Sunday, July 22, 2012


Every time I see this video I get fired up. When I was teaching I made a point to show these motivational videos every day at the start of class. It was a great way to get the students motivated to tackle the day.  If teaching/mentoring has taught me anything it is that if you raise the bar, young people will reach for it -- if they really want it.

I am so sick of people and the media portraying black youth as if they are helpless victims.  We should be empowering our young people and we should nurture in them the importance of personal responsibility and accountability.  If you want to be in the game you will do whatever it takes to be successful - end of story. There will be challenges but you can overcome them -- if you are willing to sacrifice and do the right thing. Sometimes I feel like there are more people telling black youth (especially in Ward 8) why they CAN'T be successful than why they CAN be successful. Life IS hard but we can do this. We come from a long line of strength, perseverance, sacrifice, and hard work. I can't even fix my lips to say that I have it too hard when I know what my ancestors have gone through, when I know what my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents went through just so I can have a shot today. 

Excuses don't excuse and explanations don't explain. 

We should be asking our young people, "How bad do you want to succeed and what are you willing to sacrifice to reach your goal?"

It may be time for some good old fashioned straight talk. 

Let's focus on making our young people strong and accountable so they can compete, regardless of their situation.  Let's empower and support those that are grinding to get to the top. Where you start is not automatically where you have to finish.

I truly believe everyone can succeed, if they want it bad enough.

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