As a mother, I am concerned for my children. As a mother of young African American children, I am concerned in a particular way for my children. Why?
Because as the industrial revolution breathes its last breaths, the unemployment rate in America is 9.1%. But as reported recently in the Wall Street Journal, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-MO) says that the unemployment rate for black people in this country is 21%, and even as high as 40% in some urban areas.
Say what? Close your eyes for a minute. Can you imagine for 60 seconds what it would be like to grow up in a community where nearly half of the adults you meet do not have a job? Now imagine further that they don't have much prospect of getting a job …
I'm not trying to be a downer on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, but this bothers me. The traditional job market is changing forever. Some people, including me, think that's a good and exciting thing. After all, I left a traditional job to start a business of my own. Yet, so many millions of people are obviously unprepared to create a job of their own.
Question: How do you prepare for the un-preparable, even when you can see it coming straight at you like a freight train? If you're a parent (or anyone with responsibility for a child), how are you preparing the next generation to succeed in a world where a full quarter or more of the black people they encounter won't have a job?