Recently, I listened to yet another radio debate about the manner in which Bill Cosby talked about the plight of some black people at least 5 years ago. Economically speaking, I too would be considered one of the working poor in the African American community mentioned, however, some of the words used to describe the behavior associated with this class of people did not fit me or others that I personally know. In fact, I am a highly, educated single mother with a master’s degree in social work. I also hold a bachelor’s of broadcast journalism from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, arguably one of the finest J-Schools in the nation. I’ve been employed, unemployed, underemployed, upset, bewildered, disappointed, depressed and even disgusted.
Interestingly, none of the books I’ve read about “lower economic people” who are believed to be “failing the civil rights movement by not holding up their end of this deal,” invited me or others to the table to discuss individual situations or the people I encounter as a social worker who are simply trying to make this thing called life work the best way he or she knows how. Just because a school is open does not mean what is being taught is adequate. Just because there is a hosptial near by doesn’t mean I am welcome there or can afford to be seen there. In fact, recently I learned that I need a major operation but I don’t have insurance to cover the projected $20,000 cost. Did I mention, I work full-time?
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