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“And so the center of our movement stood the philosophy of love”-

M.L.K JR

One of many quotes by the late Martin luther king Jr.  In essence this statement gives the understanding of the backbone of a movement, in that window of time the civil rights  movement. This reference opens the essay on Spirituality in urban america: the influence of philosophy’s, religion, and spirituality in american inner cities and culture.  This essay is also published as an analysis at the same time a framed portrait of a social struggle in its spiritual aspects:

Mentors sought to instill spirituality

A ‘GHETTO SOLUTION’ TO SAVE BLACK YOUTHS

November 14, 1993|By Michael A. Fletcher | Michael A. Fletcher,Staff Writer
Roland Gilbert, a one-time malcontent and gang member turned top student, mentor and author, says he has “the ghetto solution.”It relies on people returning to the basics, to what he calls Afro-centric values: spirituality, faith and self-knowledge. It also relies on mentors working continuously with the same youngsters for the 12 years they are in school.The commitment is long but necessary, said Mr. Gilbert, who made his pitch yesterday to more than 150 people at West Baltimore’s Bethel A.M.E. Church. Without that investment, he said, the litany of problems afflicting poor blacks — especially males — will only grow.”-Baltimore Sun
 
An article published nearly twenty years ago that holds relevant post 21st century.  Gilbert’s resolve and vision administered to the plight of african- americans within the inner city; in that time, and ultimately as a generational blueprint.   Overall, the same blueprint of fundamentals could easily apply to all nationalities within the inner city plight.  The basis of this critical essay cosigns the above reference, that a collective return to spiritual fundamentals can be a catalyst to implement  social change.  In the Urban Cry blog, “Spirituality in urban america” (Contemplation and Resistance), there were examples religions/philosophies and movements that also hold and as has held a prescence in urban america; with most having understanding the problems social challenges thereof. Some of the more prominent active in urban america is the Nation of Islam,  a sect of the religion of islam founded with many black nationalist ideals.
 
“I believe in a religion that believes in freedom”-
 
Malcolm X
 
Since the days of the late Malcolm X, the nation of Islam has been attentive to   urban america.  Promoting social activism, for generations the N.O.I  has focused on family structure, community issues, challenging social problems from drugs, community  underdevelopment to  gang warfare.  
 

The Most Dangerous Cities in America

by Douglas A. McIntyre, Michael B. Sauter and Charles B. Stockdale
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
 
 Though most regions of the U.S. saw declines, the Northeast saw an increase in murders (8.3%), forcible rapes (1.4%) and aggravated assaults (0.7%). Why that region was affected by crime more than others isn’t clear. Perhaps it was because of the grinding poverty found in some of the area’s cities and their high cost of living. -
 
Yahoo.com/24/7 Wall St.
 
Socially The ediface of America’s inner cities has taken  many shapes during the late nineties to post 21st century.  In an age of a growing awareness of social change, by studies of statistics, personal accounts, and community activism, in the search for solutions the overview usually comes back to the family dynamic. 
In the Urban Cry blog “Spirituality in urban america”(Contemplation and resistance) There were given examples religions/philosophies, and movements that also hold a prescence in urban america that also have ageneral understanding of the problems therof. Some listed were the Nation of Islam a black nationalist group that also administers to the African diaspora in american urban communities. As an extension of the Nation of Islam is the Nation of God’s and Earths:
                                                                        

“The Nation of Gods and Earths, sometimes referred to as NGE, the Five-Percent Nation, or the Five Percenters is an American organization supposedly founded in 1964 in the Harlem section of the borough of Manhattan in New York City by Clarence Smith. While Smith is known most commonly at large as Clarence 13X, he is referred to by his contemporaries and students as Allah (a name he took on himself, the Arabic word for God) or the Father. Adherents call themselves “five percenters”. Initially, the Nation of Gods and Earths was viewed as little more than an offshoot of the Nation of Islam (NOI). While the Nation of Gods and Earths has been characterized as an organization, an institution, a religion, or even a gang, representatives of the Nation teach that it is a way of living.”-

 Wikipedia
 
The “nation” holds claim to a “way of life”(culture), rather than a religious sect. As stated by artist hip hop Talib Kweli, The ideals/movement of the nation of Gods and Earths was exceptionally recieved by the masses of urban america, because it appealed to “a sense of  empowerment” for a society that has rejected a minority population(paraphrased).  The teachings and ideals came to a height
especially within the  80′s and 90′s within pop-culture. Among other examples is the prescence of  judaism and its many sects/studies. One  is the international black hebrew isrealites:
 
“The actual origin of B. H. I.s stretches back to before the Civil War. In 1896 there was a sect founded in Kansas by William Crowdy. Shortly after that, new congregations sprouted in several major cities, and by the 1980s other sects began to appear. “-
 
 
Several groups/schools of thought  listed in the ultimate plight of urban america Also among these is the outreach of the church(with its many denominations), and organizations as Zulu Nation, and the Nuwabians, that emphasized social activism from a cultural perspective.
 
 
 In conclusion spirituality in urban america is a statment of diplomacy; a examination of faiths/religions and their relationship with the burning social issues of our inner cities, ultimately stemming to our societies. Fundamentals are relevant to every school of thought in the plight of any socio-political struggle whether a group is among agnostic, poly or monotheistic. Some figures as Afeni Shakur(Tupac’s mother) expressed strong personal views of the greater nessacity of faith (higher power) within the realm of politics, and major social issues.  In the case of urban america, the landscape ranges with a host of challenges. Regardless of many worldviews, spirituality, or faith is a tool of insight; from understanding the purpose of existence,to easily being the inspiration for social change. 
 
Consciously yours,
 
Z.A.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This Essay is dedicated to the memory of all those fallen by violence in the plight of  urban america.
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