By CANDACE ROBERTS
Dear Mr. Earl G. Graves, Sr.,
I read your apology to Dr. King today and I agree with a lot that you said, but not all. I don’t feel that your generation has failed the Black generations after yours at all. It is because of God, Dr. King, and your generation that I have the opportunities of today. This quote comes to mind, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” I say that to say this: my generation has opportunities now, but it’s up to us to pursue them. Can we use more motivation? Does racism still exist? Are there still struggles for our race that need to be overcome? Yes, of course. We have come so far as a people, but we still have a long way to go.
If Dr. King could look at the changes that have occurred from the 50’s and 60’s until today, I feel that he would be proud. Our race is full of strong people and we know how to come together in the time of need. Sure a memorial in D.C. and a black President won’t solve all our problems, but the fact that a memorial was made in honor of a black man says that your generation never gave up! We all can do more as a people, but you have to know that your generation has not failed mines. Has the justice system failed us? Do we still have a fight on our hands in matters of education, housing, employment, and other issues? Yes, indeed.
You said in your apology, “You left us with an example and a challenge to make a better world for our children. And we’ve failed you.” Well sir I would have to disagree. Yes it was a challenge, but today my generation has choices. We can choose which restaurant we want to eat in by what we are craving; and not be limited to a restaurant that bears a “Coloreds Only” sign. Although we have wonderful Historically Black Colleges and Universities, we are not limited to those.
I agree that more could be done by all generations, but I disagree that your generation has failed mines. If anything my generation owes your generation and Dr. King an apology. Many of us don’t pursue the opportunities that we are given nor do we appreciate them. While some of us have recognized what it took to enjoy the freedoms that we have today, many in my generation have not.
I would like to say thanks to you and those of your generation and before!
Mr. Graves apology can be viewed in:
Black Enterprise Magazine
- December 2011 Edition
- Publisher’s Page
- An Apology to Dr. King by Earl G. Graves, Sr.