(Orange, Texas)


July 20, 2013

Is your loved one next?


I’m sure by now all of us have heard the verdict render in the Trayvon Martin case. 

Agree or disagree, the tragedy is a young prince has been killed. He did not lose his life fighting for his country, did not lose his life in the line of duty. He did not lose his life at the hand of gang violence. We may not ever know the truth as to what was in the mind of Mr. Zimmerman; we do know a young prince gone to soon. 

Question, can we trust our neighborhoods to be safe enough that when we send our children to the store they will return? Do we know enough of our neighbors that the safety of our children is passed like a baton in a relay race? How much more warnings does God have to give us for us to get more involved in the lives of our children? How many people on our block know who our children are? How many children do you know on your block? 

I am a survivor of the streets of Detroit. I’m the first male in my lineage to graduate high school (1981). I made it because of the neighborhood. I encourage you to goggle “Young Boys Incorporated” and read the things that I and my friends during the late 70’s & 80’s were exposed to. 

It’s not that we were good kids; our neighborhood was determined not to allow for the cancer of hate, violence and destruction to infiltrate our lives. I’m sure there are other stories in other place that echo the same process of success. We have respect for the adults in our neighborhood, not because they were adults but because they were involved in our lives. 

There’s the lady on the block who had the cookies and lemonade; the parents on the block who were coaches and team moms in little league. There was a strong PTA organization. For those of us who grew up in broken homes our fathers were not classified as absentees. More importantly we knew the local pastors of the churches in our area and they knew us. Our communities were just that “communing,” block party anyone? 

No one can make sense of what happen and rightly so. Let’s not wait for another prince or princess to miss their change at the throne of success, the next love one might be yours.

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