• Pastor William Andrews

Entitlement: Help Or Bondage?

What Happened To Us?


I grew up in Bellevue Square housing projects in Hartford, Connecticut in the late 50s and 60s. This was my world: 180 three-room units, 80 four-room units, 40 four-and-a-half-room units, 89 five-and-a-half-room units, and 28 six-and-a-half-room units crammed into fourteen apartment buildings that only spanned 5 stories high and one square-mile. All of this was built to replace the squalor of the tenements of the 1940’s in the north end of Hartford. It was home. It was community.


The sense of community happened as a result of everyone’s desire to build a better life for each family in the projects. Mrs. Robinson, Ms. Nixon, Ms. Harrington, or any one of the mothers could hold any child accountable for his or her actions. The PTA was run and supported by the parents. School plays were attended by the community at large. The community created a marching patrol to participate in city parades and residents would meet once a month to discuss ways they could better the overall community.


These were people who migrated from the South. These were people who looked for opportunities to improve their circumstances and were willing to work hard to achieve it. Entitlement at this time was merely a stepping stone. The fathers who were there took pride in being leaders and protectors of the community. Black politicians actually worked to bring progress to the community. Families cleaned the neighborhood and the children were trained up to help and take care of the community. Pregnancy outside of marriage was a point of shame and a lazy man was frowned upon.


So what happened to us?

1. We are no longer on one accord. Our togetherness as a community is dead on the side of the road. The unity of purpose we once had has evaporated only to appear as a cloud of self-interest.

2. Our moral compass is askew. We’ve accepted abnormal behavior as normal. Thieves, violent people and drug pushers walk the streets of our community without fear of the residents because nobody wants to be labeled a “snitch”. Since when has this become a tradition?

3. Modesty has been lost. Lewdness has taken over. Sexual promiscuity thrives as our sons and daughters are having children out of wedlock and are totally unprepared for the responsibility of parenthood.


Much of what we go through as a community now lies in our hands. Yes, we know the field is not level. Yes, we know the powers that be aren’t fair. At some point, however, we have to come together to make the change. So how do we do that? That’s a great question...


We’ve got to talk more about this question and how we as a community can create change for a brighter future. We need to speak more about the responsibilities of our politicians and the representation of community interests. Ultimately, we need to hold ourselves and our leaders accountable to all of it.


Until next time: May God’s blessing shine upon you and your families always.


In His Name Always,

William

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