Society isn’t living up to its promises. I was told that if you go to school, get your college education, you will be rewarded with a good job. I’ve done all of those things and I have yet to receive my reward. I worked hard in college. I maintained a job and involved my self in many community services and student organizations while attending college. My reward? Forty thousand dollars in student loans, seven thousand dollars in credit card debt, a Bachelors degree and jobless.
If it wasn’t for my mother I wouldn’t have the basic necessities. If it wasn’t for my sister, I wouldn’t have the material things. I’m living off of women that are struggling themselves to pay the bills and live a comfortable life. It’s not fun living as a dependent adult. This, however, is my reality. Educational attainment means nothing without an income. I am worse off now as a college graduate. Before college, I had a job and I was debt free. Did society mislead me?
I was supposed to be a different story; A child from the inner-city survive the streets, champions education, and earns a college degree. The ending was supposed to be a career. But my ending is reality: Society promotes lies to get individuals to invest in a system that cannot offer rewards. If that isn’t the truth, then it sure seems that way.
What gets me is I add to the statistics; another unemployed African-American. College was supposed to be my way out of the inner-city. The people here are depressed. They work hard only to receive scrap pay. They live in subsidized housing and they can barely afford to pay the hugely discounted rent. My mother is on section 8 and she wants nothing more than to come off of it but she can’t afford to do so. After college I was supposed to come home, get a good paying job, and alleviate the burden from my mother’s shoulder. But I can’t contribute anything.
Everyday when I am walking, I witness unemployment. They’re on the porch, on the street corner, or exiting the unemployment office. They look depressed. The black community is in a depression. I hoped that education was the key to success but it wasn’t. Education is the key to debt.
With this bitterness, I still will not give up on myself. But their are many people who already have given up.
I was well into my teens when I realized that in every inner-city I visited there are streets and neighborhoods named after prominent African American leaders. It is always an amazing tribute to have something in memorial that every person can celebrate. However, I don’t think these leaders would be so pleased if they saw the streets and neighborhoods their names represent. For instance, where I am from, there is this street called Rosa Parks Boulevard. The neighborhood wreaks of crime and grime. And this is true for many inner-cities across this nation. In addition, the poor representation doesn’t end with the neighborhoods; the schools named after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X, are in poor conditions and contain low student academic achievements.
Thus, my intentions are to bring the conditions of the African American community to the attention of African Americans everywhere: this includes the regular working, middle, and upper class, the entertainers, the politicians, the leaders, and everyone in between. African Americans fought so hard to have near equality, justice, and respect from our country but it’s waning. The marches of Dr. King, the wrongful imprisonment, the abuse, the burning of churches, the struggles that thousands of people endured for justice seems to mean nothing to our community. If we respected our leaders, Rosa Parks Boulevard wouldn’t be crime filled but a respectable and thriving community.
Where I am from, there is no progress; conditions are becoming worse as I speak and lives are being lost more quickly than I can exhale. And it is us who are killing ourselves. I hope that I can bring some type of change for the better. So I’m saying this in advance: Pardon me if I step on a few toes.