Here is an excerpt from my Race, Law and Change paper that I wrote in the Fall of 2013. One of the final portions of my paper speaks to everything that is going on now and why it is important that we do not look for one leader, one solution or one moment to define this movement. There is work to be done and all hands on deck are needed.
The social engineer is continuously facing new challenges through changes in law, demographics, and the lack of educational institutions that prepare young lawyers for these roles. The power of the Civil Rights Movement has disseminated amongst many organizations and issues across the nation. The lack of unity rests in the lack of a uniform struggle. The African American community faces extreme challenges in education, economically, and within the criminal justice system. The burden of these issues has created a difficult environment for the social engineer because the issues are overwhelming and seemingly impossible to eradicate. Social engineers have to step up to these challenges and use the resources and organizations that are currently combatting each of these issues to their advantage. The interdisciplinary connection of organizations that have a common thread will ensure that a seemingly local issue has national effect and support. The strength of social engineers will ensure that justice and progression will materialize for those whose voices are powerful or loud enough. The challenges should be motivation to continue to fight against injustice and oppression.
Charles Hamilton Houston died at the age of 55 but accomplished so much as the originator of the plan that lead to the Brown decision.[i] Kelly Miller was a renowned scholar, educator, and author. He originated the idea of a National Negro Museum at Howard University, which is now the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. He was a Howard Alum and the first African American to be accepted at Johns Hopkins University.[ii] Anna J. Cooper, a renowned author, educator, and speaker, was the fourth African American woman to obtain her PhD and lived a life dedicated to educating the African American youth.[iii] All three of these amazing scholars brought to the table a different view of how to obtain educational freedom for the advancement of all African Americans. Their thoughts, scholarly papers, and published works all set the tone for a future of greatness. They have given social engineers the jewels needed to continue to forge ahead despite of the current state of the education system. They knew the secret behind the fight was that if they did not get weary than eventually the adversary would breakdown and give into their demands. All of their writings reflect a clarity and understanding of the current climate coupled with a vast amount of optimism. They have set a standard that many are unaware of and fail to even compare in their shadows.
[i] NAACP History: Charles Hamilton Houston, http://www.naacp.org/pages/naacp-history-charles-hamilton-houston (last visited Dec. 22, 2013).
[ii] Scope Note in Kelly Miller Papers Collection (Moorland-Spingarn Research Ctr.).
[iii] Scope Note in Anna J. Cooper Papers Collection (Moorland-Spingarn Research Ctr.).