The Bible says that "the poor will always be with us." An similar statement is that racism will always be with us. So, the question is, "What should we do about it?" There are many ways to fight racism: you might march, protest, complain, or beg the government for help. Some of these methods have worked well in the past. However, I think the best and most effective weapon today for fighting racism is excellence. Excellence will bring down more racial barriers than all the marching and shouting in the world.
To develop the weapon of excellence, we must take advantage of all the educational opportunities that are available to us. Even though the doors of opportunity are not always opened equally to everyone, there are still ways to be what you want to be, go where you want to go, and have what you want to have. And it does not matter where you live, how poor you are. You still have the ability to succeed. As long as you have your health and can think, success is possible.
Accepting the fact that the doors of opportunity are not opened equally to everyone, one thing that is equal for everyone is time. There is the same number of hours in the day for all of us. How you use these hours is your choice. You can use them on the playground or you can use them to play the books. Playing on the playground might give you some hours of immediate enjoyment, but playing the books will give you long-term gratification.
African Americans and other minorities can no longer use the excuses of being poor or living in a bad neighborhood or small town to keep us from achieving excellence through education. In some cases, the poorer you are the more educational opportunities that are available to you. Poverty should not be an excuse for not working up to your potential. No matter how poor you think you are, there is always someone who is poorer.
Please do not be embarrassed by or ashamed of the size your home town....