By Joseph Bostic, Jr. Founder and President of Retention Frontiers, Inc.
Statistically Dropouts make up nearly half the prison population
Recently a movie was released titled Django Unchained and a character named Django played by Jamie Foxx becomes unchained. He not only becomes unchained physically but he was unchained mentally. The interaction between the characters in the movie is still comparable to life today; in which the “Willie Lynch Doctrine Mindset” bestowed upon us in 1712 conditioned our mindset to “hold each other back and hold each other in bondage from achieving dreams”. Conversely, through some assistance and Django’s fortitude he was able to overcome and we all like Django’s assistance (social workers, youth advocates, grassroots leaders, and change agents) are charged with the same Call-to-Action……”Each One Teach One”
With Black History Month swiftly approaching it is important to continue understanding the FALL “The High School Drop Out“ of teens and young adults specifically African Americans. The Chicago reporter, Kari Lydersen, and Carlos Javier Ortiz authored a paper on January 25, 2012 stating that more young people are killed in Chicago than any other American city.
The Chicago reporter, Kari Lydersen, and Carlos Javier Ortiz also stated that 530 youth have been killed since 2008; so we are not only facing diminution of our youth through death, but our youth are dropping out of school populating the prison population. We always hear people say “I want to be part of the solution and not the problem”, but as we are examining the loss of a generation from our bedroom window, office window, or place of comfort…..we must ask ourselves daily “Am I really part of the solution or problem?”
After watching Django Unchained portrayal of slavery and Fast forwarding to present day, we are collectively still falling behind in “THE RACE”. This is heartbreaking and disturbing news that our youth are dying on the streets opposed to graduating on-time and becoming leaders of the present and future generation. The present and future generation includes but not limited to Presidents, U.S. congressman, doctors, lawyers, engineers, and nurses…so we must not only discuss important statistics but we are CHARGED by our predecessors to implement sustainable solutions that prevent teens and young adults from dropping out from high school. K-12 is too late for Child Enrichment…..
Wake up descendants (social workers, youth advocates, grassroots leaders, and change agents) of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Emmett Till, Walter White, …….in Laurence Fishburne voice on School Daze “WAAAAKKKKKKE UPPPPPPPP!!”
More Young People Are Killed in Chicago Than Any Other American City