Monday, July 13, 2009

A Prayer for Strength

Recently, authorities uncovered a grave selling scheme in Alsip, Illinois. I have no words. There is nothing to explain this truly heinous crime. Four workers at the Burr Oak Cemetery were formally charged with one count each of dismembering a human body, which is a class X felony. FBI officials are investigating the entire grounds of the cemetery to accurately assess the impact of the scheme on graves. Authorities are exploring possible Federal charges for the assailants.

As I write, my heart aches as thirteen of my family members were laid to rest at this cemetery. (Maternal Grandparents, Older Brother and Sister). What would possess a person to do such an act? From my limited criminal law experience, how does one begin to even defend these grave robbers? I am hurt that the final resting place of potentially hundreds was disrupted all in the pursuit of money. I am outraged that those four people could not understand the death of a loved one is hard enough, but to have their grave desecrated is irreprehensible.

To read the article, please see this links:,fbi-burr-oak-graves-071309.article#

Lord, we come to you knowing that you can and will heal. Jesus, we petition your throne of grace to touch the hearts of those who have disturbed the earthly resting place of our loved ones. We know that our beloved family members are all safe in your care and loving embrace. Comfort us dear Savior, we need you at this time to bring peace to our spirit and clarity to our minds. We thank you for blessing us with our family members and we celebrate their legacy by remembering their love. Lord gives us strength to pray for the individuals responsible for this pain and suffering. Bless them and heal their minds. Jesus, abide with us and let your will be done. Hold us and help us to face tomorrow. In the magnificent and powerful name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

There are people dying...

Michael Jackson urged us all to make the world a better place. Only five days ago, the world lost the icon and musical genius of our generation. His presence was magnetic, his voice was melodic, and his spirit shall live in our hearts forever. He, in some way, inspired us all. Now, this post is not about Michael, but rather to celebrate the enduring message within the lyrics in his song, Heal the World. Those words could not be more appropriate for the situation plaguing Chicago this summer. Since the beginning of this year, 37 young people have died as a result of gun violence in Chicago. The youth are dropping their books and arming themselves with weapons and disillusionment as their agency. How can the future carry on our work if we survive them?

I was discussing this issue with a good friend and doctoral candidate; she explained the disparities in mental health counseling in the African American community and that access to those services could possibly alleviate many of the ills in our community. I believe that as a result of divestment in educational resources, many young African American males have traded their outdated textbooks for the latest assault rifles. In effect, these young men are on path to institutionalization and minimal opportunities. Discussing the rate of imprisonment is another topic for another post and the subject of my research for the upcoming school year, pending invitation to the Journal. The death of these young people signals a need for change, more specifically, change that implants empathy, self-esteem and that offers our young people a future through education.

How can I heal the world? Work tirelessly. Live with purpose. Take advantage of every opportunity to be a positive influence in a young person’s life. I pray that the thirst that young people have is not quenched by crime, but rather by knowledge. We have to go back and show young people the fruits of education. All of my fellow graduate and professional students understand the pain of strained resources and stress of competition in an ever-evolving world market. However, as Celie so poignantly said, “I’m here.” We are here to impact the world and if we do not do something to affect the lives of young people in Chicago, they will not have the opportunity to speak these same words.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families that have lost a love one. I pray that peace comes to the streets of Chicago. Attached is a link to an article covering the story.,CST-NWS-girlshot27.article

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We CAN!

New post coming soon!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Symbolic Lynching... So When Did Trees Start Bearing Cardboard? Strange Fruit?

Earlier this week, an effigy of presidential candidate, Barack Obama was found hanging from a tree at George Fox University in Newburg, Oregon. The cardboard representation of the political figure was adored with a flyer protesting the University's Minority Recruitment Program (Act Six). Am I the only one outraged? Although officials from the university have repudiated the offense and expressed their disappointment about the racially charged incident, but should the University do more? How about a forum about the climate of racism on their campus? George Fox University has a 2% African American student population. This event cannot be one in isolation, I am almost certain that more acts of intolerance have occurred on this campus.

