Welcome!

News Feed Item

Reverend Eliakim Thorpe asks: The African American Male; are they truly on the verge of extinction?

KALAMAZOO, Mich., Aug. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- 

According to Reverend Eliakim Thorpe, a motivational speaker and ordained minister out of Kalamazoo, Michigan, "In the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, where yet another unarmed African American male was shot and killed by law enforcement, we find the consciousness of America gripped again by the ongoing debate of race."

Mr. Thorpe added that most concerning to him, is what appears to be a disturbing trend of unarmed African American males being shot and killed by law enforcement across our country, most notably Trayvon Martin and most recently, Michael Brown. While race has always played a prominent role in the history of the United States (ie. slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, white supremacy, civil rights, police brutality, etc.).

The reverend continues, "America is now entering a critical time in U.S. history which requires an honest appraisal of race/racism, economics, culture, politics, and governmental policies that further disenfranchise African American men and further perpetuate a negative racial pathology amongst African Americans & Whites. This racial pathology continues to distort the heart and minds of both blacks and whites, continuing a post-civil rights history of divisiveness and misunderstanding instead of demonstrating the values of: peace, love, unity, truth, justice, harmony, and brotherhood."

The United States was founded with the forefather's belief as stated in the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."  What kind of country will America be asks Rev. Thorpe? "A country true to its values as stated in the Declaration of Independence or a country that perpetuates an oppressive history based on the ideology of race," he adds.

The African American Male; are they truly on the verge of extinction? This is a multilayered problem which requires a multilayered approach that must address more than race if America is to create a meaningful dialogue on the tensions between institutions governed by whites and black America.

There are a number of factors contributing to what is called the extinction of the African American male which can be categorized as historical, institutional, cultural, and spiritual explains Rev. Thorpe.

The African American male is under assault - Historically, the African American male was forcibly taken from their land and family to live a life of enslavement which damaged the soul, distorted the personality, and created an indescribable despair that has left a legacy and lasting residue of fear, anger, frustration, disillusionment, hopelessness, and disappointment for African American males.

Institutionally, racism became the primary ideology to disenfranchise African Americans while protecting white privilege and creating inequities in: employment, housing, education, banking, health care, and the justice system. This lifecycle of inequities continues to perpetuate poverty for the disadvantaged while perpetuating prosperity for the privileged. Oftentimes, the African American males lives a life of hopelessness never really able to grasp their hopes and dreams. It is difficult to live a life of liberty when there are still institutional inequities!

Culturally, the African-American has always had a rich history of theologians, inventors, scientists, doctors etc. which provided a great sense of identity and belonging in an otherwise oppressive society. There must be a renewed sense of identity within the African American male for true change to occur. The identity of the African American male must be defined according to values that emphasize integrity, responsibility, accountability, bravery, charity, and empathy. Not values or qualities perpetuating negative identity images which further distort/pervert the African American males' sense of self and worthiness. 

"We as a country must be careful of the subtle messages of race that contaminate the minds of both Whites and Blacks", says Rev. Thorpe.

Spiritually, the African American male suffers from the loss of its once vibrant relationship with God. The hunger and thirst of the soul to connect to the embodiment of love reassures one's purpose for existence.  There is not only an external battle but an internal battle on how to embrace one's uniqueness in a world that celebrates conformity and assimilation. There comes a place and time in every person's life where one must decide on whether or not to embrace their uniqueness without hesitation.

When this decision is made, it is as if the shackles have been loosened, the soul has been liberated, the yoke has been broken, the burden has been lifted, and the mind freed to commune with the Universal Mind which is God.

An overall question posed by the motivational speaker and minister is "If the African American male is to exist beyond the 21st century, it requires a conscious re-awakening of men who are willing to surrender to God and conquer the love of self and allow themselves to be 'the clay in the hand of God the Potter' (Ghandi)?"

"African American Men & White America must rediscover their birthright, have a reverent respect for God and humanity, break the chains of hatred, and recommit to the will of God if we are to help heal the land from the evil acts committed by ungodly men, according to Rev. Thorpe. My hope and prayer is that every American will discover its spiritual identity which will liberate us to live in the image and likeness of God," the reverend concludes.

All that is still happening in Ferguson still resonates in Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birmingham Alabama jail letter "Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid. Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states….. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly…. You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood." (http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html)

Rev. Thorpe adds, "We must be careful not to minimize the death of Michael Brown by changing the narrative that subtly justifies the killing of African American men as well as any citizen of the United States. The penalty for theft is not death!"

Finally, for true change to occur, the reverend contends, requires the collaboration of both white and black America. Changing the consciousness of America has never occurred without the collaboration of all citizens in the United States. "As we move forward; we must be direct in our dialogue, respectful in our response, compassionate in our character, sincere in our statements, authentic in our answers, steadfast on a solution, resilient against ignorance, and unbiased in our truth."

Contact Information:
Rev. Eliakim Thorpe
Ordained Minister/Public Speaker
Reverend Eliakim Thorpe
(269) 760-1571
[email protected]

This release was issued through WebWire(R). For more information, visit http://www.webwire.com.

SOURCE Reverend Eliakim Thorpe

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Adobe is changing the world though digital experiences. Adobe helps customers develop and deliver high-impact experiences that differentiate brands, build loyalty, and drive revenue across every screen, including smartphones, computers, tablets and TVs. Adobe content solutions are used daily by millions of companies worldwide-from publishers and broadcasters, to enterprises, marketing agencies and household-name brands. Building on its established design leadership, Adobe enables customers not o...
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
WebRTC adoption has generated a wave of creative uses of communications and collaboration through websites, sales apps, customer care and business applications. As WebRTC has become more mainstream it has evolved to use cases beyond the original peer-to-peer case, which has led to a repeating requirement for interoperability with existing infrastructures. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Graham Holt, Executive Vice President of Daitan Group, will cover implementation examples that have enabled ea...
Apache Hadoop is a key technology for gaining business insights from your Big Data, but the penetration into enterprises is shockingly low. In fact, Apache Hadoop and Big Data proponents recognize that this technology has not yet achieved its game-changing business potential. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, John Mertic, director of program management for ODPi at The Linux Foundation, will explain why this is, how we can work together as an open data community to increase adoption, and the i...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Tintri VM-aware storage is the simplest for virtualized applications and cloud. Organizations including GE, Toyota, United Healthcare, NASA and 6 of the Fortune 15 have said “No to LUNs.” With Tintri they mana...
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, will discuss how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy ap...
24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to connect your brand strategy with the right consumer. 24Notion ranked #12 on Corporate Social Responsibility - Book of List.
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...