PLANT THE SEEDS OF KNOWLEDGE IN OUR CHILDREN!
By Bro. Diop Hannibal = 12/2012
So we both started walking back towards each other looking directly into each other’s eyes and when we got close enough we said at the same time. "Brother I think I know you”…… but in the middle of the sentence he suddenly shouted "Brother Diop”?
While he was jumping up and down saying my name over and over again it hit me....".Little Malcolm" who was as tall as me now and who was one of the little brothers in the very first group of young men who we started our Rites of Passage program with back in 2000. He and his family moved away abruptly after being in the program only a few months. However, during that time his name alone caused him to be a focus in many a conversation with our young men as we exposed them to the culture, the movement and of course Afrika. He was 5 then and almost 18 now.
Once he calmed down a little.. he went on to tell me about his life at present, what he was involved in and how his mother and brothers were doing. Then in the middle of our conversation he remembered what he had been taught about Malcolm X, Ancient Afrika and even diet and nutrition. He even bragged about being a vegetarian for many years and him schooling his peers on knowledge of self and proper diet and nutrition. This was far from the little Malcolm that we used to have to literally force to get up and memorize the STEP pledge back in the day.
Finally…. I told him I had to move…. so we trading info embraced and started on our way. After a couple of steps I quickly turned before he got away and jokingly asked, “Did you ever actually learn the STEP Pledge”?
He then hesitated, looked at me real serious without a smile for the first time since we started to talk that night and then said in a very strong manly voice,
I am the Black Man, intelligent, strong and proud. From this day forward I pledge my life to the continued development of myself, my family, my community and to the total and unconditional liberation of my people…..AND WE WILL SUCCEED!
I tried not to show my amazement in the fact that he had finally learned our pledge on his own after leaving the program and that he still actually remembered it. I gave him a strong handshake and as I turned away said “Thanks little brother for making my day”. He smiled and said, “The least I could do for a brother who saved my life”. ………….. At that very moment my spirit was reinforced to continue and also elevate the struggle to save our young Black men.
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