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I tell young people to prepare themselves as best they can for a world that grows more challenging every day-get the best education they can, and couple that education with real-life experience in social justice work.
I now teach at American University and the University of Virginia.
I do think that some of us began to realize that this was going to be a long struggle that was going to go on for decades, and you'd have to knuckle down. A lot of people in our generation did that. They didn't drop out and run away.
Griffin Bell later apologized to me for that decision.
Ever since I've become chairman, there have been profiles of me in People, George, The Washington Post, The Detroit News, and all of them could have been written by the same person.
But even at the height of these scandals, even at the time when our finances were at their worst, the NAACP branches - the grassroots - kept plugging away. They kept doing what they do, and they do it well.
Black reporters are as capable of racism as anyone else.
As skills and energy became more of a demand, people who didn't have skills just got left behind, got shuttled to the side. Education didn't keep up with their promise. Education didn't prepare them for this new world. Jobs went overseas.
As legal slavery passed, we entered into a permanent period of unemployment and underemployment from which we have yet to emerge.
Any time someone carries a picket sign in front of the White House, that is the First Amendment in action.
And I've tried to give us a higher profile. Typically, at a board meeting, we'd pass resolutions about the civil-rights issue of the day, but we'd never tell anyone. So I've instituted a policy of announcing our resolutions at the end of our meetings.
America And Americans
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