Tom’s Hopes for the Black Community

Surviving both the old sharecropping south and the civil rights movement has given Tom a valuable view of the black community in the 21st century. “The civil rights movement is yet to accomplish its job, but it certainly has made improvements,” he suggests. Tom is disheartened that “young black males involved in crime don’t realize the struggle was made to give them all these opportunities.” He also confesses that although the black community has come extremely far in a short period of history, it has lost certain valuable treasures in the new, modern way of life.

“In a segregated system,” Tom reminisces, “blacks had a forum to talk about outstanding black issues with outstanding black leaders without concern about others’ opinions.” He similarly resents “whites coming into our black neighborhoods to buy drugs,” and he witnessed the drug war’s beginnings in Trenton after World War II.

“I am concerned with the matter of us coming together as one race,” he admits. “I know there’s no utopia since man is a sinner by nature, but I hope blacks can unite as a group when trouble arises.”