Building stronger family units in our communities was a prominent theme at the H.I.S. BET Town Hall Meeting at Morehouse College in Atlanta on September 19. Dr. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, the spiritual home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., spoke with H.I.S. BET about the issues Black families face and how we as a community can uplift one another.
“A lot of issues are at stake — the health of our families, the education of our children, pushing against a long and difficult legacy of slavery, Jim Crow segregation that now shows up in the prison industrial complex and all the various ways that we have to respond to that. One of the things I think that came out of this contentious and sometimes raucous conversation [today] is that these are complex issues and there are no simple answers, and we have to go at it at many different ways.”
He urged that in order to thrive, we as a community have to take responsibility. “It’s up to us. I believe in personal responsibility. We ought to start our own businesses and educate our children. But at the same time, we also have to confront the systemic and structural issues that impinge on Black families’ ability to be whole and complete. We’ve got to hold those things up and put them in a strong, firm foundation, a spiritual foundation, while connecting to one another.”
(Photo: Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images for BET)