This is not a routine story about just another Black History Month, this is Black History Month as viewed by retired Army LTCOL Allen B. West’s. Mr. West was born and raised in the Auburn Avenue area of Atlanta, Georgia, and is very versed in Dr. Martin Luther King. He is also a patriot, and this is an explanation of why.
As Written By Allen West for Townhall:
It is the First of February, and the weather here in Dallas has been outstanding. It is truly a beautiful day for the first day of Black History Month, again. I grew up in the center of black history in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. This is the same neighborhood that gave us Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. My elementary school, Our Lady of Lourdes, was the oldest black Catholic parish in Atlanta. The school was located at the intersection of Boulevard and Auburn Avenue. My little school was in the shadow of Ebenezer Baptist Church and Dr. King’s final resting place.
Auburn Avenue was the cradle of black economic activity and on that street was the headquarters of the SCLC, Southern Christian Leadership Council. That organization was the foundation of the civil rights movement. As a kid I walked past these historic and iconic symbols daily, especially heading to the esteemed Butler Street YMCA which was where I learned to box, play basketball, and swim. Not far away from the Butler Street YMCA is the place of my birth, Hughes Spalding hospital which back then primarily served blacks, it is now a Children’s Healthcare hospital.
As for my school, Our Lady of Lourdes, it is no more, it is now a Community Center.
And that is my point in this missive, we can go walking back down memory lane for Black History Month, but what do we find when we walk down the lane today? What will be different for Black History Month next year, or the year after that?
his month, and actually no month, can just be relegated to a celebration of the past. Rather, we must consider what the past, and face the rising sun of a new day begun, tackling the pressing issues that plague today’s black community.
I was born in 1961 and grew up on a little street called Kennesaw Avenue. Then the two parent household in the black community stood around 75%. My parents, Herman Sr. and Elizabeth Thomas West shaped me to be the man that I am today. Mom taught me simple lessons like, “a man must stand for something, or else he will fall for anything”. Dad shared with me insightful metaphorical lessons like, “an empty wagon makes a lot of noise”. Sadly, in this Black History Month 2017, there are estimated only 24% two-parent households in the black community. And the consequences have been dire, but this could have been avoided.
Liberal Democrat Senator Patrick Monyihan warned of the potential unintended consequences of one “The Great Society” ….
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