Challenge 69: The urban crisis; #8 (Reel 2)
But even if you did that oh there's another tremendous thing that I think you can do to make these agencies better and I'd like to mention nine paned. Number one I think you might wish to read these kinds of questions with the with all of these agencies in your town. Whom does the agent to serve. If it was set up to go from 9 to 12 and that's all the constitution of a charter say you've been to the knowing girls are mandatory. Maybe the 500000 in a category much and say oh daddy or the black ones oh white ones rich ones of poor ones mentally retarded ones or educated ones or what have you. It would be want to be assured that agency is attempting to do what it set out to do. Number two you seem to me ought to be interested in knowing who controls the organization. That want to control the organization to dominate and set the policy for that observation. So we would be a legitimate question to try to find out who actually are controlled.
You want to know to what extent. Does the funding source dictate policy of the organization. I suppose that you know that you do things that you would not do because you found your parents a home or a sponsor or somebody and they want you to do certain things the chances that they could influence you greatly. The same thing is true with these non-governmental agencies to what extent the people who give the money tell you have spin and how to run things. Who to hire and who not to hire. Does the administrative structure met the participation of a consuming group too frequently people who organize things to help out a pope are not always concerned with talking with the people or trying to help to try to get a job up but rather they decide what they think the people want and they decide when they need it and then decide how they are to get it and to go ahead and give him you know our ladies who think people in a ghetto are hungry and the best way to feed them is to fix them based baskets on Christmas Day and you wrap up the pretty baskets and you get a new
limousine you drive down to the Small People's Church and you take the baskets and pretty rapid probably spend more money on the wrapping you do on the food you put in it. And people come up and I would take a basket and never get on any. Thank you for you go back home and you feel real service and feeding people who pool seems to me the time has come for students to try to help the adults recognize. That we ought to get from the people we're trying to serve. They want food may not be the most important things on people's mind and we ought to try to find that happened them rather than a said proud of what. Seems to me that you'd like to ask the question also about who does a board of directors represent. Is it really a truly representative body. Is it do you have dialogue from all segments of the population and ought to have a better understanding about what you ought to be doing and trying to serve the constituents. You also want to know whether or not the services of the organization are restricted on a racial or religious and economic basis I recall being in a group at one time
and the group leader was trying to pick a group we came to call the school where I was and he really wanted to pick out a certain kind of voice. You wanted some boys that were the best looking boys are the best dressed boys and the boys were the best family is the one who had money to come to the agency rather than to try to choose boys to be in the club that needed the service of the agency. He chose their own criteria for selection. Seems to me we are trying to find out whether the agencies in Winston-Salem or in your home town really serving on a restricted basis or not. Does agency have a participating membership or a voting membership or powerless membership to frequent social welfare agencies are separate agencies take of a leaf out of out of the business man and stockholders you know don't always have much to say about what goes on in the company. Just a very few limited people assume responsibility for running the whole show. I would want to suggest we are asked the question whether or not the members of opposition really have
a role to play in it. And to have a point on it as does the servers of the aged. It's a service of agency truly relevant to the needs and light of the urban crisis I referred that a moment ago when the Urban League have started a program which we think we're maybe 10 years late. And stead of doing research to try to find out what people in the ghetto ne of people in a community as a hony. We find it what we want to do or try to go to people find out where they are and ask them that tell us what their needs are and our program ought to be designed to meet the needs of people running isn't a problem that we think is important for people. A question that seems to be very redolent than all the group work casework in community organisations in Muslim state of North Carolina as well not whatever they are trying to do with the people they're trying to really rebel to the urban crisis and relevant to the needs of people they're trying to serve. And finally. I would raise this question and that is a problem
not the people who are getting the services of these self-help organizations are receiving the services in an atmosphere of respect and dignity. I recall a short time ago I had occasion to go to a public hospital and it was just the most enlightening but depressing thing in the world for me to sit waiting on someone to be served when a black woman came in. Musta been 65 and they have a long bench and if you want service you just slide down on the bench and they serve on one end. She must sit there for 30 minutes before somebody came all the way on. She was obviously not a very fluent and articulate person but not with it. What was wrong with her. And in turn white and a nurse black walked over to her. He put his foot up on the on the on the on the seat where she was leaned over to her and harsh kind of language asking what was wrong weather. And the woman didn't quite understand. Use really abusive language try and trying to get across to her that she had to tell you
what you were trying to find out. And the nurse whom I thought was black and one was black may have had an identification with her and may have tried to soften the relationship a little bit. I saw no difference in the feeling of a black nurse not a white intern. Seems to me students can help agencies who are trying to live or service to people to understand how important they are to to give service to people in an atmosphere of dignity an atmosphere of respect. Their students did begin to raise these kind of questions with two agencies back home. And you were able to establish some plan to implement any findings of any research you did on this subject. I believe that with these agencies were made you believe prove the quality of their services and you would be speaking for people who are hopeless and otherwise. Up up powerless. The National mention earlier stands to be screwed in the
