02/22/08 — Importance of family stressed at luncheon

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Importance of family stressed at luncheon

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on February 22, 2008 1:50 PM

The Rev. John Forbes Jr. is ready to see the violence in Goldsboro's neighborhoods stop.

"We need to stop killing each other over bad money belonging to someone else," he said Thursday at a luncheon sponsored by the Stop the Funeral Initiative.

The luncheon was part of a month-long observance of Black History Month and was held at the Wayne County Public Library.

Forbes, associate minister at Mount Cavalry Missionary Baptist Church, then asked himself a question, although it was intended for the audience.

"Well, what be your solution pastor?"

The answer, he said, it an effort by the community as a whole. No one group can solve the problem, he said. And it starts at home, he added.

"I contend to say that unity plays an important part, and it starts with the family," he said. "If we want to stop the funeral, we must keep the family united.

"I was driving through town the other day, and I saw a lot of IBMs," he said. "No, I don't mean international business machines, I mean intelligent black men. And they were standing on the corners. If they are so intelligent, why are they standing on the corners?"

It is because that is all their environment and today's society have provided for them, he said.

"We need to change the direction of the minds of these young people," he said. "Let us united, turn them from dope in their veins to hope in their brains."

Parents need to stop telling their children that they won't amount to anything, he said. They need to spend more time with them and help them start early toward developing their dreams and reaching their goals, he urged.

"Take a stand. Take our children back. Go to the corners and get what the devil stole from us," he said.

Many young people already have given up hope of having a good life, he said.

"We must restore it. We must let them know that there is another way ... another way other than the corners," he said. "We need to set examples and have guidelines that can be followed. We must never give up on our children."

Parents have to stick with their children, he said, and demand their best.

"It doesn't matter what the color of the child is. We have to let them know that someone cares, because God didn't make no junk," he said.

Forbes ended with a story about the marriage between hope and unity.

"They had three children -- Faith, Belief and Unbelief. Unbelief died at childbirth," he said. "Then they had three more children -- Love, Success and Failure. Failure died at childbirth, too. Faith, Belief, Love and Success were raised to be able to do anything."

The luncheon ended in prayer and a song that made everyone stand up and sing.

"I don't feel no ways tired," the audience sang. "I've come too far from where I started from. Nobody told me the road would be easy. I don't believe he brought me this far to leave me."

The luncheon series that will continue next Thursday at noon at the Waynesborough Historical Village with the Rev. Reginald Stepney of Fulfilled Promise Tabernacle in Raleigh speaking.