Even looking beyond our personal goal(s) to change something about ourselves, think about those individuals who saw the importance seeking changes so that future generations wouldn't have to endure the hardships like those who came before them. During the month of January schools and many places of employment close in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In fact celebrations and a day of community service will be taking place across the country for the next two months as we pay homage to the life and legacy of this extraordinary American Hero. Now I'm sure that prior to the start of the Civil Rights Movement of 1954, Dr. King's New Year's resolution wasn't to be at the forefront of a revolution that had a hand in changing laws in this country. But like many Black Americans he was tired of living in an oppressive society that refused to treat Black people with the dignity afforded to all human beings (sadly in 2019 the more things have changed, the more they have remained the same). While we may not necessarily see ourselves as taking a stand that visible, for those of us who work around young people on a daily basis, we should take it upon ourselves to identify and support this type of leadership quality that we see in students. It is important that we make a conscientious effort to encourage our children to make resolutions that allow them to strive for excellence, to learn all they can about their history so they can make necessary changes for a better tomorrow. We must be reminded that all of our young people aren't "bad"; somewhere along the way we have failed them as a society leaving them to fend for themselves. And as the saying goes "you can't teach what you don't know and you can't lead where you won't go" ~Jessie Jackson
Under this week's Intentional Toolkit I have shared a link to an article that discusses the importance of honoring the life of Dr. King as well as those unknown individuals who marched alongside him in hopes of making life better for future generations. I have also shared a video of a child reciting the poem "Hey Black Child" written by Countee Cullen (I'm sure many of you have seen this video many times before, but if you haven't, I hope you enjoy the message as well as the messenger). Until next time...go out there and be GREAT!
Hey Black Child written by Countee Cullen---recited by Pe'Tehn Raighn-Kem