The Rev. Dr. Donald Morton
The Rev. Dr. Donald Morton: Pillars build a better life
October 2013 was almost a prophetic gathering of some of the nation’s foremost thought leaders. Not knowing Wilmington would be in crisis in 2015, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, professor of African-American Studies at Morehouse College, and other distinguished scholars addressed race in contemporary American culture.
I moderated what was termed an “impolite” conversation. Previous discussions were based upon the premise that we have been far too comfortable with our sanitized dialogue. We need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in African-American communities today can be directly traced to inequalities passed from earlier generations. Suffering under the oppressive and subjugating brutality of Jane and Jim Crow, and the contemporary caste system of the school-to-prison pipeline, Barack Obama was seen as the proverbial black savior to many of the social ills urban spaces were and are encountering.
We realized that black lives mattering must not suffer the contextual marginalization that suggests its definition remains squarely within the boundaries of the dangers that exist at the hands of the police.
We further realized it was not productive to host multiple conversations without executing an action plan to address the systemic issues plaguing unstable and volatile communities. Therefore, the Complexities of Color Agenda was crafted by a group of 15 community members seeking solutions to social decay in Delaware in general and the city of Wilmington in particular. Through its “11 Pillars,” we addressed everything from criminal justice to the black family to economic development. We saw the need to move as one community without any self-serving agendas. Having a unified effort in a way that all of us are moving in the same direction with some sense of cohesiveness is critical to healthy communities.
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