Tuesday, September 26, 2006

"We Got You"

(l-r: Myra Allen, Regina Jean-Paul, Dion Robinson, Shaday Festus)

Can a celebrity's message inspire teens? That's the question I put to a group of students from Benjamin Franklin High School in Philadelphia. Last week, their school made headlines when rap impresario Diddy came to talk to them about personal responsibility.

In this week's column the kids answer the question, and also talk about what it's like to live in a city where the murder rate is 287 and counting.

They circle the wagons. "We help each other," Myra says. "If you're hungry, I got you. If you're scared to go someplace by yourself, call me up. That's just how we are."

I have another question for the students -- and I know they'll chime in because they're intelligent, articulate and extremely opinionated. If peace starts with you, what can you do to stop the violence?

Non-students, feel free. We need all the answers we can get.


Anonymous Claire Smith said...

We now track three death tolls daily. One in Iraq, one in Afghanistan and one in Philadelphia.
Our children deserve better than to live in a war zone. That they are confined in one by politicians who'd rather deal deal with the gun lobby rather than deal with the scourge of guns speaks to the cynicism of the ruling class.
It is up to the city's children to show the world they do not view themselves as disposable, but rather invaluable commodities.
Vote with your voices. Vote at the ballot boxes. Oppose any politician, TV commentator or hate shock jock who puts a greater value on gun makers than one your lives.

5:56 PM  
Blogger clee said...

I agree that children deserve better than to live in a war zone. Our young people have to grow up too fast in this day and time. I agree, our young people have to vote to be heard.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Shaday Festus said...

Life is about changes and thats what we need in our city today! We need to be connected as one body, one soul, one mind, and one team working together to end one problem! We need to stop all this hatred between our brothers and sisters. Don't be part of the problem but become part of the solution. Stop THe Violence & Let Ya Haterz Be Ya Motivators!

11:30 AM  
Blogger Fizzle said...

Who took that picture? It's great.//If peace starts with you...great question.

I have some answers, buried in my head somewhere deep. Seems like a conversation for dinner and wine and hanging out. When the heck are you coming to my neck of the woods? (Guess I could always make it to Philly, too!)

1:42 PM  
Blogger kwabena said...

Diddy to lecture our youth on personal responsibility! This fool can't do a song without promoting drinking, sex, sex, sex, and materialism. It's almost as ignorant as russel simmons doing economic summits in the hood. Sell your people out to make money. These fools should be isolated.

5:32 AM  

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