In search of new black role models

Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Star Parker - Guest Columnist

Star ParkerA recent survey shows blacks and whites totally agree on the issue of role models. Fifty-two percent of blacks and 51 percent of whites say that "lack of good role models" is a factor impeding black progress.

Two large questions loom on the question of race in America.

One: After almost eight years of a black man as president of the United States, why does the country remain so deeply racially divided?

Two: Why, after more than a half-century since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, do such profound social and economic problems persist in many of America's black communities?

In a recent survey from the Pew Research Center, 8 percent of blacks, compared to 38 percent of whites, agreed with the statement, "Our country has made the changes needed to give blacks equal rights with whites." And 43 percent of blacks, compared to 11 percent of whites, indicated that, "Our country will not make the changes needed to give blacks equal rights with whites."

The same survey shows gaps in income, wealth, unemployment and poverty between blacks and whites persisting with little change since the era of the civil rights movement.

Can it really be that after a half-century the Civil Rights Act, that racism still is holding back black progress in America?

The Pew Survey probes opinions of blacks versus whites on why blacks are still struggling to get ahead. The gap between black perceptions and white perceptions is large in almost every area.

The single area where blacks and whites totally agree is on the issue of role models.

Fifty-two percent of blacks and 51 percent of whites say that "lack of good role models" is a factor impeding black progress.

Recently actor Jesse Williams, star of the television series Grey's Anatomy, grabbed attention with remarks he made at the BET Awards on his receiving their humanitarian award.

Williams went on for five minutes offering a portrait of black oppression and racism in America.

You would think from his message that every white American is a racist oppressor and that every black American is a hapless, hopeless victim.

Of course, there are ugly things happening. Williams ticked off names of young blacks who have recently been shot and killed by police.

But many other ugly things are happening, sadly, in black America. But militant left-wing blacks like Williams only care when tragedy serves their message of victimhood and oppression.

Is it any less tragic that black women, who account for 13 percent of the nation's women, account for one-third of the nation's abortions? Or that 70 percent of black children grow up in a home with a single parent?

Earlier in the show an excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech" was played. King's message was a far different message than Williams'.

King saw America, like life itself, as stained by sin, but fixable through faith and good deeds. He preached "repentance and revival." This, in contrast, to the message of those on the left, like Williams, who preach "payback and redistribution."

Unfortunately, it is the "payback and redistribution" message that dominates the public space in black America. It's what young blacks hear from black stars in the entertainment business, and from black politicians whose careers thrive on this message.

But there is much more going on in black America than what we hear in the public arena. Blacks attend church with greater frequency than any ethnic group in the nation, and millions attend churches led by conservative pastors who know that left-wing politics will not fix black America.

It is these conservative black pastors who must and will become the new "role models" to provide leadership for a new era of recovery, redemption and revival. I have been working for years with these communities and I know that these church-going black Christians look for this new leadership, for themselves, and for the nation.


Star Parker ( is an author and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education.

This column is printed with permission. Opinions expressed in 'Perspectives' columns published by are the sole responsibility of the article's author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of the staff or management of, or advertisers who support the American Family News Network,, our parent organization or its other affiliates.

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details




Is China an enemy of the United States?





Another blast rocks Austin, but unrelated to other bombings
Pritzker wins, Rauner leads in Illinois governor primaries
Northeast braces for wintry wallop on 1st day of spring
Zuckerberg asked to testify; data firm's CEO suspended
Armed school resource officer gets praise in Maryland shooting
Obama judge blocks Mississippi 15-week abortion ban
Minneapolis officer who shot Australian woman faces charges


Maryland school resource officer has stared a gun in the face to save lives before
Trump won't fire Mueller despite 'absurd' probe
Zachary Cruz, brother of Fla. mass murder suspect, held on $500K bond for trespassing
Not wearing seat belt prompts cops to seize $92,000
University canceled conference because every speaker was white


Cartoon of the Day