In Memory of Trayvon and Kamau
While thousands marched and rallied protesting the not guilty verdict bestowed upon George Zimmerman, (white,) in the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida, another 17-year-old African-American youth, Kamau Chandler, was shot and killed on Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant’s Fulton Street on July 27 in an encounter with two Black males. Comparing the two incidents – while the age of the victims were the same, the race of the killers, the states and neighborhoods differed. And while we can see the tears shed by family survivors and friends, we don’t know the extent of emotional havoc wreaked on Black youth and their caretakers in these communities. I think it’s safe to say that regardless of the murderer’s ethnicity, survivors are impacted, related or not , stressed individuals coexisting in communities anticipating the next incident.
Kamau’s grandfather, Osei Chandler, was a member of the EAST and his father, Cheo attended Uhuru Sasa Shule, Brooklyn’s first Black Independent School. Living in Charleston, SC since 1977, Osei has hosted nationally syndicated radio programs, introducing jazz and reggae throughout the South.
Trayvon’s death at the hands of Zimmerman, a white man triggers protest marches while Black-on-Black murders are followed by silence. In Trayvon’s and Kamau’s memory, and as a grandmother, I feel a responsibility for my grandchildren’s safety and know that I must include all children in order for my children to be safe. Therefore parents, grandparents and relatives are invited to select one child and join the 45-Day Challenge, select a project with your child designed to have them discover their innate genius, recognizing and eliminating people, behaviors and activities that endanger. The challenge for adults is to discover their true self and their innate genius. In that process, we notice that we then see more genius of the children with whom we interact whether in our homes, schools or community. Can we take that on, finding the gift that children you interact with bring. You may have noticed that in groups there’s a tendency to cite negatives about others not there. There must be someone to put down. Energy is spent being against someone or something. How often do youth hear what they bring to the space? How often are youth three years and over asked for their opinion, allowed to choose activities, clothes or foods? Of course, the choices are within boundaries preset.
We start with self-examination. What would you list as your weaknesses and strengths? Are you willing to take on a project to strengthen the weaknesses and use the strengths more frequently? Are you willing to share your project with others, realizing that the ability to share them is a strength? Do you treat young people you encounter with respect? Do you look for things to compliment? Are you on the watch for “put downs” or corrections made with a negative tone? Each and every adult has the ability to make a difference and changing the lethal behavior of young people. Can we join in increasing the self-esteem of the children so they have no need to bully, engage in putting others down or react to put downs. Contact PN at firstname.lastname@example.org .
***Cheo Chandler, father of Kamau, is accepting donations at 2980 West 28th Street, Apt. 547, Brooklyn, NY 11224…an opportunity to show community, love and support.
: free writing workshops for teen males and females – each participant will have access to a new Mac or PC laptop with WiFi during the session. Saturday, August 10th 1:00 – 3:00pm. Bklyn Public Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza. Questions? Call 800-284-8169 or e-mail email@example.com.
***–The Metropolitan Museum of Art
– paid Internship Program for students in grades 11 and 12 attending a NYC Dept. of Education high school that receives Title I funding during 2013-2014. The program meets October 23, 2013 – January 17, 2014. Download application at https://metmuseum.wufoo.com/forms/high-school-internship-application-form/. Application deadline is Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013 at 5 pm.
***Mentor a Young Person in 30- Day Challenge in writing a book with Andrew Morrison – weekly conference calls, self-publish with CreateSpace.com. Starts August 1st- no cost. Register at www.writein30.eventbrite.com.
***Father shares his method of publishing his own child’s book at the age of six as a means to building a college fund. The name of the company is Around Him Publishing. Contact via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (516)581-1571.
***Mentoring in Medicine Virtual Summer Science Camp starts on Monday, August 5th. For more information go to http://mimvc2.eventbrite.com/.