The Parent’s Notebook

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While statistics on families are bleak to put it mildly, the need for change grows with urgency and it’s time to recall and warrants remembering “Change begins with me”.

We have become adept at protesting the injustices existing within a system that declared discovery of a country inhabited by indigenous people whose land was stolen and they were sent to survive on reservations

The time is long overdue for African Americans to take responsibility for our own lives, the lives of our children and future generations.  It requires  each of us to clear unresolved  issues with family and friends.

  Let this be the summer you give yourself the gift of freedom.  Follow these tips from the Spring 1993 issue of Necessary.  Marian Wright Edelman wrote an article, “25  Ways Black Folks Can Help Black Children”.

1.        Have faith that we can save our children.  Figure out how you can make a difference in at least one child’s life.  Tithe a portion of your time, talent, money and leadership for children.  Take time to vote or write a letter on behalf of children.  Create new ideas based on what is needed in your community and feels right for your talents and time.  Children need time and attention from some caring, consistent adult.  Be that adult for one child or a few children in your community.

2.       Believe every child can learn. Have high expectations for all children and provide them the support they need to achieve.  Respect and build on our children’s strengths – and insist that others also do so – rather than harp on their weaknesses.   We must fight to see that poor Black children receive equal educational opportunity in all school settings.  We must fight to make sure they are challenged at the highest levels.  We must make the schools safe, nurturing places of hope rather than zones of fear and boredom.  And we must bolster their school experiences with community based tutoring and mentoring and parenting education.

3.       Remember what our forebears taught about what matters in life and why we are here on God’s Earth.  Teach children not to worship the idols of American culture.  Fight against excessive materialism, violence and status seeking.  Help children reconnect with the spiritual and community values that strengthened our ancestors’ minds and hearts against the psychic and physical assaults of slavery and segregation.

4.       Don’t be a part of the problem; be a part of the
solution.
  Don’t tear down Black children’s self-esteem in your home, classroom or church.  And don’t let anyone else do it.  Don’t take your anger and despair out on them, as hard as this is not to do sometimes.  Encourage their questions.  Answer them with respect.  Empower our children by example to reject the role of victim, however victimized we are by racial and class attitudes and discrimination.  Teach them to work hard and not to get caught up in just the status of jobs.

5.       Encourage your church or club to sponsor parent education programs and support groups to help parents and grandparents help their children.  Pay particular attention to single parents and teen parents.  Create support groups for the many grandparents who are struggling to raise their grandchildren, many of whom have special needs.  Encourage the youths in your church to delay   sexual activity and pregnancy until they are personally and economically ready to raise children.  And remember that you teach them by your example.

 We’ll continue with more of the 25 Ways next issue and please share the one/s you chose.

The PN is taking the GMW SCRABBLE  Class to the Paul Robeson Freedom School . Formerly  Moses- Groce Tournaments ( Basketball and SCRABBLE) for Mr. Dennis Groce who was  killed  at his door by a policeman  and Pamoja Fruster (basketball  enthusiast died suddenly while  planning the tournament  in Mr. Groce’s memory .  The program now becomes MGW- adding Jitu Weusi, former resident of Lefferts Place.

Inquiries about Paul Robeson Freedom School Summer Day Camp call 347-767-9932.