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by Dr. Boyce Watkins
You hear it all the time from old-school types: How black families were more secure before integration, we had more black-owned businesses, black children valued education, HBCUs were stronger, etc. There are some who speak as if the status of black America has worsened after integration, rather than gotten better. Could this be true?
I decided to take this question to the readers of my Facebook page to determine what others think about the matter. You can read their thoughts below. My take? Integration is a mixed bag. Most of us will always give thanks to Dr. King and others who had the courage to fight for us to have equal rights. But there is something wrong with a world in which black people feel that they must be sitting next to white people in order to feel entirely human.
Notice that whites weren’t fighting to get to our lunch counters, to move into our neighborhoods or to attend our schools, they still aren’t. But we’ve always felt that white is right and that getting their validation and acceptance was the key to elevating our own self-worth, when the truth is that we were worthy all along. It is self-sufficiency that builds strength, not unconditional assimilation. That is my two cents.
You can read comments from the other readers below. Please feel free to give your own take in the comments section: