Thursday, July 22, 2010

How valuable is the life of a young black youth???

In the last few weeks, Englewood has been all over the news which is nothing new, but its some of these stories came to close to home. We all heard the story about the cop who was gundown with his own gun at 61st & Racine, this story receive huge media coverage. (Photo below)

I am not shock as this is a huge story however, I find it shocking that when a young black male is killed it may be a quick account then its on to the next newsworthy event.

Do we not value our youth's life to the point we treat their deaths as roadkill or are we desensitized to the point that its the norm?

Well I am starting to feel that way, after hearing about a 16 year old boy from my block was recently gun down. There was brief coverage then the story fell to the waste side like many of stories of youth shootings.

This was a sad case where one brother rob someone and the victim came back with the vengeance and didn't care who in the family he got...he was determine to kill someone. I found out later from the streets that the young male was robbed for only about $ this what a young black male life is valued at?

I typically use this blog to highlight feel good stories, but this was just too close to home to not talk about. RIP "Ant Ant" your life is highly valued to me and to your love ones you left behind...

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Deborah Movement Presses On!!!

So as I spoke about before the Deborah Movement which was created under the umbrella of the Black Star Project is moving full speed ahead!! The Black Star Project is well known in our community for mentoring, tutoring, advocacy of education, the black family and other issues that plagued our community.

The Deborahs is a spiritually driven, woman based movement that has gained national and international attention. The movement is growing to the point that there are chapters on the north, south, west, & south suburbs. A Deborah Movement recently developed a chapter in Gary, IN as well as New Jersey who have already started their own chapter. So there is much progress & great energy amongst the women in this movement and it is a honor to be a part of such an active movement!

Well now we are ready to developed a solid operational plan and what better why to start the discussion then to invite a legend from the Black Panther Party. Wanda Ross the Chief Developer of the Breakfast program of the panthers graced our presence June 30th at the offices of Black Star and I must say the wisdom and direction she shared was exactly what the Deborah Movement needed to hear! Pointed out that "saving the world" is a lifetime commitment and in order to make a real change in our communities we must be in it for the long haul! Other advice that hit home is listening to the wisdom of our elders, one the short falls of the panthers was that many were young & dismissed the advice our elders or labeled them as too slow...This was a wake up call for me! Not that I don't listen to my elders but in this day & age us Generation X'ers feel it our time make a difference & later for the baby boomers.

After this discussion, I welcome our baby boomers with open hands especially as we developed our operational plan! Ms. Wanda Ross & other activist Ms. Helen Sinclair gave the Deborahs a since of hope to keep moving, as they both are 60 or older and still fighting the fight for justice & power for our people. So far with the many projects I am juggling I can say that this journey is truly a well worth "training" that will be vital as I progress in life.

Link here to a recent interview with fellows Deborahs by Marc Sims:
The Deborah Movement Is in Action

Actions of the Deborah Movement

1) Friday, July 9, 2010 - Join the Deborahs with Father Michael Pfleger and the Faith Community of Saint Sabina on the corner of 7900 south and Cottage Grove (800 east), one of the most violent corners in Chicago, for "An Evening of Prayer" at 7:00 pm. Deborahs should arrive at 6:45 pm. Deborah Cynthia Flowers serving.

2) Saturday, July 10, 2010 - Join the Deborahs at Operation PUSH with Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., for a national back-to-school pep/prep rally at 950 East 50th Street in Chicago, Illinois at 9:45 am. Deborah Sister Afrika Porter serving.

3) Saturday, July 10, 2010 - Join The Deborah Movement as they usher for Professor Michelle Alexander and her book The New Jim Crow at Hartzell Memorial United Methodist Church at 3330 South King Drive, Chicago Illinois at 3:30 pm. Twenty-five (25) Deborahs will usher this event. This event is open to all Deborahs, to all women and all people. Deborahs Barbara Sanders and Ladell Johnson are serving.

