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Time to Move On From “Kings of Bling”


Thank you for your timely cover story, “The End of Prosperity” (Nov. 4). As one who sat in the presence of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he visited my church (First Baptist, 23rd Street and Jefferson Avenue in Newport News) in the 1950s, I marched while a college student at Hampton University to help integrate drug stores in Hampton in the early 1960s. Subsequently, my social work career with diverse populations lasted 46 years.

I have been deeply dismayed by the 1980s and 1990s rise of “kings of bling” prosperity mentality ministers and the lack of interest and commitment on the part of many African-American churches to programs of social action and justice.

The Rev. Tyrone Nelson's messages attract not only young parishioners, but persons in my age group who still believe that since God parted the Red Sea, then, in spite of “revolutionary” tea parties, racial hate mongers and those with disdain for the poor and underprivileged, “we, as a people” ... maybe, even as a nation, “shall get to the Promised Land” — one that holds “liberty and justice for all.”

Jeannette Drake, Richmond

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