STORY BY DESHAWN CHINN, FNN REPORTER, ANACOSTIA BUREAU
There are not enough positive leaders in our black community. What happened to our black leaders? Back in the day, we had MLK, Malcolm X, and more. Nowadays we don’t have enough young men who care and want to help our black youth to be successful. I think there are not enough positive leaders in our black community.
Since the older leaders are not stepping up, the youth took it upon themselves to have a peace march. The march occurred on Oct. 4, 2013 on a Friday afternoon. It started and ended downtown at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Many local youth, including my class at Anacostia high school, went. We all got together and marched because we feel that there is too much violence within our communities, especially toward each other.
In my opinion, most of the violence that occurs in our community is due to the lack of leadership. We don’t have people to tell us or show us what to do and what not to do. Our black youth are out here committing crimes because they don’t have the right positive guidance and role models in their life. Instead, we have bad influences around us persuading us to do the wrong thing. Bill Maxwell, a journalist for the Tampa Bay Times, said, “Young black men have bought into what apparently is universal “dumbing down” syndrome where it’s in style to be stupid, with rap lyrics like “where are My Niggas at?” Maxwell is suggesting that youth have the idea that doing the wrong thing and not getting an education is cool. This is exactly why we need leaders to guide our youth.
Our black youth are focusing on the wrong things. Some of the elders at the march agreed that many young black males are not only allowing their minds to be go stale from lack of intellectual inactivity, they are intentionally involving themselves in violent acts and other kinds of criminal activities. It is evident that too many black males are not focusing on doing the right thing; their minds are filled with the street life and violence. At this point, do you think that we need more leaders in our black community? Well I do. If we had more leaders, then the youth would be out here thinking and having their minds set on more positive things.
To change this trending and dead-end situation, I think that community officials should open more community centers and also start more programs that focus on the advancement of our black youth. We need to show our black youth that there is more out here to do then live the street life. We need to show them that school/education is the way out of poverty. If you’re a young black man and you’re having problems and you don’t have anybody to go talk to at home, I think that it will be best to talk to your school counselor. If you’re just trying to change your ways and do the right thing, try to surround yourself with positive people—people that’s about something.
After reading this article and getting informed about what goes on in the black communities, do you think that we need more positive leaders? I’m hoping that this will make my readers care more about the situation. I’m hoping that it even encourages them to start a program for young black men to help them stay on the right track. I think that in the future, the crime rate in our black communities can decrease. If no one cares or tries to help this situation, then I think our black young men's graduation rate will get worse. If it keeps going the way it’s going then our next generation will be messed up. I hope that this article and information with make you care and make a change.
DeShawn Chinn is a student at Anacostia Senior High School.