same way that discussed the self-help organizations and I welcome any inquiry. I was talking to three students as I arrived on the campus early and asked if they knew anything better I've been away. Not a single one day. Now I don't know. That's because students are not knowledgeable of a cause or effect there. I rather think it's the latter. We talk of our local executive here in Salem to see whether or not the local Urban League and much of Salem is really relevant to the student community. I would like to just talk a few moments about my own agency as one of these typical suppositions for which you might wish to know a little bit about we were in 1900 in New York City and interesting enough we were organized to deal with the problems you talk about in a symposium. To deal with the problems of the people in urban centers. Black people and white ones moving from group communities all over the South and coming to urban centers in the north and south brought with them a limited cultural educational and
economic background with little skills no opportunity to get jobs and really not ask too much as far as productivity is concerned. They won wanted and they denied an opportunity to participate in the movement and the major cities of this country. The Urban League was founded to try to make life and living and working conditions of these people more livable. But we were trying to do with only national organization for around 60 or more years. Concerned us with what we call now urban crisis as how we get the name Urban League. We have we are social work organization not entirely a civil rights organization although we can say civil rights matters as the Whitney Young a national director is looked upon as a civil rights leader in the nation and as a social worker in the country. But we primarily are concerned with the bread and butter issues of the civil rights movement. Some people just grab any S.P.. Back in the early days the word
apartment of Negro affairs and Urban League as the State Department I don't know if either one of us would want those titles now things have changed so much since then. But we do represent have offices in 32 states and 93 cities. I'm director of a regional office with headquarters in Atlanta. We cover 12 states we have 9000 branch offices in that region and only one in North Carolina and we have several here. We're concerned primarily with problems that bring that bring about to the urban crisis. We're concerned with the problems of health and housing economic development education employment individual and family services. We operate on the basis that any problem with effects any segment of population is a problem that affects the total population and therefore all representatives of all segments of the population ought to have a part in the dynamics and the mechanisms that might be established to alleviate the problem that we are concerned with. Therefore we are as an agency for a long time tried not to discriminate on the basis of race religion and operations of membership is concerned as far as our boards are
concerned. As far as our committees our staff is concerned it's also applies to our constituency as well. But we've launched a new program that I mentioned a moment ago I'd like to talk about just for a moment. We call it a new throws and start of having our board in the media and staff doing basic research on the problems of our constituency and determining what we want to do to deal with those problems which we have done rather successfully we think over the years. We now feel that what we want to do is to spend our time staff board committees and otherwise going into the ghetto going to where people are trying to help people themselves to identify their own problems and establish their own priorities and to try to create between those people in a community on an organized basis a creative confrontation with the leaders of the establishment. We calling it development of ghetto power. It has brought new life and vigor to the organization and we
think it's going to make a greater impact. On the scene and have a real effect on urban crisis and we think we'll be playing a part in that. What we're trying to do then. Is to shift from a major emphasis and what I've been talking about earlier and that is to improve the quality of services to people to a systems change operation. We are not going to spin the rest of our time trying to get those organizations who ought to be delivering services to people to improve those services in a monitoring sort of way. We think that they ought to be done that ought to be done and we think students can play a role as I've suggested. But we believe now the time has come when our resources are to be dedicated to the proposition of change in the system so that the services can be delivered on a more equitable basis. We want to want to pull together get all power and establishment power into a kind of computation. People can speak for themselves. Two programs that we have which I think students will be interested and I'd like to talk about very briefly.
One is a program that was designed for black student activists have been on college campuses and Stella will stay there and I hope they will continue to be activists now. They will continue to try to change institutions and make them what they ought to be. We gave them an opportunity to participate in Urban League program in 15 cities across the country to actually live and work in a ghetto where they have indicated they want to work. It was a very successful program getting black students living in the ghetto working through the Urban League machinery. We found this to be vitally important and we plan to continue it next year. But if you read the Qana report on civil disorder which is an urban crisis it was and which dealt with the protection of the urban crisis. They pointed out that one of great problems and America is quite racism. How much are we doing how much can black students do working in a black black ghetto to deal with white racism if this is the number one problem in America. We would like to suggest to white members on
boards and they're not all comfortable with the suggestion I think it must be thought of what would black people and try to help them that they ought to be concerned I suggest to the students here. That white students might wish to concern themselves with eradicating white racism. What about students here going back home and working with that problem in your own community. As black students and white students work in the ghetto white and black perhaps white students and their parents might wish to deal with this particular proposition. I don't believe that even one of our local affiliates where we have made this recommendation to our white board members that they are to undertake this and dynamic forcible meaningful systematic way of dealing with white racism in their cities have been enthusiastic about taking down some of that you know that is just too much to handle. I'm much more comfortable working with black people trying to help them out. And I believe I'm comfortable at it but if you want me to take on white racism. I don't want to get my hands on it I don't know where to start it. I don't want anything to do with it and I'm not sure that is the case and I just don't know about it.
I would hope that we could have some discussion about role that students can play in dealing with that situation. We have another program we have launch finally where we call a Citizens Corps program where students black and white on college campuses and by doing the regular school year to come to the agency and to work to do some of the kinds of chores that we know their students can still successfully gauge. We think that this kind of work in the community could be you could get credit for it. And we think it would be important there. This was the case. We've also worked out some plan with some students and some of our cities some schools and some of us cities where students are given credit for taking their work in the field doing field work in agencies revenue doing class work. As a matter you might wish to discuss. Even if you did. And we're able to. I work with agencies as abs cry I
work in the community as I have suggested. And get them to change. I am not at all sure whether the governmental agencies are now constituted. Are the non governmental ones which I have been discussing really can be driven to the point they can deal with what we call the urban crisis in 69. As a matter of fact they're now operating and despite the fact that they are doing the best they think they can do. The problems are so immense it seems that something special would perhaps need to be done. I like to call your attention to just some to districts in North Carolina which you might wish to dress yourself to and make your full suggestions as I go to my see. And perhaps we could have some scratching about them. You'd be interested in knowing if you don't know this that. As far as family income in novel North Carolina's concerned that end to count is a knocker Atlanta 65 to 80 percent of the people living in those counties have a family income of $3000 or less. And
45 counties in North Carolina. Say from 50 to 65 percent of the people have a family income under $3000. And 28 additional count is 35 to 50 percent of the people have a family income of less than $3000. And then 18 additional of the 100 counties 25 35 percent of the people live in those counties may have a family income of less than $3000. And seven of those hundred counted from 15 to 25 percent of people live in those counties have a family income of less than $3000 a year. This is a tragic situation in 1969. That most of the one country in the whole wide world and here in North Carolina are you in bad shape. If you think that's bad let me suggest what the per capita income is in some of these counties. Then not a single county a knocker land that has a per capita income between 2000 and 3000. All the below those figures
that two counties where they were the highest income between seven thousand nine hundred fifty dollars and the thousand and 9 9 9 5 counties in North Carolina with the per capita income between fifteen hundred and seventeen fought in the 17 counties in North Carolina with per capita income of twelve hundred fifty dollars to 49 and. There are nineteen counties that have a per capita income ranging from 1 fouls and 2400 to about two thousand and one thousand two hundred forty nine dollars. There are 40 counties out of your hundred counties in North Carolina where the people the per capita income is from Seven hundred and fifty dollars to nine hundred and ninety nine dollars and 17 counties in North Carolina. Out of your 100 counties where the per capita income is from 400 and $24 to seven and forty nine dollars in your North Carolina. This is a tragic situation for the progressive state of North Carolina and this is a little better than some
others but this is horrible. It's horrible to the point that you are being figured out what you can do about it. But I said the other day that. Dying in poverty is bad enough but living in it is even worse. Just one other statistic I'd like to bring to your attention. I'm want to suggest to you that poverty and in Winston-Salem and environed counted as a disaster a situation that needs the attention of all of us and I hope that you will think about some things you can do about it. I mentioned in the voting statistics here there are a million and 600000 white registered voters there. Two hundred and eighty one thousand black racial voters in North Carolina. That percentage runs out to be 80 82 percent point four for the white and 51 percent for the blacks. I'm wondering whether somebody somewhere could join in. Whether students of narco Latin might join in in a statewide registration campaign to try to get those unregistered people registered
and I have very large percentage of those who are not me. I'm wondering whether or not the students on this campus ever considered getting a resolution passed or doing anything at all about their voting age you know state of Georgia come from have voting age 18 as President Johnson has suggested we ought to lower the age have the students wait for hours given any consideration to theirs. I would suggest that you might want to think about that a little bit just a couple of the digits in regards to health. You'd be interested in knowing that thought that are at a rate of forty four point three out of every thousand children in the bone and now Carolina dad before they reach the one year birthday. They're black. A rate of forty four point three for their dad before they have their first birthday. And among white is 20 to a rate of 20 to the black is double that rate. Why is that so it seems to meet in your courses and sociology than economics. We ought to be addressing ourselves to that matter. Somebody's not getting served the whites aren't getting and the
