing,
    Condominiums or apartments for 100 Hundred families with facilities for after
    School activities, academic tutorship, and community center with service such as
    Employment opportunities, service referrals and business development-self
    a- Housing should be grant to low income families cost free, by a contract agreement, that they will pay for the property tax and the household be free of any criminal element (no member of the family should be convicted of any felony crime after the signing of the contract, if any member of the family is arrested and convicted of a felony, the house will be returned to the city). This initiative is to build communities free of crimes, in which the city and the low income community will benefit, the city expenses for crime control will decrease and the low income family’s environment and income opportunities will be better.
    b- The management and maintenance of the gate community housing will be done by elected members of the community, five members will be elected by the community and they will be accountable to the city and the community for the operation and development of the community.
    c- The security of the ground and facilities of the community are the responsibility of the elected members of the community and by a majority vote they will implement and enforce the security procedures of the housing community.
    d- Operation of after school facilities and housing community center will be fund by community members and the city.

    2- Re: Schools. The school should be the responsibility of the principal, the rules and school disciplinary procedures must be enforce and documented, and students that are disciplinary problems must be place at special facilities for improvement in this area. The school board should focus on the results of the education of the schools not on the policy of each school; school policy is the responsibility of the principal in agreement with the parents of the students.
    3- Re: parents responsibility, the community housing facility will help parents supervise their children’s wile they are working, the children will be bused from the housing community to the schools and from the schools to the housing community, parents will be inform of any child that fail to return from school to the after school facility. This will focus on the where about of the child after school.
    4- Re: Government should focus on promoting self determination, and become a facilitator, creating opportunities and providing the tools for the people so they can reach their objectives.