There are pathways often invisible.
Spaces often hidden, where Black youth thrive.
These spaces allow them to confront their fears.
Heal their wounds.
Witness things they have never witnessed.
Or simply learn to talk about love.
I long to bask in these spaces.
I long to see Black youth remove their masks and tough exteriors and simply smile and dance at the sound of the music that makes their heart swell with joy.
I long to hear their dreams.
What they hope to become or how they plan to live.
I long to hear too their strategies for surviving.
They live in a world where being young and Black comes with a death sentence, comes with becoming Freddie, or Trayvon or Martin or Ahmaud or Brenona.
When all they simply seek to become is a light for the world to see.
I long to see this light in them shine forth.
I long to hear how they plan to survive. Encourage each other too as they navigate this world with all their hopes and dreams and fears.
Understanding how Black youth care. Knowing how they love or dream, imagine or hope is my life quest.
They have been asked and continue to be asked how does it feel to be a problem.
But now, I looking to Black youth and their rising to teach me how to lead the way.
Imagine restoring hope and possibilities to the lives of urban youth in the US today. Imagine detailing what it would take to rebuild their lives through a process of radical healing. I came across a book by Dr. Shawn Ginwright leading the way. We need clear and detailed strategies, radical healing ones too to help a generation live out their wildest dreams. I am raising three black boys in America and a little black girl and I know I have one weapon and one only where they are concerned and that is my ability to teach them how to live in the world they find themselves. Ours isn’t a perfect union. By no means. But I am prepared to ensure they rise up and shine their light brightly for the world to see. I am prepared to do my part, to pursue it vigorously from what they see to words they hear with a firm and relentless commitment to justice and love so that no matter what, they too can rise as they attain their God given right to live, dream, hope, imagine, love.