Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Publisher's Peace: How Do We Get Down in the Hood to Move the Cheese?

C/ Dwayne West Founder/Managing Editor

The other day demonstrates the power of mentoring and kicking knowledge or connecting with the young Black youth. I took a stroll to a local grocery store, which is a few blocks from the crib. And as I was walking home, a couple of young teens were holding down an alley way, and as I approached one dude said, "Those bananas look good, can I get one?" I slowed and opened the plastic, and he stated, 'I'm just playing.' I asked him if he wanted one and he said cool, if you're gonna let me have one. I replied, nothing but a banana.

Then he expressed, 'you that guy with that (certain kind of truck), I said, that's me. Then he said nice ride, I said thanks. He said me and boys will make sure nothing happens to it, I said much obliged. He said you cool, I replied, yep and I hit my block and was home.

The lesson with interacting with the youth for me was satisfying as usual. And I trust that if he or his homies saw anything out of order on my block, I bet my life they would step up and protect my property.
My generation is vital to the outcome of the generation following us, and I just hope all these ballers, pimps, and fake players, along with the real professional men understand that we hold their future right in our hands.
As I was chilling at my people's wedding over the weekend, and gazing at the many young brothers who was there celebrating their man's (groom) special day; puffing cigars, laughing and man chatting. My brain, as it always does tuned into how my generation can move the cheese if we bring these men and others together for one common cause to collectively commit to serve several relevant and important causes like mentoring or volunteering.

I can't help it people, that's where I'm at in my life. Everything has to make sense and making sense is so important when discussing my generation. My deepest dream has always been to be a scholar, a deep thinker. I love smart, higher educated people, who've researched and analyzed serious topics and issues with end results that are being used by colleges and universities, think tank groups and within the White House to assist in solving world problems.

And one woman who I love for those reasons mentioned, is Dr. Carol Adams, CEO of DuSable Museum African American History. I was having a think tank moment with her last week, and she was given props to me and Maze Jackson on our efforts to build and organize a progressive movement with NGLC (Next Generation Leadership Council). She engaged me for an hour, and I mean she was into this discussion, which was off the cuff. I just happen to walk in Norman's Bistro, and she was chilling with some other prominent ladies having cocktails and conversations.

When we started dialoging, she literally greeted and then pushed away anyone, respectfully, who approached her so we could continue this deep intellectual discussion. But in reality, she was schooling me and explaining how to capture the imagination of my generation to get them hooked on our mission to build the next generation of leaders. I was engulfed. She said now bring your board and other founding members to me so I can share this with them. Because this is very, very important that emerging leaders understand how this thing works. She even suggested a few young and powerful people whose mission is to build and not tear down. That's who you want on your team, she expressed with seriousness.

I was so excited and fired up, that I text Maze and several others to make sure we arrange a meeting within the next week with Dr. Adams. And of course, with her being so respected and beloved, everybody confirmed.

This is what I was thinking as I sat back enjoying the festivities at the wedding. As I listened and checked out these smart, handsome and professionally, progressive brothers, and thinking to myself - how do we collectively move their cheese? Peace and one love.

PS: And for anyone who says there are no brothers available, you should have been at this wedding.

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