AFRICANGLOBE – I’m holding the pain and promise of Black children in my heart today – and also our collective responsibility for them.
This is a call for us to get off our Facebook soapboxes and get out into the world for more collective action.
It’s no coincidence that we are commemorating the one-year anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s murder –without a conviction– at the same time as we are up in arms about The Onion’s malicious tweet about the brilliant, beautiful Quvenzhané Wallis. On the night of her great day, The Onion insulted the nine-year old Oscar-nominee as the C-word with the tweet: ‘Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a c–t, right?’
The real question for all of us, Black folks in particular, is what are we doing to actively love and protect our children when the wider world won’t? Armchairactivism can only get our children so far.
We are rightfully outraged about Trayvon and about Quvenzhané but unless we take that energy beyond the page and actively embrace the overwhelming numbers of Black children in prisons, foster care, on violent streets, in violent schools and in violent homes – where they are cursed, killed, and condemned on a daily basis; too often by folks who look like them – then we are wasting our time, our tweets and their precious breath.
If you like this, don’t offer a thumbs up.
Go volunteer at one of these organizations below to directly reach a child–other than your own. Report domestic violence and child abuse when you see it.
Adopt, foster, mentor or tutor a child. Join policy change, legal advocacy or grassroots organizing efforts on behalf of Black children.
Support and volunteer with parental skills and job training programs. Give 10% of your earnings to a scholarship fund or an afterschool program. Hire a Black teenager where you work.
Teach a child other than your own how to: read, dance, debate, meditate, manage money, make films in their own image, resolve conflict peacefully, find family, negotiate, write poems, practice a martial art, write code, get into college, analyze and advocate for policy change, make music, invent, invest, learn self-love and self-discipline.
Heal. Organize their peers, families and communities–engage elected officials. Teach them to grow a garden, to grow their own business and to expand their vision and possibilities.
There are always going to be detractors. And absolutely yes, we need to sound the alarm and take up arms in the face of institutional racism and violence. But in the mean time, our children need our direct action more than our outrage.
Here are some of the organizations you can get involved with:
Brotherhood SisterSol, Black Youth Project, National CARES Mentoring Movement, Advancement Project, The Praxis Project, Children’s Defense Fund, TruthAid, The Algebra Project, First Corinthian’s Baptist Church-Dream Center, Global Language Project, The Dovetail Project, Caribbean Cultural Center, Posse Foundation, Veterans of Hope, A Long Walk Home, Harlem Children’s Zone, Ghetto Film School-Digital Bodega, League of Young Voters,Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, PolicyLink,NBA Math Hoops, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Team Management 2000, Rising Sons, Young People’s Project, Kids off the
Lorelei Williams is President
Oníra Philanthropic Advisors
“Social Investment: From Idea to Impact”