Being "Raised" Right!

Tiny - Posted on 08 August 2012

I can look back on my early years in and out of shelters and public housing complexes and admit..... I am alive today, not because my parents reared me for society, but because they Raised Me.

      The packed-dirt glass-covered  empty lots that became our football field and the alleys behind the strip clubs in downtown Washington, D.C.  was one of our many make-shift playgrounds. Yet in the middle of the necessities for peer-acceptance and survival was an ethereal line that my mother's strength magically drew between the things that me and my brothers did, and didn’t do.

      Growing up I would hear some of the grown-ups speak about the kids I ran with. How they would be “a disgrace to his/her family” or “too bad for their own good”, etc..  In most cases something inside me agreed, and I listed, because I was attuned to the expectations of my Elders. Even when it came to the old-folks comments that were made, like “that ones been here before”... I rode the lines between survival, cool, and cultured with a sore ass, and a heart not afraid to love or hurt.

       Today most of the youth in general will tell you they don’t give a crap what someone else think of them (even family members). All across America children are treated like adults in the court systems because of the crimes committed by youth in today’s society.       

       The following statement, taken from an article on obstacles for children of color (web-link below), puts it all into words  ........“It is difficult, if not impossible, for an African child to acquire a good western education with a blend of African cultural and traditional values in Diaspora. Because the system lacks the tools to teach African culture and tradition and virtues such as obedience and respect for the elders”. . . . . .

        I can attest to the dangers a child in poverty faces. I can even recall hunting cat-sized rats in the alley. But I was raised hearing my Moma(Grandmom) singing/humming hymnals. I was raise being able to tell you all the names of the faces on the Black History Month Calendar. I wasn’t reared like a horse for the track.

I was raised. And so..... “Still I Rise”


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