Letter to the Editor

“What happens to a dream deferred, does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore, and then run?”-  Langston Hughes

Time and time again, there is a call to action that demands new voices and new perspectives to emerge in efforts to create new solutions. The evening of Friday, July 14th, was one of those times. A group of young black women, under the counsel of a community organization, a student movement, and two community driven activists, sought to impress upon their communities knowledge about an issue--Food Deserts. A message that is not new, just the voices speaking it. For the last ten weeks, the young ladies and those behind them have taken time to perfect the ageless teach-in. A product of young adults mobilizing, this form of demonstrating is meant to disperse information in a way that would allow for the audience to not only grasp what is happening, but also motivate them to become involved.These young ladies have devoted energy to this program and have found that the love for change isn’t always reciprocated as promised.

In their attempt to make this impression, they experienced the ultimate suppression of their efforts. The ladies were understood that they would be able to share their knowledge on Food Deserts, in the form of a teach-in, to the youth at Black Expo via the Youth Leadership Summit program. They were intentional about communicating their plans with leadership of the event, they were diligent in the planning of the demonstration, and were passionate about bringing this much-needed information to the table for their peers to digest. When time came for the event, suddenly the plans changed on these young ladies. Their platform to speak was revoked, and their support from adult leadership within the Summit was met with a statement excusing the incident. Those in positions of leadership came forth and met the disappointed young ladies with statements that alleviated the leadership of all blame and preached a misogynistic form of agreement. Knowing that they had a message that needed to be heard, the young ladies were visibly upset, to which the reply to their dismay was a lesson on how to control their emotions, explaining  that the feelings and emotions they had been facing in this moment were ones sent by god and that they needed to fester on them but remain calm in doing so.  This was all in a tone that was unbefitting of anyone who is to be leading youth; the eyes of the young ladies filled with tears.

These young ladies understood this was not a moment to lie down in peace, for that would almost defeat the purpose behind ten weeks of action that demanded their presence in the first place. Instead of lying down, they took action, in the form of this letter. They wrote this letter to you in hopes that you might do three things. First, they wanted to raise awareness for the demonstration they'd prepared for over the course of ten weeks. Secondly, they wanted to express their dismay in the lack of content from the leadership within the Youth Summit. And lastly, these young black women wanted to convey how disheartening it was to experience such a distress at the hand of their own community. In life, these young women will face hardships beyond the events that occurred on the evening of July 14th. If we, as a community, cannot uplift them and nurture their dreams, how do we expect the world to?

“What happens to a dream deferred, does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore, and then run?”- Langston Hughes

 

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