Excerpt from the Covenant with Black America
“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,” so it has been said. But for Black America, what if it is hot in every room?
There is no hiding place from the realities, hardships, and challenges that reflect the complexity of black economic progress since the civil rights movement 50 years ago. At that time, many assumed that the hard-fought victories for voting rights, access to education, and economic opportunity would become the gateway to economic parity and the elimination of urban poverty. However, as the painful images of Hurricane Katrina have revealed, there remains a significant wealth gap between blacks and whites in this nation―one that must be closed if America is to thrive in the 21st century.
This is our hour: We have seen the challenges ahead of us and know that we have a long way to go. We have also seen that our economic progress sometimes stands on shaky ground. But, our resolve must be solid as a rock. We must take ownership of our own economic destiny as well as urge our leaders to develop policies to help working families. Let our generation’s commitment to equality and economic opportunity be our guiding force. We must stand together―steadfast and unmovable―in this new century to become an America that truly reflects justice, equality, and opportunity for all people and for generations to come.
-excerpt from Marc H. Morial’s essay in the Covenant with Black America
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