Preparing Black youth for the future should be our goal

caines | 6/6/2013, 5:30 a.m.

Just one generation ago, the focus of the civil rights movement was about leveling the playing field for Blacks. The demand was simple: give Blacks in America the same unequivocal rights and privileges that whites received. And we wanted these rights to be put down on paper as law, since whites had ignored their own countrys Constitution and other iconic documents for so many years. It took hundreds of years and cost the lives of thousands if not millions of Black men, women and children. But the victory was eventually achieved. Now we face a new age and as Dr. Bernice King said during her recent stop here in Miami, we must alter the focus of the civil rights movement so that our youth are at the top of the agenda. We believe that King is on to something. After all, as one comedian said, You cant make Black babies without Black dads. As we look across the country, we see more Black boys going to prison, dropping out of school, turning to senseless acts of violence or being murdered on our streets, often at the hands of other Black youth. We see more Black youth looking at an empty future. King says the older generation has failed to make this world a healthy and safe one for our children. We fear that she may be correct. Somehow, we have allowed this world to change in a drastic way, all to our detriment. We have sat idly by and watched as our once-proud Black communities have become havens for criminal activities. We have failed to provide an adequate set of educational tools and options for our children whose dreams have subsequently been eternally deferred. We have not been good stewards over our greatest possession our children. It may be politically correct to seek the right for gays and lesbians to marry. It may be time that we demand universal healthcare for all citizens. But first we need to take care of the babies. Preach on Marvin Gaye.