This year's Presidential Election will challenge our country's reliance on the modern construct of enlightened racism. A view that the Huxtable's, especially how strikingly articulate those character are, show that African American can advance in life if they only "try." Why this country has always been a meritocracy, some would purport. I guess I must have been out of the country summering indefinitely in the south of France because in most cases success is far, very far, removed from merit. Juxtaposing Obama and the opposition to the Act Six demonstrates that some people are not ready for change. Especially if a program that contributes 16 students out of 1800, let's do the math (16/1800=.008), which means that less than 1% of the entire student population at George Fox participate in this initiative. Expressly, the students recruited under this program represent less than 1% of the total population at this institution. Thus, if people are not ready for a 0.8 percent change, are they ready for a 100% change? There is only one president and since the inception of the president in the United States that office has been exclusively served by White men. Is America ready for a Black man to interrupt this trend? Or will another debacle in Florida commence on November 4th?

We need to explore this issue of racism in this country because race has real consequences and result in policies, legislation, and customary practices that disadvantage millions throughout this great land of ours. How? When? Where? A great mentor told me that the first solution to issues is to have a discussion about the process of resolution. We have to problematize issues of race and sit down and develop a process to respond accordingly. Hanging Obama from a tree signifies the tremendous strides we have to take, notice that is not in the past or present tense, if we wish to live in a racial equitable society. We have to break the silence, not only between racial minorities, but with people of all racial and ethnic origins. EVERYONE should take a stake in ensuring that racism is no longer tolerated. Racism robs us from realizing our commonalities and actualizing our potential to endeavor into true greatness.

What do you think? Comment freely, I am always open to learning.

Here is the link to the article:


Saturday, September 20, 2008

When the Party's Over

I was reading some of the headlines from the local newspaper in Chicago, when I came across this alarming, yet common story. Another Black teen was senselessly killed early yesterday morning. While the brevity of the story does not provide many details, it did mention that he was leaving a party on the South Side of Chicago when he got in an altercation that eventually lead to his untimely death. Was it worth it? What does the culpable assailant have as result of taking this young man's life?

As I seat in Wisconsin, my heart begins to ache when I think of the conditions of inner city Chicago. While I grew on those same streets nearly four years ago, Chicago is definitely a "new" place, almost another world. Every week there seems to be countless deaths and a myriad of mourners who have to live with the emptiness that death brings. As Marvin Gaye posits, what's going on? There is a new boldness in young people today, however that boldness is not being channeled into positive endeavors. Gang affiliations are creeping back in prominence, as educational attainment in the African American community is severely declining. Students are arming themselves with weapons instead of knowledge. Chicago is becoming a breeding ground for violence and the site of the perpetuation of imprisonment, disenfranchisement, and eventually the denial of citizenship for many African American males.

At the tender age of seventeen, did he even have a chance? A chance to pursue higher education. A chance to impact others with his intellect. A chance to transcend the institutional and societal barriers that young, Black men experience each day. Unfortunately, this young man did not get a chance, it was stolen by the shear disregard placed on life these days.

We have to figure out some type of way to reach these young people and give them back their agency. They need to see positive reflections of themselves and hear reaffirming things about their intelligence, beauty, and worth. These young people are not their circumstances, they need not wade in the obscurity of mediocrity. They have to take their place in the front and not the rear. We have to offer our FUTURE, hope and a belief in their talents and abilities.

My prayers and condolences go out to this family at this challenging time and to all of those who have lost a family member to gun violence. To read the story go to the following link:,partyshoot092008.article

Take the City indeed...

Update Coming Soon!

I wanted to give this my all and now I am committing to it. I will be difficult, but its time to share with the world! I will be posting really soon, stay tuned!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Allow Me To Introduce Myself...

First post, I originally became obsessed with blogs about a year and a half ago. Especially those dedicated to exploring African Americans in entertainment. Initially, I found so much joy in reading the thoughts and ideas of others, however, a couple of months ago I had this certain urge to share my ideas with others. I was apprehensive at first, but through the coaxing of a dear friend, I am ready to share all the things that swirl around in this big head of mine. Today, I am confident, encouraged, and self-assured that if only person finds something compelling on this blog then I have attained my goal. My objective is to initiate an intellectual, stimulating, and substantive discussion/conversation about life’s complexities. Thus, this blog will serve as a forum to talk about contemporary society and a broad range of issues affecting African Americans. This has become even more important as I prepare to attend law school in a few weeks, because for most of this country’s history the law has precluded equal protection for African Americans. Trust, this will be the topic of a future post! Thanks you for taking this journey with me and I hope you enjoy!