Young Blacks Today

by Kami Ashley

Since we have a Black / African American president, I just though that every Black/African American young person would get it together and attempt to be someone who nobody has ever expected. I haven’t been seeing any changes as of yet. At my community college I am barely seeing any other black people, but when I do see them they are all above the age of 25, and it has me wondering, “Where Have All The Young Black Students Gone?” “Why Aren’t There Any Going To College To Get An Education?”

As young black people we should be trying to work harder in this world because as we all know from history and current life, life is not particularly easy or problem free for Black/African American peoples. We had to struggle to get where we are today even if it is in a difficult spot and it seems to me that our people are so ready to give up because it seems to be the easiest solution to put our difficulties, problems, and important issues on hold. Life isn’t going to change itself. We as young Black/African american peoples need to be getting an education so that we can outsmart the system and statistics so that we are better and greater than society wishes us to be.

Step 1 in this change should be getting an EDUCATION.
Step 2 should be getting a JOB.
Step 3 should be BECOMING RESPONSIBLE.
Step 4 should be REACHING BACK TO HELP YOUR COMMUNITY.
Step 5 should be ENCOURAGING OTHERS.
Step 6 should be SPREADING THE MESSAGE.

I understand that getting and education is a hard process with work and family life mixed in. I know this very well. Getting an education is also expensive. The United States government has the FAFSA to help aid students who are entering college or continuing their education, by providing financial assistance to the college or learning institution that you apply to. This is a very good system because not only does the FAFSA offer to help pay for your tuition and housing, they give you grants for good grades, taking courses that eventually lead up to you becoming a teacher, and gives you grants for being a minority or Native American. In todays world a high school diploma is everything. A college education is everything. Success is harder on the Black/African American community because so many of us give up too easily when the going gets tough. I see less and less young Black/African American people reading and writing. And I have even come across a few who can’t read . It seems really ridiculous to me because back when it was against the law for our people to read, we wished we could and sometimes snuck to people who could to have them teach us. Now our people have the freedom and right to read and we don’t.

Getting a job and keeping it is even harder than acquiring an education. As Black/African Americans we were raised not to take shit off of anybody, so as a result our attitudes and actions get in the way of working with others and getting along with the general public. No two people were made the same, no two people were raised the same, and no two people think the same. This poses an opportunity for everybody to have a different style, opinions, goals, and different perceptions. And if everybody in the Black/African American community were to come together as one we could use every style, every opinion, every goal, and every way of perception to our advantage and then we all could succeed and go somewhere with our lives. We could have our own businesses and our own employees, which would mean the end of working for ungrateful people and earning a lousy paycheck. My grandmother always used to tell me, “YOU CAN TELL A PERSON TO KISS YOUR ASS NICELY AND WITHOUT THEM KNOWING.” As a young person born with anger issues and an acute perception, I have learned how to deal with the public in a respectful manner and laugh my emotions off. Not everybody knows how to do that and some people just choose not to. If we all learned to control our emotions and anger, we could get even more places quickly and safely. It would keep a whole lot of our peoples out of prison and mental institutions.

The issue of working together and being responsible for our actions is a very great one. I could go on forever about how irresponsible some people choose to be and it still wouldn’t make any one of us and more responsible than we already are or aren’t. Responsibility starts with yourself and those around you on a daily basis. We need to become responsible for ourselves. Stop letting society tell us what we can and can’t do, what we will and won’t do, and what we should or shouldn’t do. We need to rise up and take action to prove to the world just how responsible we can be and are instead of how responsible we try to be. The differences we can make by being responsible have no words but just imagine how great the world would be if everybody were responsible for themselves and then some.

Theres a problem that I see in my community and it really is getting worse by the year. When one Black/African American person succeeds and ‘moves on up’, they never bother to reach back and help another Black/African American person to find success. In fact it seems to me the struggle twice as hard on those who look up to the ones who have succeeded, because in the back of our minds we will always think that “the one person who succeeded is not going to help me because now they think that they are better than me and they must have forgotten where they came from and what they had before they succeeded”. The Latino community is stronger than the White and Asian community put together because as they are moving ahead they are taking two or three others with them and having everybody folllow the same steps, then those two or three get two or three of their own and then some. Everybody moves ahead as a group and nobody gets left behind unless choice or circumstance holds them back. The Latino community is not afraid to trade secrets and ask each other for help. The Black/African American community on the other had can’t even come together to help each other in a time of need. We need to help and support each other a lot more than we are.

Good help is hard to find. We all know that if you don’t help yourself nobody else will. We all need encouragement and our problem is we either don’t hear the right encouragement, we don’t hear positive encouragement, or we never hear encouragement at all. The world is a big scary place where everywhere you turn people are either out to hinder you or they are out to get you locked up and in jail. The wrong encouragement leads to the destruction of our race and what we stand for. Everybody can make a stand against this so that we can become a better people and turn the tables and opinions of society. Yes, we are a minority but No, we don’t have to remain the lower minority. Not getting positive encouragement should encourage us to give others positive encouragement to help them along the way.

We can all make a difference especially if we come together and work together as a people who want to, can, and will spread the word by telling each other that we can do better. WE CAN OVERCOME POVERTY. WE CAN OVERCOME THE STATISTICS. WE CAN BECOME A PEOPLE WHO LOVE AND HELP EACH OTHER. We are all blessed to be alive and to be able to make a difference in the world. Whether we have to walk amongst each other and never know each others names to get the message spread, the message will be spread. Whether it takes a long time before we get somewhere with our message, the message will be spread. So do your part to spread the message.

The Message:

AS BLACK/AFRICAN AMERICAN PEOPLES, WE CAN, WILL, AND WE ARE GOING TO SUCCEED. WE NEED TO SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER AND BE THERE FOR EACH OTHER WHEN NO ONE WANTS US TO FINISH WHAT WE START. WE NEED TO BELIEVE IN OUR SELVES AND EACH OTHER. WE NEED TO ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER TO DO WHAT MAKES THEM GREAT AND REACH BACK AND LEND A HELPING HAND TO THE REST OF US. WE ARE A GREAT BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE AND WE ARE GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THIS WORLD. THE YOUTH OF TODAY AND THE FUTURE NEED TO WORK TOGETHER TO OUTSMART, ACHIEVE, AND MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE FOR OUR PEOPLES.

Copyright 2010 – Kami Ashley. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.

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Kami Ashley