Black History Month: Where Are We Now?

A panel discussion looks at Black History and how the movement has progressed.
6:50 | 02/22/13

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Transcript for Black History Month: Where Are We Now?
Schools. And let me welcome now our distinguished panel this morning let me begin by introducing -- one of view we have ratsiraka he's a high school principal and City Council and in Newark, New Jersey. He's also the son of -- -- one of the most well known and widely published writers of black movement back in the 1960s. Also this morning build abernathy well known here -- those of us and ABC news he's a producer here. And his cousin was Ralph Abernathy close confidant of course of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Also really also -- matters is the third of Malcolm X his six daughters he of course was killed. But she was just two years old she's also an accomplished author. She wrote the book growing up extra mortality thank you so much for being -- -- to start with a generic question terms of the residents of the civil rights movement in this whole idea Black History Month do you think for. I -- her younger generation that doesn't know what you won't know -- I've not lived through would you want lived through. Does this month. Have residents that it should within defense. I do believe that the are given a dose of black history -- Black History Month because that seems to be the only opportunity that people can really talk about African Americans in this struggle in the history. In this country without. Filling in the awkward though all own guilty ways yes they do seem to. Now a lot about. These struggles. I don't think they know enough. I think that. -- black history should be incorporated throughout the year and -- curriculums what. It is the crux failed most pressing issue right now for Black America is there one if I know that's the vast oversimplification but is -- one that you think really. Should be getting the most attention is it out of our community. -- the economics. -- Job growth. From the lack of job opportunities from many African Americans in this country and this is really opportunity you know. As far as like as far as working and really building won't follow through education and it was well because this. Entangled with that you don't -- lack of a decent education. Twelfth grade. High school deplorable. From an African American male is about. They -- equivalent to an eighth grade a diploma from a why American. In this country so that kind of dichotomy needs to be addressed. In order to be able to deal in unemployment in employment in this country as well. Do you think the president as you hear -- talked about some circles has done enough. For the black community in is that a fair question considering he's the president of the entire country not -- -- in the -- -- I think it's really an opportune time for us to strategize. I'm community involvement. Putting together some sort of agenda while we have. Him in office that we can't just think that he's going to solve all of our problems but we have to also look at ourselves I don't think dead because. He's the president of the United States that magically all of the ills that affect our community goes away I mean. All of the racism. All of the unemployment all the things that we didn't just talk about still exist -- even as have been the president of the United States. Being that we all descendants of civil rights leaders -- rights leaders. Is serious you know that you know even to very registered emotional about it because. It was just a historic moment for those who could never even imagined. Having a black man in the White House. What do you think you're that would -- to its little hard to. To answer these projections. Are what my father thinks I really do think if my father still -- that a lot of the issues wouldn't be as they are today. -- but I think that he would challenge. Our president. A little bit more. I think this is a -- a lack a lot of folks. Presence. -- neighborhoods and communities what people may get in and you know become successful. What -- they disappear so you don't seat in the neighborhood like you used to mix of rain began around there was a point where we would segregated. That you know doctors lawyers everybody else had to live almost. Us so our children got to see the kind of different role models that they needed to see. It is extremely important. For our young people to be empowered to know that they can be whatever they want to be. And there they have that -- -- -- fun and knowing bear. Our history for folks who were unconvinced that we should still be talking about American races -- thirteenth what is the one thing until -- -- on markets has a lot of racial undercurrents what's the one thing you won't appoint her to say. Now this is still an issue 7% of Americans -- American children are still segregated still -- to. African American predominately -- school's. You know we just talked about the level of unemployment the level of incarceration. We still witnessing. -- -- -- murders had gone and our community not just you know black all black but other kind of -- police murder. Global suspicious murders and this council of racism is still alive and well I mean to present -- United States probably has had more death threats. -- any other president. In the history of this country so it has a lot of -- affect him being the president has surfaced. A lot of racism in this country has beat me. Because surface because he's the president this is blessed -- here what would your advice be. Broad scope here your advice to Black America and it also -- your advice to others about. Black America this generation has a lot of young black professionals a lot of African Americans -- You know supposedly allegedly made their successful. I think that it's important that they don't. Forget how they got these things got a lot of times we believe we are successful -- we believe that we did this fall completely on our -- I listened to words of your father. Can. Ministers are com. And of course doctor king. And -- was this you know Tuesday. Still brings a smile to my face it only makes you -- up straighter. You know makes me -- my head apart just because. -- -- -- reminded me with you either through their messages through their work. Who we are -- we need to be. We understand history we know that we can't sit back and wait for someone to do something -- its. Our responsibility we can't really complain so much about what our young people are doing is we're not showing them to do a way to do it better you know -- your past -- -- direction if you have story thank you offer great discussion appreciate that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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