Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
Cycles can be natural and unnatural, beneficial and non- beneficial. The cycle that prompted this thought is a highly destructive one. One in which generation after generation can be handcuffed by habits not only bad, but addictive. Alcoholism which has decimated the Native American here in North America seems to be leaving its fingerprint on the African American community as well, and like his Native American neighbor the dilemma is one sided and rarely discussed outside small meeting halls with extremely committed counselors and staff overshadowed by pathetic funding and little if any major exposure signifying how grave the situation is becoming. Of course if there is a winner in all of this it is the alcohol industry who says, Paul Kelly, director of Alcohol and Drug Prevention, Bobby Wright Mental Health Center, and co- founder of the City Wide Coalition Against Tobacco and Alcohol Billboards (Chicago, Il.), “It has been estimated that the alcohol industry invests less than $.25 for every $25,000 they make off of the African American community.” But the danger lies, not in the monetary exploitation that surely goes on, but rather in the sons, of sons, of sons who are being and, will be profoundly impacted by alcoholism (Powell, 1996).
All across America black males aged 18-40 seem to be in this perpetual, destructive war with themselves. Unfulfilled lives paint the landscape as if warranted by some unseen hand, made bleak by choices which don’t seem like choices at all. I wanted to speak to some of that pain, that loss but the lifeless eyes and callous demeanor walking down dark streets and paths puzzled me. Before sitting down to write this I thought maybe I was somehow narrowing my gaze, fixing my attention on something that was more my imagination than the reality that garnered my concern. But I was not creating bleak lives and attaching them to individuals at my discretion. These lives and too many other lives were simply being crippled, while arrested development was coursing through veins as freely and as frequently as the alcohol which introduced it. Weakening promise, at an age where strength was supposed to be at its optimum. Not only did this sadden me, but it inspired me to look for answers, find the roots associated with my findings and from there assess how my community and others might assist in working towards a proactive remedy to some of the perils that come along with using alcohol as a means of coping with life and its challenges. The ostensible purpose of this whole blog really comes down to wanting to be an active voice in a community pock marked by unfulfilled promise which can, in many instances, be linked to formative years being derailed by alcoholism and its many consequences, one of which being depression as Solomon H. Snyder so clearly states in his book, Drugs And The Brian, “Depression is many times the root of the problem, with alcohol being only an external manifestation.” (Snyder, 1996)