Raising a black son in America + The danger of silence – 2 TED videos by Clint Smith

Clint Smith: How to raise a black son in America

Published on Apr 23, 2015

As kids, we all get advice from parents and teachers that seems strange, even confusing. This was crystallized one night for a young Clint Smith, who was playing with water guns in a dark parking lot with his white friends. In a heartfelt piece, the poet paints the scene of his father’s furious and fearful response.

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Clint Smith: The danger of silence

Published on Aug 15, 2014

“We spend so much time listening to the things people are saying that we rarely pay attention to the things they don’t,” says slam poet and teacher Clint Smith. A short, powerful piece from the heart, about finding the courage to speak up against ignorance and injustice.

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  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 04/26/2015 at 1:57 pm

    A poet, a black poet, speaks out with his poetry. It’s joy to my ears. We need more of our poets, of all colors, to address the inequalities of our world.

  • Thinker  On 04/26/2015 at 2:25 pm

    The poet should speak more about the breakdown of the black family. He was in a two-parent family with a loving father. A minority withion a minority. It’s an inequality at the very start of life that Blacks can do something about.

  • Hubert Hintzen  On 04/26/2015 at 3:34 pm

    I see and read about this phenomenon, the single parent black family, but from my experience and observations this is really not a fact, since daily I see so many young black men with a child on their shoulder and one by the hand, coming from school or just in a grocery or mall. I know that many Black families the male is not visible, but that does not mean he is non-existent. Welfare has forced him/them into this situation, so because he cannot find employment, his family can apply for welfare. Thinker, you claim that Blacks can do something about this situation, but I argue that since we as a community do not control the power structure, there is not much we can do. Jobs have been shut down locally and exported, or moved to places where it becomes impossible for Black workers to follow, even road repair work is not being offered to us but to Hispanics (cheaper labor costs), roofing, concrete jobs all have changed hands and faces. Those of us who can have fallen into classism and do not associate with their lower level brothers, or offer a hand up. I see many as describing their brothers as ‘lazy’, and helping ‘euros’ to close down schools or even subscribe to the “High School to prison pipeline”. Total Unity, support of business within the confines of our communities would help alleviate current problems.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 04/26/2015 at 3:43 pm

    To follow up on what Thinker is writing – I was just reading this on Facebook: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/26/opinion/sunday/forcing-black-men-out-of-society.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

    Then, I just read the comments and this one comment caught my attention – this genius could easily have done what I did – check:

    “Really? No mentioning of the 72% single motherhood rate among the black community? Even if 17% of black men are “missing,” you still shouldn’t be having 72% of your kids to a single mother. ”

    — The 72% of black single mothers represent 6.5-million; while the 25% of white single mothers represent 9.3-million – Something about the man or woman in the mirror – I say, take your own advice or butt out!


    • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 04/26/2015 at 4:16 pm

      Thanks for sharing those links, Clyde. It’s so easy for non-blacks to blame blacks for the crisis of black American families and black communities across America.

  • albert  On 04/26/2015 at 3:48 pm

    Rosilene sorry I have to sound so rude but I think these guys like some preacers are jokers. You rarely hear them tell the black youths about getting a good education and business in a country whose history is grounded in money making and business. If you are in France and dont speak French you’re going nowhere.

    • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 04/26/2015 at 4:25 pm

      No insult taken, Albert. Only in sharing our experiences can be come to a better understanding of the plight we face in our communities.

      Here in Los Angeles, I’m witnessing first hand with my American-born nephew and his black American friends the struggle of black youth to make a successful life. In a world where looking a white cop in the eyes could end your life, black youth face immense challenges to survive and succeed.

  • albert  On 04/26/2015 at 6:08 pm

    HUBRT: ” I argue that since we as a community do not control the power structure, there is not much we can do”

    In this way of thinking lies the problem. There is much that millions of people in the wealthiest country on the planet can do.
    Let me give one small example. A few weeks back I was in New York. I know at least 8 restaurant or fast food joints and every time I go they were always full. One joint sell fry fish and what we Guyanese call bake (they call it bami or festival) and roased breadfruit. There was always a long line. Forget to mention all 8 were Jamaicans.

    On the 2 miles stretch of the town in the US south where I live, all the restaurants and fast food joints could be found and are usually filled. Dont know where all these folks of different races come from. But not a black “cook shop” in the area. You dont have to be that smart to see the need for black restaurants or other businesses in the south, where many poor black people live.

    The point as Malcolm X said, black people have to develop themselves. They cannot wait for others to do it.Its a lot harder now but there are still many things black people could do to develop themselves using their numbers.

  • sirenagx  On 04/27/2015 at 1:03 pm

    This is no chicken and the egg of who came first. The society stacks the deck against the poor , especially blacks, on the other hand too many blacks use this as an excuse not to try to btter themselves or as they say in Guyana language “make do with what you have” Organization for political and economic purposes are essential. Two successful black communities were destroyed in the early 1900s partly thru envy and false charges. Taken all together, if 10% of the wealth of blacks in intertainment was put in an investment fund and leveraged it would possibly several billion dollars. Ex: Jordan, Ophra and Jaycz are probably billionares, hundreds with many millions more. Just not happening. Self help is not seriously considered as a possible first step.

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