A Couple of Days ago I started the next book on my summer reading list “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome”, by Dr. Joy Leary. It’s definitely not an easy beach read; but it’s really good, and a great way to stimulate my brain (I am having and EXTREMELY care free summer, it feels so good!).
The book begins with a very interesting piece about a tribe in Africa, the Masai Tribe. The Masai people greet each other by saying “Kasserian ingera” which simply means in English “And how are the children?”. This greeting is then followed by a traditional answer of “All the children are well”. The Masai people base the well being of their tribe solely on the status of their children; therefore if the children are not well, the tribe in essence is not well. After I read the powerful piece about the Masai Tribe, I began to ponder about what we would, or could say if we were asked the question “And how are the children?” Would we truthfully be able to answer by saying “all the children are well”?
Sadly enough something that I saw a few days ago, reinforced what I already deep down inside know. I am aware that we cannot answer a greeting of “and how are the children?” with a truthful “ All the children are well” , because ALL our children are not well. As a matter of fact thousands of children in this country, specifically children of color are not well; due to the fact that they are faced with so many different obstacles on a daily basis.
I was in the car on my way to my daily workout with two of my friends, when I saw something that I will never forget in the car in front of us. As the car in front of us stopped at a stop sign, a little boy stretched his hand outside of the car window from the back seat, with what looked like a wallet in his hand. This little boy then proceeded to point the wallet like a gun at another little boy on the side walk ,while saying “Bang, Bang, Bang”, reacting a drive by shooting. I was truly blown away/applauded/shocked/sad that this little Black boy no more than ten years old, thought it was ok to pretend to shot another little boy from the back seat of what I am going to assume was his parents car.
Like the Masia people I believe that if our children are not well, then as a whole we are not well. I know that there are numerous factors that play into the reason why the little boy I mentioned above would find it ok to stick his hand out of a moving vehicle and pretend to shoot another boy his age; reasons that could take up my next 10 blogs. I understand, and it is my hope that you understand that until we are able to meet the needs of our children, by doing things that help them grow into productive, well-mannered, educated citizens our Society will not thrive; simply because of our children.
What must we do to be able to answer the question of “And how are the children?” with a truthful “All the children are well”?
I encourage you all too really think about this, and play your part in helping to uplift our children.