Tag Archives: sacrifice

Tamir

Kiara Jacobs, 8, hugs her brother Quentin Stamen, 13, at a memorial where Tamir Rice was fatally shot by Cleveland police officers who mistook the 12 year old's toy gun for a real gun.

Kiara Jacobs, 8, hugs her brother Quentin Stamen, 13, at a memorial in the Cleveland park where Tamir Rice was fatally shot by police officers who mistook the 12 year old’s toy gun for a real gun, Dec. 4, 2014. The Justice Department announced on Thursday that a two-year investigation found a pattern of unreasonable and unnecessary use of force by police in Cleveland. (Ty Wright/The New York Times)

“I’m sorry”

The first two words that come to mind

The most passive saying

For the most violent crime

I’m sorry

Folk are trying to make those words the end of his memory,

To add to the his-tory of black lives lost, similarly

But that won’t happen, so don’t think twice

He will never be forgotten

His name is Tamir Elijah Rice

“Black Lives Matter”

The catch phrase of our time

Another infamous line

Somebody’s lying

Because the more we say it, the more we’re dying

Tamir left us a matyr, a sacrificial lamb

Because we have not sacrificed enough

shame on them, shame on us

Life is so rough, life is so lethal

when even in death our people

Just don’t give a damn

“A wealthy man, one who stands tall”

Is the meaning of the name Tamir

How could it be more loud, how could it ever be more clear

The death of a child at the crooked cop’s hand

All because a 12 year old child was more of a man

It hurts

To write the words on this page

Because no matter how much pain the truth may bring

All still won’t be so phased

To take a stand and remember him

But I will

He made

The ultimate sacrifice

His name is Tamir Elijah Rice.

Advertisements

When School Hurts More Than it Helps

segregated classroom edit

Go to school. Get your education. Be better and live better because of it.

But what happens when school is imprisoning instead of empowering?

What happens when your teachers tell you of all the things you can’t do instead of what you can do? What happens when good grades become bad and bad grades become good, all in the name of peer pressure, manhood and being “hard?” And how complicated it becomes when grades are no longer black and white – when they are associated with race, when “acting black” and “acting white” and “acting” other ethnicities blurs positive and negative images, attitudes and ideals – full of gray area. Or when you’re too hungry to concentrate…to make the grades to get out the hood that’s keeping you hungry. Or when the school keeps testing you because you can’t pass the tests – but for your failure, they have no answer. Or when in general, school seems like the strangest, most distant foreign land, because nothing about it resembles who you are or where you’re from.

What happens when these things and more not only exist, but are also exacerbated under the school’s roof? What do you do?

You fight back.

If knowledge is power, you have to be willing to fight for it.

Kids don’t know the fight as well as we adults know it, as many of us have been there before, so essentially, the fight for our kids’ education is in our hands.

We can’t take everything for gospel, simply because a teacher, a principal or another official says it. My parents were told that I may be deaf and/or autistic at a very young age because I started to walk, talk and develop in general at a later age than most children. But then, all of that was debunked. But then I started school. I was tapped for the gifted program in school. Then, I got honor roll, and much later national honor society and other honors and today, I’m an author with an advanced degree from one of the best schools in the nation and God willing – it’s only the beginning. So many people I know have eerily similar stories, and they’ve gone on to accomplish a whole lot.

All kids are capable of greatness. We can’t let naysayers dressed up with fancy titles tell them otherwise.

We have to be willing to sacrifice for education, for if we don’t, we sacrifice our children. If he or she is struggling where you’re at and you’re convinced he or she would fare better in another area, do what you have to do within reason to make that move. Before I was born, my folks were young and struggling, and opted to go without furniture for a year to send my older sisters to a private school in Long Island, because it offered them a safer environment and better opportunities. An uncomfortable year it may have been, but the advantages of that sacrifice will last a lifetime. If we don’t buy into education, they surely won’t. Buy into it, no matter how much it costs. Temporary discomfort beats the permanent setback of the generations that follow us.

 Praise them in school. Many scholars reference the transition from third grade to fourth grade as problematic for kids, particularly African-American boys, as the nurturing from the teacher (the doting, the “babying”) drops significantly during that transition and as a result, grades drop . But technically, it’s not the teacher’s job to nurture our children – it’s up to us. The praise matters. We have to recognize their efforts and reward their accomplishments. We have to be active and interested in their studies. We have to be their backbone and their biggest cheerleader, especially during the younger years. The smallest strides need recognition just like honor roll and graduation. Don’t act like you don’t remember how good you felt as a little boy or a little girl when an adult noticed your good work.

When school hurts more than it helps, the story isn’t over. If we play our cards right, it’s simply a bump in the road. If we play our cards right and put up a good defense, we’ll win the fight.

Weekly Wisdom: Take the Stairs, There’s No Elevator to Success

Take the Stairs, There’s No Elevator to Success

Hard work pays off. Work hard, party harder.  You get out what you put in. These sayings and more have been drilled into all of our heads. And as corny as they sound…they’re truer than true.

A lot of people attempt to skip the hard work to get to the payoff. They don’t want to sacrifice their time to studying, but want the grades and the GPA of the most studious student. They’re not willing to go the extra mile at work, but want the same pay as the their co-worker, whose the first one to work and the last one to leave. They don’t want to go through the hustle of getting their name or their brand out there, but they want the exposure and the attention of the person willing to live off peanuts to make their mark in this world. It doesn’t add up.

And it never will.

Many successful people have told me that there is no easy way. I repeat: there is NO easy way. I’ve heard of people selling everything they own just to put on an art show of their work. Parents going without furniture in their house, just to be able to afford to send their kids to a better school, a school that would better prepare their children for the future. And these people didn’t think twice about these sacrifices. To be successful in this world, we’ve got to be willing to be uncomfortable. If we can’t get past that, we ain’t gettin’ much further than the start line of whatever race we’re in.

If you’ve got big dreams, you need an even bigger tolerance for discomfort. For us lay people, nothing in this world will ever be handed to us. And if it is, consider it fool’s gold. And while you’re being a fool, you’ll find that the other contenders who put in their due diligence have lapped you –two and three and four times over.

There is no elevator to success. Take the stairs, break a sweat and put in the work.

 

Peace, Love & Consciousness,

Kiara