Church hosts event for Black History MonthPublished 5:48pm Sunday, February 17, 2013
Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church celebrated Black History Month Sunday in a ceremony, “Excellence in Education,” that honored 51 local educators.
And while teachers were given accolades, many pointed to the foundation of any youth’s life: parents.
“Education happens everywhere: The most important education site is right around the family dinner table,” said Brandywine Supt. John Jarpe, who was in attendance of the event, organized in large part by Mary F. Crayton-Cross.
The Rev. Willie Francis, one of the afternoon’s speakers, agreed with Jarpe.
“The family structure has changed …. The problem today is a lack of commitment on the parents’ part,” said Francis, pointing to an attitude of “I don’t care” on the part of youth who clothe themselves in pants that hang down so low that they can’t walk properly.
“These kids have parents somewhere,” said Francis, explaining that a teacher calling home about a child’s behavior once resulted in some heavy discipline. “Now, parents go down to the school and act like a bigger fool than the kid.”
Francis recalled his own home as a place where his parents provided a stabilizing force. Homework got done, even if it wasn’t always correct.
“The rules are changed every day,” said Francis of the fast-paced world, where there is competition even for sweeping floors. He pronounced that a master’s degree may be required for such work today, but then he was joking — mostly.
As the congregation was reminded of the Civil Rights Movement, Goldean West, another speaker at the event — which drew close to 100 people at the church, 2262 Moulder Drive in Niles — said, “No one can take your education from you.”