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It's been almost a couple of years since I've been on hiatus from working full time with youth in the community.  As you all know, I've been working on planning a strategic platform to implement a proposal for an after-school center located in the heart of the hood.  It takes a lot of brain power and commitment and don't know how long it's gonna take before we break the ground dirt.  But I want the best for my community....so I am looking under every rock and pebble to ensure that no stones are left unturned-which will ultimately give our kids the best opportunity to learn....without any cost to them.  

 

Anyway, I happened to be on the train the other day.  I was in the back with the students[don't know why I always gravitate toward them]....and there were three boys....maybe 11-12 years old.  They were calling each other n$ggers and cussing....laughing cuz they thought it was funny and they were being cool.  And no black adult said a word.  I was in one of my moods...and so.  I looked up and asked the leader, "do you talk like that in front of your parents?"  The young guy looked at me shocked that I even said anything to him and slowly replied.."duh no. "  "Then why are you talking like that in front of me?"  He didn't know how to respond.  The guy in the middle said something like "fock you."  I turned my eyes to him and said "sir?  dont you know folks died so you can ride on this bus?  And he said no...which he shouldn't have.  But he wanted to prove to his buddies he was tough and no one was gonna challenge him.  Well that pissed me off.  And I let the young brothers have it.  I also told the story of my son's demise.  The leader asked "who killed your son."  I said gang bangers who called each other n$ggers,.....just like yall."  

 

I said you need to go back to school and learn about your black history.  And when you get home apologize to your parents cuz I am sure they are not breaking their backs to take care of you so you can get on the train  and call each other n$ggers.  As I was fussing, here come heifer who was sitting on the side of them say, you guys are good looking and you don't need"  I didn't hear the rest and busted in her bullshyte and said "looks have nothing to do with it.  We built this country for you and it's your job to take it to the next level by using the intelligence God gave you to do it."  And then I cut my eyes at her.  "Looks have nothing to do it with it.  It's become a problem,  Cuz $200 tennis shoes are not gonna get you into college."

 

Anyway, I was annoyed cuz heifer didn't say a word when these boys were cussing loud and calling each other n$ggers.  All of a sudden, she got brave when I confronted them.  Had she said something poignant that would have impacted the convo I was having with them that would have been something different.  But she wanted to put her two cents in cuz she may have been embarrassed that she didn't call them out herself.  However, what she said to them was like putting gasoline on a fire.  They don't need to hear about looking good externally  cuz that's our problem as black people....we are sooooooo visual.  That we forgot about having a vision.  

 

Anyway, the rest of the people who were also in the rear of the train gave me a nods up when we got to the location.  I thought I had lost my touch with children cuz it has been so long since I've been in the classroom.  I was reminded that I still have it.  And I say that cuz these boys did not disrespect me or try to intimidate me as I went bananas on them giving them a condensed  African American History 101 lesson in less than 3 minutes....they just listened to every thing I said without interruption or rudeness.  I knew then they were just kids seeing what they could get away with-without adult supervision.  I was so angry at them that I forgot to ask why weren't they in school.      

 

My point?  We as African Americans should be on the SAME team when it comes to our children.  And we should not allow our youths to behave badly in public...just cuz we may be a little intimidated-which is understandable.  But our youths are dying...either by their own hands or by the po po.  If we remain silent when we KNOW they are doing something WRONG....it is an injustice to the children we say we want to raise/save.  I remember Sista Sunnubian saying something to me about planting a seed in children.  And that wonderful thought was inbedded in me as I was talking to them.  Cuz if in fact it is a seed that I just planted in them....could you imagine the many seeds of hope other black folks can implant in black children to save their lives?  

 

I don't know if it made a difference or not.  But I do know that I shocked the hell outta them when I called them out.  They know NOW that SOMEBODY [other than those in their mirco-system environment] cares about them.  They know now somebody WASN'T afraid to CONFRONT them.when doing something wrong in public.  And they know what they do matter. Cuz they matter..always have mattered.  And I know this sounds crazy...but!  It is those components above that make children feel safe in their community.  I know I did when I was called out as a kid.  But!   

 

Last edited by Kocolicious
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BRAVO! Kocolicious!  

 

I love you, my sister, for all your effort and concern and love for our people, for our children.  

 

I think you have said it all; everything you just wrote should be copied and dropped out of airplanes all over African America.  

 

Copies of what you have expressed here, should be nailed to the doors of every African American household in America.  

 

We need a million Koco's; we need an Army of Koco's marching all over African America, occupying all of African America, putting all of African America and all African Americans under siege with such Truth and Knowledge, Determination as you have just expressed.  

Sista Sunnubian wrote:  BRAVO! Kocolicious!  

 

I love you, my sister, for all your effort and concern and love for our people, for our children.  

 

I think you have said it all; everything you just wrote should be copied and dropped out of airplanes all over African America.  

 

Copies of what you have expressed here, should be nailed to the doors of every African American household in America.  

 

We need a million Koco's; we need an Army of Koco's marching all over African Americaoccupying all of African America, putting all of African America and allAfrican Americans under siege with such Truth andKnowledgeDetermination as you have just expressed.  

 

  Thank you my sista.  What a great thing to say! Sometimes you can't run from yourself in terms of your profession.  The passion to help children never left me...I thought it did I guess cuz I was just kinda worn out a few months ago.   But    

 

 

Last edited by Kocolicious
The after school program is an excellent idea. Yeah it's a beautiful thing to see young people grow some pride and self confidence when they learn their people's history NOT the euro centric sanitized version taught in American schools, the real deal, the Van Sertima, the Frantz Fanon, The Malcolm X, the true African history of Egypt, the true history of religions, the true history of west African kingdoms,etc. When I worked in the prison system there were similar experiences when I shared black history and black authors with them. It's so rewarding when young black people recognize they are not the killers, gangbangers, crooks and thugs that the media tries to pigeonhole them into. It's extremely hard to counter that message of thug, criminal, no count, gang related killer, that is so repetitively prevalent in society so KUDOS to everyone who takes the time and risk to drop knowledge and let them know they are not these things.

As has been said before, there are seeds being planted. Seeds of an ancient people with incredible knowledge, wisdom and spirit. Tending and cultivating the seeds is painstakingly slow but important work.
Last edited by NSpirit

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