The Reader Is Always Right

Your priorities shape our agenda. Here's what you had to say about what our priorities should be in the new century.

in six categories, including the basic identifiers: age, gender, and affiliation to the magazine.
The following is a brief review of those findings.

Politics & Power
What do you feel will be the biggest issue facing African Americans in the 21st century?
More than a third (35.4%) of the sample feels that building wealth is the biggest issue facing African Americans in the 21st century. Educating our youth (29.7%) and improving the quality of life (16.3%) followed respectively. Leaning away from the majority opinion, some respondents pointed to our community’s inability to coalesce around issues as a serious stumbling block.

Another survey participant, Andrew Carr, CEO of A.L. Carr Group, a business-planning service company, believes building wealth will always be the No. 1 priority for our community in the 21st century. “Building wealth is one of the biggest issues facing the African American community in the New Economy. However, we must ensure that our community has the skills to compete, or building wealth will just be another term whispered [by] those who want to appear to be in the know.”

Do you feel that the problems facing the black community can be solved through political means?
Nearly six out of every 10 respondent (58.8%) feel that the problems facing the black community cannot be solved through political means.

Nilda Glenn Thomas, president of Ample Business Solutions, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, an online company ( which provides business and technology solutions through online computer training courses, says, “Politics may drive our country, but we need to be able to articulate as a community what our needs are to the people who have the authority to make those decisions that help us in the fight. Besides, we need more African Americans in politics in order for us to have a voice.”

However, like a few of those responding to the survey, Carr believes many of the problems facing our community can be solved through political means, but only to the extent that our leaders place these issues at the forefront of their own, personal agendas.

Murphy says that any progress made comes on the back of our political advancements. “I don’t think it’s the sole solution for us as a people, because economic empowerment has to go hand-in-hand with political empowerment, but politics plays a huge role in where we have to go. And when we lose the ability to make affirmative action happen in politics, then it cuts into the ability to make things happen on the economic front.”

Do you believe relations between black and white Americans (and black and Latino Americans) will improve over the next 10 years?
All in all, our respondents are confident that race relations between black and white Americans will improve over the next 10 years (63.6%). And a larger percent, 82.4%, feel that black and Latino Americans will improve their race relations over the same period of time.

Dana M. Lewis, an American Express financial advisor in Orlando, Florida, says that though we can solve our problems through political means, we must be collectively responsible for

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