Tuesday, December 2, 2014

From Sit-Ins to Die-Ins: Black Student Leadership Rises Again: Student Leader, Brian Malcolm, Stepping Forward for Change, Naturally!

     For a little while, my voice has been silent regarding natural hair as there have been no words coming into my mind to delve into this topic, as I watch the atrocities that are taking place in American society, particularly in terms of the recent, lack of indictment in the Ferguson case regarding young Mike Brown.  I have watched this with pain and dismay knowing that all of this is happening in the larger context of a society where issues such as poverty, education and health disparity, discrimination and myriad additional problems continue to exist. Essentially, an objective Special Prosecutor was needed in the Mike Brown case. But, delving into this, when so much has been written about it, seems repetitive at this point. The bottom line is that there are numerous cases of Black lives lost at the hands of the police; too many.  It is undeniable. It should not happen.  The fact that there is substantial debate about whose fault it is and beyond is absurd and is basically serving to distract society from the realities of the pain that Black families are experiencing as their loved ones are being killed senselessly, by those who are supposed to protect them, which is leading to lack of hope and despair in the hearts of many.

     The good news is that there are many who are standing up with strength and courage and within the context of peace to try and raise their voices and call for justice.  This is where focus is warranted. During the civil rights movement, youth were participating in sit-ins.  All they wanted were to be able to sit-in places, where they were not wanted because of the color of their skin.  Now, they are having die-ins because what they want is not to die, because of the color of their skin.  That, in itself is extremely telling and deeply unfortunate.

     At this time, I want to highlight a young man, who along with his esteemed Black student leaders are organizing a rally. His name is Brian Malcolm.  He was in at least one of my courses and was one of those seemingly quiet, yet strong thinkers.  I could tell by the comments he made in class, that were always on point, and his participation in dialogue that we had in passing, that this young man was an intellectual strength amongst us.  His work spoke to his commitment to excellence.  What I am pleased about right now, is that I am not writing about his demise or something unfortunate about him but that this young, Black man, with a head of beautiful locks, which perhaps are a testament of his strength, is about doing positive things and being a strong leader on campus. Sometimes, such positivity among young Black men, goes unnoticed because we hear and read about what they are not doing right, rather than what they ARE doing right.  I, along with my husband, raised a young Black man, who is now a Lawyer, and I'm deeply proud of our son, so I know that Black men are capable of being strong achievers.  I also see this level of excellence in my husband, who is a stellar example of a positive, intelligent, Black man who is a loving father.  But students, are in their formative stage, so when we see excellence emanating from young Black men, so early in their development as men, we should highlight it and applaud their efforts, attempting  to contrast all of the negativity we see/read/hear on a regular basis in the media about them.

     Below is a picture of Brian Malcolm, who is making great strides as a university student and who is part of a team of student leaders who are organizing the peaceful Rally indicated in the flyer below.  As one who taught him, and many of the students involved in this effort, I praise them for making plans to move forward in peace and in good deeds and efforts, around such a pressing and disturbing issue.   

Student Leader, Brian Malcom, Naturally!

     What follows is an excerpt of a lengthy comment shared with me by Brian Malcolm regarding their upcoming event: 

"We want justice for Michael Brown, we want police officers to be held accountable for killing unarmed black men and women and we want the racial profiling to end. The black males that are constantly being killed are our brothers, fathers, uncles and nephews that are being taken away from us without justice being served... We recognize the need for first order change, second order change, change in policies and laws. But we also recognize that before we can get to those levels, we must lay a solid foundation, brick by brick and this peaceful demonstration is the first brick to be laid on the road to creating the change we wish to see."

These are only a portion of his committed words, leading towards action, and provide a glimpse of thoughts of a young man, along with other Black student leaders, who are deeply committed to seeing change happen now! Brian Malcolm, N.I.C.E. salutes you for joining with your fellow student, Black leaders, to step forward for change, naturally!

Add caption

No comments: