I WAS TEN YEARS OLD WHEN DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. WAS ASSASSINATED

CONTINUING DR KING’S DREAM – “We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Disclaimer: Good Day, Readers.  WealthBuildingPowers blog is a financial literacy/competency blog and does not provide specific investment recommendations.  

I will always remember the painful day, Dr. King was assassinated. A sad day for my family and our nation.  As I matured, I recognized just how much Dr. King’s sacrifice made my dreams possible and a reality.  Today, more than ever, we cannot give up on fully achieving his/our dreams.

PROGRESS

Today, more African-Americans graduate from college – 38 percent – than they did 50 years ago. African American adults saw a more significant income increase than any other U.S. demographic from 1980 to 2016.

THANKS TO DR. KING’S SACRIFICE, WE ACHIEVED THE BELOW FIRST FOR BLACKS SOONER VERSUS LATER!

  • President of the United States
  • Vice President of the United States
  • Federal Supreme Court Justices
  • CEO’s of Fortune 500 Companies
  • Billionaires
  • Millionaires
  • Secretary of State
  • Secretary of Defense
  • Secretary HUD
  • U.S. Senators
  • Entrepreneurs
  • AND MANY MORE!

WE MUST KEEP MARCHING!

Lord, we ain’t what we oughta be. We ain’t what we want to be. We ain’t what we gonna be. But, thank God, we ain’t what we was.” Rev Martin Luther King, Jr.

TOO MANY POOR AMERICANS LEFT BEHIND SINCE DR. KING’S DEATH 

TOO MANY STATISTICS DEMONSTRATE BLACKS AND BROWNS HAVE NOT IMPROVED SINCE 1968:

  • In 1968, 25 million Americans ~13 percent of the population lived below poverty. In 2016, ~12.7% lived below poverty. The level of poverty in the U. S. has essentially flat lined for 50 years!
  • Today’s Black poverty rate of 21% is almost three times greater than that of whites.  
  • In 2018 black households earned $57.30 for every $100 in income earned by white families. And for every $100 in white family wealth, black families held just $5.04.
  • In the 1960s, black, unmarried women were the primary breadwinners for ~20% of households.   In recent years, unmarried women in black households were the primary earner over 72% of the time. There is a direct correlation between poverty and female headed households.  The lack of fathers in their children’s lives, is resulting in a cycle of poverty and government dependency in the black community.  
  • Black Americans today are more dependent on government aid than they were in 1968. About 40% of African Americans are poor enough to qualify for some form of government aid offered to families.
  • African American students are less likely to be college-ready. In fact, 61 percent of ACT-tested black students in the 2015 high school graduating class met none of the four ACT college readiness benchmarks, nearly twice the 31 percent rate for all students.

https://theconversation.com/black-americans-mostly-left-behind-by-progress-since-dr-kings-death-89956

WE LOST THE WAR ON POVERTY!

President Johnson declared war on poverty in 1964.  Over 58 years, the Federal Government has spent more than $21 Trillion and the states $ Trillions more.  We have engaged in a losing strategy. 

TWO DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO FIX THE PROBLEM

  1. Many people, including majority of Democrat politicians, blame institutional racism. Arguing racism has held back African-Americans throughout history and we deserve some type of reparation. Some, including the new NYC District Attorney, argue racial profiling and the mass incarceration of African Americans are modern day forms of racism.
  2. A smaller group believe – hold Black people solely accountable for their problems. 

I BELIEVE BOTH GOVERNMENT AND INDIVIDUALS ARE NEEDED TO FIX THIS DECADES LONG PROBLEM!

EDUCATION IS A PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY 

Education is defined as “the process of gaining knowledge. The process of training and developing the knowledge, skill, mind, character, etc., esp. by formal schooling; teaching; training.”

