Posted on: 07/24/06:
Chapter 3 of The Covenant with Black America is titled, “Correcting the System of Unequal Justice.” The chapter is well-formatted and explains the existence, problems and a game plan to combat an unequal justice system. The first part of the chapter speaks particularly about CPS or the cradle-to-prison superhighway and its effects. “The CPS is a network of legislation, policy, practice, and structural racism that has fostered blacks being incarcerated at unconscionable levels at increasingly younger ages for increasingly minor acts.” If one automatically smirks or doubts the validity of such a comment and routinely sets aside such information for the usual flashback of a beamed in CNN commentary depicting an eccentric black ultra-liberal, they may want to think again. As a matter of fact, if one doubts the validity of such a comment they probably have not read this book and should.
Posted on: 07/20/06:
Public education policy is not an area of expertise for me. Like all American societal institutions, the education system is enormous and extremely complex in its operations. However, one need not be an expert to simply note the devastating disparity that obtains between AA’s and the dominant culture in the area of education. It seems pretty well documented despite pretensions to race blindness in the 21st century.
Posted on: 07/12/06:
Chapter 1 of The Covenant, called “Securing the Right to Healthcare and Well-Being”, addresses the disparities in overall health and the healthcare received by African-Americans and other minorities as compared to the majority population. In the introduction to this chapter Dr. David M. Satcher of the Morehouse School of Medicine outlines the issues that influence health and healthcare and the barriers that prevent African-Americans from gaining access to quality healthcare in this country. To support his thesis Dr. Satcher notes that, “If we had eliminated disparities in health in the last century, there would have been 85,000 fewer black deaths overall in 2000”. He goes on the say:
In addition to health outcomes, disparities in health also relate to access to care. Access to healthcare is determined by many factors-insurance status, living in underserved communities, being underrepresented in the healthcare professions, being uninformed about healthcare services and need, and feeling insecure about or untrusting of the healthcare system. These are major barriers to access.After the introduction, Covenant I presents several pages of facts that relate to the health and healthcare of African-Americans. These are followed by a comprehensive plan to address each of the barriers to health and healthcare (with examples of “What Works Now”) that calls the individual, the community, and our elected officials to action. While both African-American and healthcare advocates have discussed these issues over the years in other forums their presentation here in a plan of action that calls for comprehensive changes in the provision of insurance, the provision of healthcare, and in African-American lifestyles is both challenging and refreshing. By presenting the material in this fashion The Covenant goes beyond giving us mere talking points and achieves its aim of presenting a blueprint and roadmap that could lead to better access to quality healthcare and better lives for Black Americans.
Posted on: 07/10/06:
Lavaris, Randall, Mark and the RBA Founders - Michael and Xavier - will be responding theologically chapter by chapter weekly to The Covenant with Black America edited by Tavis Smiley. As the first of its kind, beginning Wednesday, July 12th, our study will commence on this New York Times Bestseller, which communicates some of the most pressing concerns in the black community.
The Covenant with Black America is a national plan of action to address the political, social and economic issues of African Americans today.
From health to housing, from crime to criminal justice, from education to economic parity, African Americans continue to face devastating disparities on nearly every level. However the time has come for African Americans to shift the conversation from talking about our pain to talking about our plan.
This Covenant is not revolutionary but evolutionary in the sense that it will be another catalyst in our struggle to make Black America better. I believe that when we make Black America better, we make all of America better.
This Covenant with Black America calls upon all parents, education, preachers, social service providers, community leaders, and policy-makers to act now and create a brighter future for our children. The words of writer and environment activist Terry Tempest Williams make clearer the urgency of this book’s message: ‘The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time.