Home > Editorial, Found on Another Site > Thirteen, Black & Afraid to End Up Like Ferguson

Thirteen, Black & Afraid to End Up Like Ferguson


black teen boys react to ferguson

By XAVIER WORD

A couple of years ago my mother wanted to enrich my knowledge of Black culture. I learned about matters pertaining to many things, though one topic in particular arose continuously: It was the civil rights movement. I heard about the people being thrown in jail and hosed down. How they couldn’t even go to the same stores or drink out of the same water fountains as white people. Then I saw how people fought for freedom and took us out of those particular situations. So that segregation in the government was officially over.

I enjoyed learning all of this but over the years I realized that some of this is not true. That, the more I looked at the news, the more I was able to notice we are still in segregation. I see this every time a Black man is killed. Random white men kill us. Police officers kill us. We even kill ourselves. But I ask who taught us how to do this? It seems that nearly every time this happens, they get away with it. George Zimmerman, Darren Wilson are just two examples where charges should have been filed. Yes, Michael Brown did something wrong, but does that give someone the right to abuse his power and use excessive force against an unarmed man? I’m mad, I’m frustrated and as a Black male I’m scared! Will I make it to 18??? I don’t commit crimes but I still don’t know if I will if this continues.

My mom talks to me. She tries to calm me. She tries to make me understand that not everyone is this way. But when they air shows like Black in America on CNN and you hear police say things like they “hunt” people (meaning Black people) it just hurts! Inside I feel that in both cases above, there was a significant domination over the Black youths. In the newer case there were nine white jurors on the grand jury that were supposed to decide on an indictment. How was that fair? In what way is this going to ever create a fair verdict when you don’t include diversity in the people who make decisions? Come on America, do you really think that in some sick way this is logical?

One thing I learned at this camp was a song that taught me to believe that perseverance is key. And I’m going to keep on pushing. I’m going to keep on standing. I’m going to keep on doing what is right. And as the folk song for freedom says, I “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around.”

Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around
Turn me around, turn me around
Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around
I’m gonna keep on a-walkin’, keep on a-talkin’
Marchin’ up to freedom land.

Ain’t gonna let no injunction turn me around
Turn me around, turn me around
Ain’t gonna let no injunction turn me around
I’m gonna keep on a-walkin’, keep on a-talkin’
Marchin’ up to freedom land.

Ain’t gonna let no hatred turn me around
Turn me around, turn me around
Ain’t gonna let no hatred turn me around
I’m gonna keep on a-walkin’, keep on a-talkin’
Marchin’ up to freedom land.

Ain’t gonna let racism turn me around
Turn me around, turn me around
Ain’t gonna let racism turn me around
I’m gonna keep on a-walkin’, keep on a-talkin’
Marchin’ up to freedom land.

Ain’t gonna let injustice turn me around
Turn me around, turn me around
Ain’t gonna let injustice turn me around
I’m gonna keep on a-walkin’, keep on a-talkin’
Marchin’ up to freedom land.

Ain’t gonna let no jail cell turn me around
Turn me around, turn me around
Ain’t gonna let no jail cell turn me around
I’m gonna keep on a-walkin’, keep on a-talkin’
Marchin’ up to freedom land.

Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around
Turn me around, turn me around
Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around
I’m gonna keep on a-walkin’, keep on a-talkin’
Marchin’ up to freedom land.

 

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“Thirteen, Black and Afraid To End Up Like Ferguson” appeared first on The Good Men Project. It was reprinted with permission. Read more awesome The Good Men Project stories here.

I also encourage you to read more Black teen boy reactions to Ferguson at The Darker Lens, a website where 15-year-old Black teen blogger Miles Ezeilo wrote about his thoughts in his post, “My Thoughts on the Michael Brown Verdict.

Photo credit: Debra Sweet for Flickr

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