“…they are not so much as lost as they are mislaid, discarded by this increasingly racist system that undermines their inherent worth.” -Mumia Abu-Jamal

Much love to the children today standing on the corner of Eastern & Linwood Avenues today, selling ice cold bottles of water for a dollar. They demonstrated to me the true meaning of hope & of persistence. I give it to them, because today ain’t no joke! It’s hot out here. They had to have been under the age of 12, about four of them total. They were all melanated, with smiles that could almost cure any disease. They were enthusiastic, overjoyed & determine to sell those waters. I didn’t get to ask them what they were selling the waters for, but I was excited for them nonetheless, and said, “what the hell” and gave ’em $2 for one bottle. Oh, the exuberant looks on their faces!

It’s these kids that we should be advocating with. It is these kids that we should be defending and encouraging and uplifting. The potential is expansive & explosive. The drive is evident & illuminating. The desire is aggressive & passionate. Those kids out there, they have it. We owe them the world.

I am tired of talking negatively about our children. Mumia Abu-Jamal says, “If they are lost, then find them.” And I have. They are on the football field playing football with a ball that’s half deflated, but could care less, as long as it serves it purpose. They are on the sidewalk riding their bikes, with tires that are half deflated, a chain that’s severely rusted and brakes that fail them with loud screeches & delayed reactions. But in spite of, they ride. They are on the basketball court, with the court being their backyard with a rim without a net (my personal favorite way to play basketball), but nonetheless, they play. They are in the library, reading books that are duck taped together with pages missing, yet still they read.

We’ve found the children.

The question is, what are we going to do with them? How will we invest in them?

I love a child’s hustle. But let’s not exploit them, let’s challenge them. Let’s build them up. And let’s boost their confidence. For they are all “future revolutionaries, with the historic power to transform our full realities.”

-@ShaiVaughnC