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“Why We Can’t Wait” By M. L. King

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  • Pages: 6
  • Word count: 1466
  • Category: Books

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Man was born into barbarism when killing his fellow man was a normal condition of existence.

He became endowed with a conscience.

And he has now reached the day when violence toward another human being must become as abhorrent as eating another’s flesh

The book “Why We Can’t Wait” by Martin Luther King discusses difficulties and challenges faced by African-American males. In particular, Martin L. Kind aims at analyzing and examining policies, services and programs which influence the lives of African-Americans. He says: “Whenever this issue of compensatory or preferential treatment for the Negro is raised, some of our friends recoil in horror.  The Negro should be granted equality, they agree; but he should ask nothing more.  On the surface, this appears reasonable, but it is not realistic.  For it is obvious that if a man is entered at the starting line in a race three hundred years after another man, the first would have to perform some impossible feat in order to catch up with his fellow runner”. (King 1964) I think that the author offers race-conscious remedies how to fight racial discrimination and inequality.

The book offers well-organized and coherent research raising the issues of inequality and discrimination in contemporary society. Moreover, the book discusses struggle for civil rights in 1963 and the author argues that government pays too little attention to laws restricting in such a way the entry for African-Americans. Apparent strength of the book is depiction of people who have no choices and who decided to go in the streets and to show openly their protests against racial discrimination. It is known that before civil rights movements African-Americans weren’t allowed to work with white men. The author carefully examines the reasons which drove African-Americans to protest. (King 1964)

The author calls for affirmative actions as there is no time to wait. He calls for improvements and new policies which would grant equal rights and opportunities for African-American males. Martin King makes successful effort to examine and to analyze carefully the lives of African-American boys and men. Actually, I think that the author contributed significantly the researches devoted to African-Americans as he led readers to the very heart of the challenges and problems of African-Americans. Nevertheless, the author admits that the issue of African-Americans discrimination still lacks conversation and, therefore, he emphasizes in his book the role of poly makers, advocacy groups and practitioners. (King 1964)

The next point is that Martin King argues that African-Americans males aren’t provided with proper direct services in contrast to white males. He uses logical arguments, facts, suggestions and viewpoints to defend this position offering numerous interviews, sets of publications, scientific articles and periodicals because in such a way he is able to illustrate the problem from different perspectives and to make people more aware of hardships faced by African-Americans. (King 1964)

It is necessary to outline that the book covers the following important issues: education, fatherhood, suffrage, criminal and juvenile justice, access to health care services, empowerment, personal development, job opportunities, etc. Thus, the author offers psychological, anthropological and political perspectives of the issues raised in the book. Special attention is paid to nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. Martin King assumes that these institutes are practically the only source of help for black males because institutions are developing and implementing programs aimed at social security, economical and education opportunities. (King 1964)

Then, the author proceeds to discussing and reviewing Urban Institute report which was published in 1995 by the Kellogg Foundation. The report covers programs and laws aimed at improving living conditions of African-American boys and males. Martin King analyzes the publication offering critical insight and some observations about those organizations and discusses their current policies aimed to help African-Americans. The author notes that it is necessary to realize the importance of more than 50 programs launched by Urban Institute and to appreciate their role in the history. Nevertheless, it is claimed that about quarter of organizations topped their existing, whereas about 50% are still operating focusing mostly on African-American boys. (King 1964)

There are significant social and economic disparities between the African-American males and boys, the author argues. According to official findings, “approximately 75 percent of the 51 organizations that the Urban Institute study profiled are not currently engaging in programming that focus specifically on black male youth”. (King 1964)  Such evidence the author finds alarming because “the life cycles and capacity of organizations that serve African-American males and boys are significant issues that the philanthropic community must pay attention to”. (King 1964)  The author asks Urban Institute “where are they now?” and tries to find the rights answer.

The book provides general overview and detailed analysis of public policies aimed at serving African-American men. The policies should fight racial discrimination, laws’ flaws and incorrectness, poor implementation, etc. Political posturing is considered the main factor preventing effective progress in dealing with black men. Discriminatory laws, practices and programs are still present leading to waste of public resources and preventing changes to happen. King examines five policies from five perspectives and defines the negative influence on black men. The policies are:

  • practices aimed at analyzing high-school graduation rates,
  • investment in workforce training programs and seminars
  • collections processes of child support
  • sentencing penalties for crack vs. cocaine
  • laws restricting ex-offenders from voting

In such way the author discusses different approaches to public policy and advocacies. King makes readers acquainted with seven advocacy organizations which are involved in policy activities. These organizations are claimed to influence the life outcomes of black males, especially their advocacy opportunities and activities. Nevertheless, the institutions of public advocacy fail to address the needs of black men proportionally. Opportunities and challenges for philanthropy are offered by the institutions. The author argues that they are playing crucial role in public policies and are bale to cause desired changes. King highlights significant works of commissions and coalitions, though he stresses that they are still lacking organizational blueprint and proper coordination. Moreover, they lack available resources to be used for mounting campaigns to improve the life outcomes of the African-Americans in the country. The author outlines that both community and the government have the long road to drive to manage to provide policies to develop strategies and work out initiatives to fight existing oppressive laws and policies. (King 1964)

Simply saying, the author is willing to frame key areas, issues and points which strongly influence the life outcomes of African-Americans, whereas special attention is also paid to reasons caused civil right movements and protests. Martin King always supported racial equality and the central idea of the book is to show that all people are born equal. He illustrates the difficulties and challenges faced by black males showing white people that they should change their mindset as nobody is willing to be discriminated and humiliated. All people deserve descent attitude and personal rights granted by the Constitution. African-American men are challenged by discriminating public policies, destructive behavioral patterns and still existing ideas towards slave-based society. African-Americans were treated earlier as slaves, but those times have already passed and King calls for equal treatment and attitude. (King 1964)

Civil rights movements and local organizing efforts aren’t enough – the world should go forth on the road of democracy. For example, new dynamic institutions should be established, new leader should be found to promote human equality. The apparent progress is sincere faith of mothers, daughters and sons in their fathers, as King mentions. African-American men are facing local, national and global challenges, though they are able find strengths to fight their envies. The book discusses poverty alleviation as the main source of poor life. King asserts that “both the challenges that black males face as well as the assets they exemplify present just cause for substantial, thoughtful yet urgent philanthropic investment”. (King 1964)

The book “Why We Can’t Wait” doesn’t aim at identifying the role of philanthropy in the African-American history. Instead, the author sets the goal to provide enough information about the issues raised, to encourage and discuss opportunities for African-American males and to discuss changes needed to improve the life outcome of black males. The primary sources of change are advocates, policymakers, community of organizers, and, finally, community of researchers and academicians. The author is willing to find answers and solutions to challenges of African-Americans in the country. He identifies programs and strategies to be implemented to improve the quality of life of African-American men and boys. (King 1964)

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter

Martin Luther King, “Why We Can’t Wait”.

Works Cited

King, Martin Luther. Why We Can’t Wait. New York: Signet, 1964.

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