https://” rstoall.com/object/what-is-the-real-meaning-of-education/

SOLUTIONS

  •  CHARTER SCHOOLS: Data demonstrate that charter schools and many private schools produce better results with significantly fewer funds.  And yet too many government bureaucrats block charter schools.  Why?  Because too many politicians are in the deep pockets of the Teachers Unions. Teachers’ unions see charter schools as competition!  We must get the politicians, {Biden’s administration opposes charter schools} out of the way of one of the few opportunities for millions of young people to escape poverty!
  • CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE NOT THE LONG-TERM ANSWER:  Charter Schools demonstrate the strategies and processes that are effective.  We must take these lessons learned and implement in public schools
  • MONEY FLOWS WITH THE STUDENT:  If parents decide the best chance for their kid’s future is outside a public school, those parents should have access to the funds the State and Federal government would have spent on that child, flow directly to any qualified school.  Give parents a chance to engage and win this war on poverty!
  • PARENTS MUST BETTER ENGAGE: Students in private/charter schools perform better because their parents are actively engaged.  Parents are paying out of pocket or taking the initiative to enter a lottery to get their kids in a charter school.  Think about that.  Too many good parents are forced to enter a lottery to secure their child’s future.  THIS IS SO WRONG! 
  • MEN – STEP UP: THE ONLY TITLE I CHERISH – DAD!  The title, Dad, is earned by loving, caring and holding your children accountable.  A child is a gift from God.   When Dr. King was murdered, nearly 80 percent of Black children were born into two-parent families.  Today the Black community has transitioned to closer to 72 percent fatherless homes.  Let that sink in.  ONLY two out of ten black kids have a father in the home!  “Too many black fathers, are missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. We know the statistics — that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.” President Barack Obama
  • EDUCATION:  Education does not simply equate to a University Degree!  Especially when borrowing money for a degree that gives the same job prospects as my cat!!  Education includes any process that allows self-realization of individuals’ talents, including Trade Schools. Muhammad Ali got his “education” in boxing. He had trainers and coaches to build his skills.  Education develops your competencies/talents and helps you earn an income.  

CONCLUSION

Mom and Dad taught me to work hard, achieve an excellent education, take care of my family, and live a life worthy of the sacrifices of so many that came before me.  I have tried to model those lessons and pass them down to my daughter!  To honor the sacrifices of Dr. King, a cultural transformation is REQUIRED from the Black community, starting with a re-dedication to two-parent families, a return to the principles of the Christian faith, and recommitment to education. These efforts need universal support from children, parents, grandparents, pastors, fraternities, sororities, and MORE. 

Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream” during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963. In the speech, King called for civil and economic rights and an end to racism in the United States.  

Scroll to the end of this blog and READ his entire speech in the Appendix.  I leave you with some of his still poignant words:

“We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice…

We have also come to his hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism…

Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children…

We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back…

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning: My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrims’ pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that, let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, Black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty, we are free at last.

Thank you Dr King for your dedication and sacrifice that made so many lives and our nation better.  You are admired and loved by so many people around the world!

APPENDIX Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. – I Have a Dream

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But 100 years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition. In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check.

When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men — yes, Black men as well as white men — would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds.

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.

We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to his hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.

Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. 1963 is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual.

There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny.

And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, when will you be satisfied? We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.

We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: for whites only.

We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.

No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our Northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right down in Alabama little Black boys and Black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning: My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrims’ pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that, let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, Black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty, we are free at last.

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ABOUT ME

I am a proud nerd (as my beautiful wife and daughter have told me) investment and finance blogger with an N.C.  State, Chemical Engineering, University Rutgers, MBA and Harvard University, Advanced Management education.

I left a corporate career because I desired to make a difference as a speaker and writer.  I was blessed to be coached and mentored by strong women and men in my family and professional life.  It is my time to serve and give back.

DISCLAIMER

I started my first business at ~13 years of age (a small but brilliantly created plant nursery). I am a successful investor in stocks, options, real estate and am happy to share my finance and investment lessons.  I am NOT a licensed financial advisor.  Please do not construe my suggestions on this blog as recommendations for your situation.  As an investor, you must establish your risk/loss tolerance.  Investment in any asset involves risk, including complete loss. 

 Please seek your licensed CPA or fiduciary financial advisors for individual financial advice.  

I write this weekly blog to make an impact by reaching an audience and demonstrating the need for financial literacy.  I will help you get there.

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This blog will provide, information and simple strategies, that will assist you to achieve YOUR financial objectives and long term targets. For over 30 years, I solved multi-million dollar problems, for Fortune 10-250, companies. My formal education includes: Business, Finance and Chemical Engineering {Problem Solving} at: Harvard, Rutgers and North Carolina State. And an additional 30+ years, managing my family’s investment decisions. I currently manage/advise people with net-worths ranging from the tens of thousands to several million dollars.

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