Major General Ronnie D. Hawkins speaks on Black History

Major General Ronnie D. Hawkins speaks on Black History

How do you get a Major General to pay his way from Virginia to speak at your Black History event? First he asks you to pray over his new office when you are an enlisted man/pastor tasked to rebuild a church in Hawaii. Then Colonel Ronnie D. Hawkins took over the plans, completely redid them and stayed in Hawaii until the building was finished. You stay in touch and watch as he climbs the ladder to the stars and goes beyond them to preach his first sermon on January 16th of this year.It also helps that MG Hawkins grew up in San Angelo and was stationed at Dyess as a Lieutenant and Captain and attended King Solomon Baptist Church while stationed here. He told the audience that he was an Air Force brat for 26 years and attended both high school and College at San Angelo but he could lay down the various gauntlets between there and Abilene for one night.{{more}}His grandfather was a Buffalo Soldier. He was the quartermaster sergeant even though he could not read or write. Every night he would bring his paperwork home to his wife who was a trained nurse and she would fill it out. “I am standing on the shoulders of mighty people and the Rock of the Lord.”General Hawkins is concerned about the epidemic coming in the current generation. His generation and the next provided black General Officers and chief executives. But “in the next 15 years there will not be enough Black General Officers because it takes 25-30 years from grade school” and there are not enough blacks now qualified to get the full ride scholarships his generation used to gain their stars. It’s not the full ride scholarship but simply being qualified in the sciences, technology, engineering and math skills needed to be successful. “Black males are worse but still black females are coming up short in the needed skills.” We are not taking advantage of the sacrifices our parents made. He believes that the best thing for Blacks was freedom of worship that even the slave owners insisted on for their slaves. Educational freedom followed from Religious Freedom during the Civil Rights Movement. Many areas of the US still have problems providing that freedom. The area where he now lives in Prince George County, VA had NO Public Schools from 1958 to 1963 to try stopping integration. The whites went to private schools and the blacks stayed home.He thinks that the main problem today is the apathy of parents toward the importance of school. “We need minorities in the STEM areas. US jobs are being exported to Asia and India because they are STEM heavy. We have to go back to that. We are living down to lower standards.” He believes you cannot be given an education but must earn the skills. He told us that in 8th grade “I was a functional illiterate. I could read but just did not care enough to do so.” A teacher, Hans Becker grabbed him from behind and told him “You will never amount to anything”. This single incident inspired him to change from clown to leader. “We must live up to what we can do – not down to where they will allow us to go.”Talking of History – he listed the black General Officers during the Surge and they made up almost 1/4th of all General Officers in Iraq. This is important to history, not simply to brag of black accomplishments. He said the people here tonight must put their history down so that it is remembered. “We know it. We lived it, but we are not telling it and if not shared – that history will go down the drain.” * See more photos from this story in the PICTURES STORIES FROM AROUND ABILENE section*