The Big question of the day is: Were we better off integrated or segregated?
Its morning time and you are on your way to work. You walk out of the house and head straight over to the bus stop and patiently wait for the bus to arrive. The bus pulls up and you enter the doors and drop your money into the dispenser. The Bus driver nods and you find yourself working your way to the back, but then realize that you see an open seat up front and plop into the seat. A white man enters the bus right after you, smiles at you, mumbles a good morning, and walks his way to an empty seat in the back.
A few hours later you are at work and are stressing out because you just landed a major account, and you know that "they" are watching you closely, your job might be on the line. You decided that you need a lunch break, and head over to your favorite diner and sit at the counter next to your co-worker Mary Sue.
After lunch you head back to the office, but stop for a sip of water at the water fountain. You walk back into your cubicle, sit down, and for some motivation to continue the day, you look back at your Harvard Diploma and sigh with relief.
This is how it is without segregation. We can now work in corporate America, attend Ivy League Schools, sit in the front of the bus, drink from the same water fountain, and eat in whatever restaurant you want (in the front of the house). We can all smile, because this is what our people fought for...isn't it?
As I think about the question of the day, I can't help but think that maybe we were better off when we were segregated. Now don't get me wrong, of course I think that it is wonderful that we can walk around and not have to to see signs that say, "For Whites Only". I think that it is even more great that my people now have the options of attending any educational institution they would like, and be able to work their way up the corporate ladder.
The reason that I say that we might have been better off when we were segregated, is because of how much the "Black Dollar" was valued back then. I'm often told about the "The Black Wall Street" or "the Negro Wall Street", when someone wants to highlight how prosperous Blacks were back during segregation. As a result of not being able to work and live with Whites, Blacks had to develop their own means of living and making money. The best example was "the Negro Wall Street". This was what they called Greenwood Avenue of North Tulsa, Oklahoma.
During the early 1900s Blacks shopped, spent, and lived on a 35 square block area. Blacks owned and operated everything. They had over 30 newspapers, high schools, one hospital, hotels, public library, 13 churches, and over 150 two and three story brick commercial buildings. The Circulation of the Black dollar only in the Black community produced a tremendously prosperous Black business district.
The Black community has no choice but to come together and make things happen for themselves. So of course integration would make the situation for Blacks even more prosperous then that....wouldn't it?
Yet with integration:
1. The Black dollar leaves the Black community faster than it comes in.
2. There are very few owned and operated Black Businesses.
3. We do not support our own
4. The Black family has fallen apart
5. Our HBCU's have been down played
6. We don't understand the value of a dollar
7. We don't know what it means to work anymore
8. Voting is a joke to us
9. And the most important thing to us is money, cars, and clothes.
Way to go Integration! How could a fight as strong as the Civil Rights cause our people to go downward in our Pride and Spirit? How could it cause us to lose sight of the important things in life? Was the fight to want to be able to eat in the same restaurant and drink out of the same fountain as them, the fight that needed to be fought?
What do you think?