I am encouraged by the vigor and fresh activism of my generation (Read: BYP100 and Dream Defenders). It causes me to see a light at the end of what has been a very dark tunnel. However, if there is in fact a light at the end of the tunnel, are we prepared to run? Do we have the energy? Pastors, politicians, leaders, community members, and activists need to have a long talk with each other, and we need to figure out how we will fight for the “28 percent of African-Americans, and 37 percent of black children, who are poor (compared with 10 percent of whites and 13 percent of white children); We need to speak about the 13 percent of blacks who are unemployed (compared with 7 percent of whites); we need to discuss the more than 900,000 black men who are in prison; We need to stand up and address how and why blacks experienced a sharper drop in income since 2007 than any other racial group; and how black household wealth, which had been disproportionately concentrated in housing, has hit its lowest level in decades; and also how blacks accounted, in 2009, for 44 percent of new H.I.V. infections.” We need to speak about how this country has unraveled the remnants of affirmative action, ignored gun control, arrested those who used the occupy movement as a final cry for an ideology that can actually end poverty, and sustained public school segregation more than 50 years after the supreme court decided on Brown Vs. B.O.E. We must bring these issues into public discourse. But more importantly, we need to figure out who is willing to embrace the scorn and ridicule of being at the forefront of a movement. We need to start, join, and build a movement. If not now, then when?
Why take the pledge?
Far too many Black youth continue to be demonized, criminalized and murdered.
Enough is enough!
In response to this intensifying crisis, the Black Youth Project (BYP) has launched “The Pledge.”
With “The Pledge,” we are asking individuals and organizations to close ranks around black youth and make a commitment to take action and fight with black youth as they confront a relentless crisis. We at the BYP believe that each person can make a difference by doing something!
By taking The Pledge we not only articulate our concern about black youth, but symbolically unite our voices with others who will work to confront this crisis.
If we each take action, whether it is starting a group, signing a petition, or mentoring a young person in your neighborhood, then we all become a part of the solution.
Stand With Black Youth!
Black Youth Project on Facebook
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