It’s been 50 years since civil rights leaders gathered for the March On Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his seminal “I Have A Dream” speech. Since then, rampant racism has receded (at least until recently), Black folks have made great strides in every facet of life, and for the first time ever there is a Black family in the White House.

Despite our immense progress, African Americans continue to face great odds. Disparities in income, education, health outcomes, and crime continue to plague Black communities, and many are wondering if we have really achieved Dr. King’s infamous dream of racial equality.

While leaders reconvene on the Washington Mall to mark the occasion, it’s important that we continue to brainstorm ideas and implement solutions that will move us closer to equality.

Though many argue we should “confront racism,” writer and cultural critic John McWhorter says Black folks should have a three-pronged plan of attack.

He writes:

Today’s struggle should focus on three priorities. First, the war on drugs, a policy that unnecessarily tears apart black families and neighborhoods. Second, community colleges and vocational education, which are invaluable in helping black Americans get ahead. And third, the AIDS and obesity epidemics, which are ravaging black communities.

The only reason why ideas like “institutional racism” and “a conversation about race” seem more compelling is because they are more morally dramatic. Drama is not what will make a difference in black lives.

As we look to the future, let’s discuss what still needs to be done and how can we work to achieve it.

Share your thoughts, Clutchettes, what should Black folks fight for today?

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  • Jame

    I’ve really changed my mind recently on what I think core priorities are. We absolutely need to solve the prison problem. We all know far too many of us are in jail, and even more are in the prison system on parole or probation. What we don’t talk about is how this impacts your ability to secure an independent future.

    Once you are branded a criminal, securing a job or housing is impossible and you are unable to become a productive member of society. No matter how minor the incident was that caused you to be branded a criminal. With the disparities in sentencing, and the overwhelming targeting of black youth for monitoring, we are disproportionately impacted by the prison system, and the prison industrial economy.

    We need to start by removing some of the stigma, in our community and beyond of being branded a criminal. Obviously, if someone is raping or murdering these are not what I would consider forgivable offenses. The war on drugs, or too many parking tickets or shoplifting a pack of gum can be detrimental to your future opportunities and participation in society. If we do not address this now, we are going to have huge numbers of black “citizens” without the rights of citizenship.

  • Travis

    Is this article [email protected]!#$ing serious?!?!? “Despite our immense progress…” The assertion that we have arrived is the most ridiculous sh!t ever to think. Just about by any measure (e.g. incarceration, black-owned business, fatherless households, wealth, health, etc.) black people (African-Americans) are doing just as poorly if not worse than at any point since the civil rights era and perhaps prior. This assertion the author makes in this article truly represents the reality that black people in the US are the global “house negroes” of the world. We reap the benefit of a gross and artificially inflated standards of living based exclusively on the brutalization and exploitation of other black and brown people, for no other reason than our proximity to “Massa”, and we forget that we are in fact part of a world community (African diaspora) who continue to be brutalized, colonized, and exploited.

    To answer your question, “what should we fight for today…?”, how about liberation for African people from European colonialism. Or is that too lofty a goal for you. That was King’s objective before you intellectualized Negroes allowed him to be whitewashed and corporatized by US mainstream media. King was every bit a socialist who focused primarily on the evils of colonization and capitalism.

    Massa’s house catch fire and the house negroes exclaim, “Massa ‘our’ house a fire!!!” (1863). US economy tanks and the African-Americans exclaim, ‘Our’ economy is doing bad.” (2013) Same brand of servitude. Sellouts supreme.