4) Saturday, July 10, 2010 - Join South Suburban Deborahs at a funeral for Pierre Walker, a resident of the south suburb, who died in a swimming accident, at his funeral service, 10:00 am, St. Bethel M.B. Church, 1303 Fifth Avenue, Chicago, Heights, Illinois 60411. Funds are needed to bury Mr. Walker. Deborah Doris Williams serving.

5) Midnight, Sunday Night, July 11, 2010 - Join The Deborah Movement as they walk a midnight prayer patrol through one of the most violent districts in America. On Wedneday of this week, a police officer was killed two blocks from this patrol route. We need at least 6 Deborahs to walk from 59th and Woods to 59th and Halsted. We will meet at about 11:45 pm on Sunday night, July 11, 2010 at 59th and Woods to begin this midnight march. Deborah Shirley Hill is serving. Please call Dorothy at 773.285.9600 for more information.

6) Saturday, July 17, 2010 - Join the Deborahs for a "Peace and Victory March" beginning at Troy (3133 west) and Lawrence (4800 north) in Chicago, Illinois at 12:30 pm, to bring about awareness of youth violence, to put an end to the silence in the community and to find the killers of Lazarus Jones. There is a $10,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the killers. Please call 312-742-4410 or Armitage Baptist Church at 773-384-HOPE with information. Deborah Pamela Hester-Jones and the North Side Deborahs are serving.

You should have a Deborah Movement in your community and in your city! Call 773.285.9600 to begin the process of organizing a Deborah Movement in your city.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Its time for a MOVEMENT!!!

I received several emails and heard many of the news reports publicizing the violence in  and the overall death rates in Chicago. I believe last weekend it was reported that over 54 people were shot.  As I work & partner with many groups and organizations it pains us all to hear about our children dying but we keep pressing on.

One of my goals and even my recent status on FB was to stop wasting time trying to STOP VIOLENCE we can use our time to CREATE PEACE!! If we continue to focus on the shootings, the murders, and the violence overall we will continue to get violence! Anything you focus or give attention to can easily become a reality. So I continue to focus on PEACE, LOVE, EDUCATION, HAPPINESS, etc...which is becoming the reality of my world and others who interact with me.

This is the reason I am in awe with the So Fresh Saturday Project. These youth driven events are captures the essence of PEACE, EDUCATION, ART while embracing & teaching our youth! I couldn't ask for a better opportunity to CREATE PEACE then to host a event at the PEACE Center. The PEACE Center is a safe haven in Englewood located at the 6455 S. Peoria. The people who run the center are dedicated to providing our youth a "safe space" in the root of a crime ridden community. I was honor to host Docs & Dialogue here to showcase the Willie Lynch Letter & another powerful film, "A War for your Soul".

During this event we surprisingly had many young black males which was perfect for the topic. We open with a creative young poet LS (photo left) and dive right in a discussion lead by Social Justice professor of KKC, Fred Douglass Dixon (photo above) who wasted no time speaking about the social injustices that faced the our young black males which is directly related to our past experiences.
By the end of the second short film, our young leaders spoke one by one about how the film made them feel empowered and destined to break the Willie Lynch curse. Honestly, hearing these comments almost brought tears to my eyes! We always say if we can touch 1 or 2 of the kids who attend Docs & Dialogue we are content! I can proudly say this was accomplished!!

Our guests included several African American adult males who offer the young males their contact info in order to keep in touch as a mentor or just another point of contact if the boys needed it. One resident of Englewood is a well known filmmaker & producer (photo below) offer his services to any one who is interested in pursuing a career in the film industry. This is what I am talking about!!

Connecting resources, educating, dialogue that embraces critical thinking, creative expression and just an overall safe space is the true essence of So Fresh Saturdays...We are grateful for all who shared these great moments in creating a PEACE environment for our future leaders...

Our next Docs & Dialogue is July 24th, due to feedback from our youth we will showcase a documentary that exposing the music industry. What are all these symbols, signs, and references to demonic entities...Is this a trend or is there any truth to these conspiracies theory??? We will see....