blacks are not getting it and the blacks are getting twice the level as others are. You'd be interested in knowing that as far as shooting born dead a little death. At a rate of blacks at a rate of twenty eight point six percent and now Karolina. The whites out of a thirteen point eight has to have a book on target too. It simply means that midwives and doctors are not there and mothers are not being servers they are hungry and are not being fed the nutrition is still a problem and it seems to me it's time for young people to try to do something about it cause the folks who are running the system now the people who are running the health system now and we're running an economic system now are really not dealing with the true issues and I would want to suggest that students can begin to raise questions can begin to gather statistics and make the issues very clear one found statistic which is interesting it seems to me that corps and other schools here might wish to dress themself to later. And that is
see that time is about run out here let me just mention a couple of them and now Carla in 67 I couldn't get the figures for a later time. There were three hundred and eighty thousand people who had an average schooling of five years of that which means literally I don't know even if you were to vote here. In that case is 20 years old and from five to seven years five hundred sixty five hundred seventy six thousand people in that category an eighth grade of two hundred fifteen thousand three year one to three years of house goofing on the 92000 people not very well educated enough and seems to me that a place of thought talking about place here at this convention and I hope to you will have a chance to talk about that later. 7 things several things. Six things as a matter of fact I'd like five items that suggested a broad general recommendations to you for consideration as I close out my comments here. Number one. Would it be a good idea if the students here at Wake
Forest would suggest to the university that it ought to sume a posture of leadership and trying to gather information of the kind of I'm talking about here and to develop projects to help to alleviate the suffering which apps crop for the state of North Carolina. Perhaps a consortium of universes and states might want to dig into the situation to spotlight issues you can imagine what's going to happen to have two distribution program just because one set up in South Carolina was willing to say to people who are in South Carolina what would happen if the students here Wake Forest join with others to help point to how serious the issues are here number two. Seems to me the students in our line across the board and like students everywhere here and elsewhere black and white together might begin to explore the possibility of a stabbing or some kind of state wide mechanism that will not only gather information but will begin to pick out certain kinds of issues which you think students might undertake
and also you can't do it you know are very effective students who last for the whole campaign. You can be equal is important here. Number three Why couldn't the students here at Wake Forest and other schools request the administration to consider giving credit for one year maybe the Junior year away from the college dealing with some problems of interest that you plan to get yourself involved in when you graduate. One food a year of activity working out in the community dealing with the people that you're going to have to face. Unfortunately when you graduate from school that might even include work in rural communities and even include something investors and I'm talking about something different. I'm Tom I work in back in your hometown in North Carolina. Number four. How feasible would it be for the students awake for hours in other places to join together. Whoa now Carolina student organization to petition the state legislature a United States congressman and senators to establish task forces as was established in South Carolina dealing with poverty dealing with
illiteracy and hunger an effort to find some answers to these problems so that the NACO state and the people in it can develop to their fullest potential. And finally I'm wondering whether you might be able to as a collective body take a very careful look as I mentioned earlier the Kerner report on civil disorder particular that section dealing with race racism and to see to what extent you feel that applies in North Carolina. And if it does and I think we probably could agree here that it does rather substantially then perhaps you might wish to develop some plan to bring the various groups together to try to do something about it. And yourself assume responsibility for working at it. I would say that students can play I can play an important role and the non-governmental sector I recommend it you ought to do it. I think the time to do it is now. I think the place to do it is here. You can do it here in Winston-Salem in a state as a whole. Maybe some of you who have never heard of Booker T Washington but he
made one statement as I close with a rather significant one. He was a great black leader in his day because of Uncle Tom now a suspect some call him that then. But I won't go into details of how you came about saying his piece said to people trying to figure out where they ought to do something there or do something someplace else. He said Let down your buckets where you are. And that's why I suggest you today that if you dig deep enough into the problem here in what some say of a knockout Allana you will find fresh water and if you succeed in finding some ass to some of the problems which we've addressed ourselves to it is quite possible that you could help to deal with some of the important questions that we are faced with and the country that you save may be your very own. Thank you. Ah am I. You have just heard address by Clarence Coe the southern regional director of the Urban League speaking on the topic the role of self-help organizations in meeting the urban crisis. Mr. Coleman spoke at the
- Episode Number
- #8 (Reel 2)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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- No description available
- Social Issues
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-30-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- APA: Challenge 69: The urban crisis; #8 (Reel 2). Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-7659hj1j