Estimated reading time: 5 minute(s)
Dear youth: Many, many, many of our ancestors have died looking for a better way, crying out to an enemy for mercy, but there was none. The Indigenous people, whose land we are standing on and living in, have been almost completely decimated. … And during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, a crime against humanity was committed, and our ancestors were brought not to America as immigrants seeking a better life, we came in the holds of ships as slaves; and for 310 years we were considered chattel slaves. “Chattel,” meaning that as you owned horses or dogs or pigs, and you branded them so that others may know that you own them, the slave master named us after our owners. So, we don’t have African names, we have European names—“Johnson” and “Jones,” “Smith” and “Culpepper,” “Brown” and “Red,” “Yellow” and “White”)—whatever you want to call yourself. But that’s not you! And when you sign with a false name that doesn’t belong to you, you are telling the world “something has happened here.” We don’t know who we are; we are not sure whose we are—and so it’s an honor for me to be able to look into your beautiful faces, and know that the future is safe if you become who you are.
Now that time is not on my side, in that I’m in my 80s now, as I go down into “The Valley of Death”: When I look over my shoulders, I want to know what I’m looking at. Because you are in the prime of your life now, and this is the time for you to advance intellectually, and make choices for your life that will impact not only your generation, but generations to come. And this is why the enemy does not want youth to connect to wisdom. [READ MORE]