Do you remember a time where you felt that you just needed affirmations and not a reminder of how the world was terrible or going to treat you? How many times did you hear about how you were different or needed to “toughen up” because the world wasn’t going to treat you nice so you had to get used to it? How did that make you feel? Were you a kid when you heard those words, what did you wish to hear instead? Let’s ask ourselves how we can continue to show up for our youth because they need us and we need them to keep the community strong, and it definitely takes a village. I think about how I was asked this question last year and I said how I couldn’t stress enough how much community support and words of encouragement from my village was needed in my development and my childhood and “how it allowed me to feel liberated and secure within my identity.” Not only that but “Black youth deserve a childhood in knowing they are protected and will remain protected despite what society thinks and know that they can explore and be anything outside the stereotypical realm of blackness when we have never been pathological.”. They deserve to be told that they can achieve something rather than being told no. They deserve to be heard instead of being told to stay in a “child’s place”. They “need to witness kinship networks and experience uplifting and outpouring love from their families because we are then allowing them to be free from the burdens and past hurt we experienced when we were their age.”. As you climb that ladder, always look back at those waiting on you to give them a hand because, we don’t win until we all win. Continue to pass the plate and extend your resources because as a community we should always look out for one another. Reach out for that guidance and support and when someone comes to you, I hope that you do the same. With us doing the legwork now in making sure they have a childhood of joy and liberation is needed in helping frame the next generation and propelling the community forward. Feel free to comment down below and share with us a time where you were able to pass the plate, look back as you climbed the ladder of success and gave your hand to someone else to hold onto.
With love and positivity,