Thank you to the young people of YouthBuild Newark who welcomed me into their minds and thoughts yesterday in our discussion of black student protest in the United States.
To Shontae, Ciara, Anthony, Cherise, Kalima, Shahid, Tiara, Hakim, Hanid, Corey, Ahmad, Joshua, Zaahirah, Oshane, Joseph, Frantz, Takiyah,and Hadiyyah… much love to you all. I apologize for the misspellings here (and there are probably many, EVEN after Takiyah and Hadiyyah pulled me aside and gave me the necessary tutorial!) I especially appreciated the discussions we had about the role of materialism in preventing black communities from realizing and pursuing the political protest history that is our tradition.
And, of course, thank you to my dear friend and sista, Nela Navarro, for inviting me to meet with these young people and for the wonderful work you do with the Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution, and Human Rights at Rutgers University on the Newark and New Brunswick campuses. I am grateful for your vision and passion in naming and doing that work as an educational praxis!