By: Todd Travon Rogers
HOUSTON – Millennials want to know that you care. Yes, it does take a village to raise a child, but that is only half of the battle. We also deserve to be equipped with the necessary tools to face all of the challenges that we are faced with today.
We DO want the information needed to be outstanding members of our communities. We DO want to be inspired to become something greater than what we see in White textbooks. We DO want to be exposed to the history and culture of our ancestors and learn about both civil rights and politics in this country, but can YOU also acknowledge and embrace OUR passions as young people, too?
We are your successors and there has to be a responsibility to the next generation to make sure we succeed.
Activist H. Claude Hudson said, “The burden of carrying on this struggle today belongs to our young people, who must not feel that all the battles have been won. Though the problems they face may differ in number and kind from those my generation faced, American Negroes must continue to be vigilant, courageous, and persistent in the fight for full freedom and equality. My generation has opened doors with dignity, courage, and determination. It is the task of our young people to keep them open and forge ahead.”
We must learn to listen and record their history to the best of our ability, to preserve their photographs and heirlooms, and then tell their story to others. By doing this, the knowledge of the history of successful Blacks will instill the pride and commitment in the young adults privileged enough to have access to such information.
You’ll find that the young person who constantly makes mistakes will learn to pay much more attention to the successful man who has come out of struggle and passed along what he’s learned. The young woman who wants to make a change in her community will find solutions to current problems based on the changemakers of the past. Your grandchild will be encouraged to make the best out of their life when they are reassured by the graces of their grandparents who made a living with little to no modern conveniences.
With that being said, Millennials and young adults in Generation XYZ, we also have an obligation to uphold the values of our predecessors and take every opportunity to learn. Their fear is that we won’t have the tools needed to keep their legacies alive. So, we have a lot to prove.