Retired National Football League star Burgess Owens, a Super Bowl champion with the Oakland Raiders, has urged African-Americans not to vote for Barack Obama simply on the basis of race.

In his newly published e-book, “It’s All About Team: Exposing the Black Talented Tenth,” Owens recounts how he grew up as a liberal Democrat and supported Jimmy Carter.

A bankruptcy in the 1980s forced him to move his wife and four young children, the oldest 10, into the basement of his mother-in-law’s Brooklyn home.

At one point during that time, Owens worked as a chimney sweep during the day, built a networking business at night and then began a midnight shift as a security guard.

Still, through the economic difficulties, he retained confidence that he would be able to provide for his family and that his future would be brighter.

“I believe that my worth is not measured by what I do, by the honors that are bestowed upon me or by material wealth that I might obtain,” he writes. “Instead I am measured by the courage I show while standing for my beliefs, by the dedication I exhibit to ensure my word is good and the resolve I undertake to establish my actions and deeds as honorable.”

Owens told WND in an exclusive interview last week in Tampa, during the Republican National Convention, that his faith in God has inspired his life.

“We are going to have to have black ministers stand up once again,” he said. “Unfortunately, I have been a little disappointed that we have issues out there like traditional marriage, abortion, school education, and we have so much silence from the black community, from black preachers, because they understand first hand the impact of all that. We can no longer support those who are against the faith.”

Owens said social welfare programs promoted by the Democratic Party have created a government dependency within black communities to the detriment of the family and economic progress.

The progressive policies of the Democratic Party, he said, have created a culture of “defeat, breakdown, failure and collapse” in the African-American community, where abortion has taken the lives of 13 million black babies since 1973, an average of 325,000 deaths each year.

Owens has rejected “War on Poverty” government dependency in favor of the principles of our Founding Fathers.

“It is no accident that this country has been blessed with its abundance and its history as the freest and most productive in the world,” he writes in his book. “As its citizens humbly recommit to an acceptance of guidance from the God of our fathers, our nation will once again see the miraculous resurrection of the proud, responsible, visionary black father. And with him, his family and community will be lifted.”

Owens identifies with the themes of private enterprise and individual initiative.

“It’s heartwarming to hear from just normal Americans the same thing over and over again, ‘I went out there and I worked it, and I built it,’” he told WND. “That ‘I built it’ is the American way, and it comes back down to how are we’re going to change the black community.”

Burgess Owens talks to WND

For Owens, that formula begins with belief in God, the restoration of the black family and the encouragement of black children to get an education to prepare them to compete economically.

“It’s not going to be white Americans who are going to do it,” Owens said. “It’s going to be black Americans who have turned within themselves, and they go out and build great businesses, and they build communities.”

Owens sees Obama building a central government structure typical of socialist governments that espouses advancement for minorities, while in reality enslaving them.

“There is still a desire, by most within the black community, to recapture for their children the ideals of a traditional family where moms and dads commit to each other and to their children through the lifelong bonds of marriage,” Owens concludes. “We can be the kind of example as the black middle class was for decades to give encouragement to others who follow.”

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.