We Have to Share Our History
By BEATRICE JOYNER
Forgive me for scolding our elders, but we need to share our history with our youth. As an elder, I know this is not always easy, but we must be the grownups and take the lead. Our children are brilliant and with a little help and guidance from us, they will conquer the world.
But our children have so many distractions today that no wonder they aren't interested in “old stuff.” Let's be honest – we weren't always interested in old stuff either when we were their age. We must remember that they truly don't know our history, so we need to tell them.
We elders have lived through some amazing times. We have lived long enough to see a Black family in the White House and a woman who ran for the office of President. Some of us are old enough to remember grandparents, great grandparents or relatives who told stories or knew someone who had been a slave.
Our youth need us, and we need to stop sucking our teeth at the things they do because they haven't been given a context to show them how far we have come. They have no idea of the doors that have been opened for them because they have no memory of those doors ever being closed. We must share the stories of how those doors became unlocked.
We elders need to be the grown-up, we can't lecture to our youth, but we must have conversations. We must have discussions, not arguments, and we must work together to continue our progress. And give our youth their credit, they have shown us you don't need a college degree to earn a million dollars. They have shown us how to make a career, start an empire, not by working in the system or the establishment but by creating their own systems.
So, despite how you may feel about Hip-Hop, they have shown us they can make a fortune and not slave in a government job for 30 years hoping for a pension.They discovered a way to live their life with joy and make a fortune. So as the kids say, “Don't be hating'!”
Our ancestors couldn't have imagined that one day we would elect a Black man as president. Imagine how proud our ancestors, who toiled and died as slaves, would be to see us working together, taking the endurance of our elders and the enthusiasm of our youth to make a better way! We need each other, so let's begin the journey together to create a world neither of us can imagine for those who follow us. Let's create a world beyond the imagination of either of us. It can be done!
Bea JoynerCEO of Busy As A Bee Productions provides “Parenting Parties” -seminars through the Philadelphia School District and others. She believes the optimum question to ask a parent is “Would you want your child to make decisions about your health care or nursing home?” Contact: [email protected]