What do: Angela Davis, John Carlos and Tommy Smith, Jim Brown, Malcolm X, Wilt Chamberlain, and Muhammad Ali all have in common?
Besides being Black?
Or being great?
(But maybe being anti-establishment.)
These people are all an example of one's motivation being more important than their circumstance or resources.
All were born during (or grew up in) Segregation.
All had to work for their rewards.
All were battled tested and hardened.
These people were trying to escape poverty, racism or oppression.
It's easier to run fast when something is chasing you. In most of these people's cases, it was Government sanctioned oppression.
Today's poor are given more support (financial, social and cultural) but with far worse results.
Because; When one does too much for another individual - one robs that individual (or group) of the character required to maintain that level of success.
The easiest example of this is the over dependence on the government by many of today's poor. From what do they have to run? Hunger, homelessness or oppression? Probably not.
Too much is given to too many people who would be better off learning to take responsibility for themselves.
It can also be seen in all these grown ass men still living at home with their mothers - and their mothers still cooking, cleaning and paying the bills.
What happened to the days in which success was seen as the ultimate revenge?
What happened to the days when a boy wanted to grow up to be A Man?
(I can tell you - the answer is that most weren't brought up to be men - but instead, they were brought up to be dependent.)
Why do so many, instead, blame "The Man"?
But more importantly, these people (and a host of others) inspired the next generation.
Jordan, Spike, Obama, Public Enemy, Oprah etc. can all trace their cultural roots back to those who had the ability to overcome.
The Eighties were a time of HBCU's social and cultural influence (Spike Lee, Public Enemy, Cross Colors, and leather Africa medallions).
The Eighties are when it all went wrong.
Prior to the Eighties (and under much worse circumstances), people understood that they had to work to succeed.
Even the poor family on Good Times had a two parent household - with both parents having jobs.
(J.J., James, Thelma and Florida had jobs - why couldn't they afford to live in a better area? I mean... even at minimum wage x four - that should have been enough to move.)
Many of today's poor have little incentive to work harder. It would be taking a pay cut (In terms of housing, food, medical and financial assistance.)
They have nothing from which to run.
In fact - many glamorize the 'hood .
"It's all good in the 'hood'?
No, it's not.
The 'hood is supposed to be what one is trying to escape - not something to which to aspire.
After the Eighties, many who made a little money thought that they had "Made It".
But most failed to teach the next generation the costs and skills required with having more.
Many had had the rewards (material goods), but not not the skills or knowledge to acquire them on their own.
Since these children were brought up with more stuff, but less guidance - many are incapable of sustaining the lifestyle which their parents provided.
IMO - The problem isn't Segregation - it's motivation (or a lack thereof).
When people complain about the lack of leaders, they only need to look as far as someone who has gone through some shit (Although what "shit" and how much "shit" varies. But the fact that they know how to fight and persist is what matters).
These people pictured understand the game - not just how to go about gaming the system.
The next generation may have some financial success - but unless some cultural success is taught, they're in a whole lot of trouble.