I choose the title of this post not to create drama or fanfare but to speak to reality. Did you know that African – Americans have the highest infant mortality rate in the Western world? You may be thinking it has to do with socio-economics but this statistic crosses all economic and educational lines. I could dedicate an entire blog post to infant mortality and theories behind it but that is not the purpose of this post.
This post is about our little brown boys that are dying in the city streets. I was perusing facebook this morning and saw this video posted. It think it speaks volumes to the issue at hand. And these young men say it far better and with more power than I ever could.
Lost Count: A Love Story
The young men in the video are from Chicago where teens killing teens is still a reality. According to an article on The Black Star Project, 39 teenage boys have been killed in Chicago this year and the CDC predicts 6000 young people will lose their life to violence. The Black Star Project is based in Chicago and places an emphasis on the importance of improving the quality of life in the Black and Latino communities in Chicago by eliminating the racial academic achievement gap. This organization is working to diminish the numbers of teens that turn to violence and crime because they have no other options. I am sure that there are similar organizations across the country but the young men in the video are a product of The Black Star Project.
I wish we lived in a world where children could just be children. Unfortunately for many young people they have to battle daily just to survive. I know that I have been blessed with an excellent education and opportunities and will share this with my son. But when he is older and walks out the door on a daily basis I will always be fearful because he will be seen as just another brown boy. And the potential for danger is very real.
image credit: Brenda Starr