Offered without comment from the Kwaku Network:
What will America do with 36 million Black Americans now that there is no more cotton to pick? Even in states like Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, Black people are not involved in the planting, growing or harvesting of cotton. This is now done by White and Latino men and women who drive machines that plant and pick the cotton, as millions of Black men of working age stand idle on street corners. For Black people in America, there is no more cotton to pick.
Black people were brought to America as slaves to pick cotton, tobacco and sugar cane. America’s dilemma today is: what to do with 36 million Black American descendants of slaves who were shipped to American shores 400 years ago for their economic value yet whose heirs today have lost that value? While America might have once considered shipping Black Americans back to Africa, that is no longer a practical or palatable option.
So America has a serious problem that demands a solution. What will America do with 36 million Black Americans who have lost their value to the American economy? As the world moves towards science, technology, engineering, math and medicine (STEMM), fewer than fifty percent of Black boys graduate from high school in the United States. Many of those who graduate are given diplomas that qualify them for low-wage jobs or no jobs at all, street-corner hustling, incarceration and violent death. At best, the majority of Black students in America get an education that prepares them to only pick cotton – if there were cotton for them to pick.