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.