Developing Effective Pro-Life Activities
In the African-American Community
By Stephanie Jackson, NRLC Media Relations Assistant
From the days of Margaret Sanger, the Black community has been a perennial target of pro-abortionists, led by Planned Parenthood. For the pro-life movement, the question was and is, how do we work with Black Americans to find life-affirming answers to a crisis pregnancy?
The Black Americans for Life (BAL) workshop titled "Developing Effective Pro-Life Activities in the African-American Community" held at NRLC 2001 was geared towards empowering people with a real concern for answering this question. The workshop featured a slide show that discussed BAL's two-fold purpose and a discussion about identifying obstacles which hinder the pro-life movement in Black America. An intense and insightful discussion dealing directly with these problems followed.
The consensus from this lively workshop was an agreement that problems must be identified and then attacked before progress can be made.
Workshop participants not only posed good questions, they also offered a wealth of ideas and strategies that have been successful within their own organizations and personal lives. Incredibly encouraging success stories were shared. From those stories we came to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches taken.
There was an abundance of practical ideas. One suggestion was to seek common ground, such as a shared interest in music, while someone else encouraged people to use opportunities (such as a monthly visit to your doctor) to segue into a pro-life conversation with a professional who is concerned with life. It was a source of great encouragement that participants found they were not alone in their concern for African-Americans.
While Hispanics have replaced African-Americans, numerically, as the largest minority group in the United States, the Black community is well ahead in the number of abortions performed every year. Abortion is the leading cause of death for the African-American race. Many consider this a form of genocide!
A nationwide galvanization is sorely needed within the Black community, and it will begin at the grassroots. Attendees agreed that it only takes one concerned citizen to plant a spark in the hearts of his neighbors and soon we will have a blaze of popular opposition to abortion which will sweep our country.
While the emphasis was on African-Americans, all agreed this is not about race but is a struggle to preserve all innocent life. If every neighborhood had a handful of those concerned enough to start a small active chapter of BAL, think of the impact!
Motivating the grassroots does not take a genius or even gifted leadership. It requires only people who care, who are willing to take the initiative, to recognize that all this begins with me! We often severely underestimate our own scope of influence. We reach far more people than we think.
The national BAL movement has come a long way, but there is still more to be done to help mobilize the African-American community for life. We need your help!
Questions you may have include, What can I do? Where do I start? How can I reach my neighborhood?
We are more than happy to help you begin! The first step is to let us know who you are.
Go ahead and drop us an e-mail or give us a call--we want to hear from you and send you a copy of our most recent newsletter and a some information on where to begin.
Some of you already have an active chapter of BAL or an equivalent. We would love to hear what has worked for you!
Do you want to share your stories - - the positive and the negative - - with those who care? Or suggest stories for the BAL newsletter?
Have any other ideas or comments? We want to hear from you! You can make a difference!
Whom do I talk to?
Stephanie Jackson, BAL, Media Relations Assistant
Where do I e-mail information?
Where do I send information?
National Right to Life
Black Americans for Life
419 7th Street, N.W., Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20004
What number do I call? (202) 626-8833
What is the best way to reach you?