Opening Doors

April 20, 2016

By Jonathan Little

 

Everyday our youth are living through the stress and struggles
and the upper class expect us not to buckle to the negativity of our communities.

They say focus on school, focus on finding a job
but yet I can’t sleep because of the negativity that I see every day
and even when I try to stray,
I always end up going down memory lane.

As I’m walking down the street I think,
what am I doing? Am I making the right decision?
I race to take ma place in the next life,
cause we all live n we die right?

Nothing can compare to what I’ve been through,
but I promise I refuse to let ma son struggle like I did,
I use my mistakes to try to show the youth a better way.

Like ma boy Daniel used to say,
it’s a fight and I refuse to say anything less than what it really is.

Take note and listen. Close yo’ eyes and think.
No literally close yo’ eyes and think.
You wake up in the morning, kids crying,
baby down to her last diaper,
younger siblings asking can you buy some to eat,
tear rolls down your eyes
but you don’t want to let no one see you weak at home or on the streets.

Now this real talk to me.
This is my reality.

Put yourself in my place.
I’ll give you a second to think.
Actually I won’t ‘cause we don’t get that chance,
if we do our youth are the ones who feel the consequence.

I want you to understand and visualize things through my eyes,
‘cause when the storms come and we step outside all we hear is “freeze”
and naw I ain’t talking ‘bout no snow storm, I’m talking ‘bout the police.

Hold on officer what did I do?

“Oh don’t worry you’re just another young black man
walking up the street now what do you have on you?”
“Nothing officer I’m on my way to school.”
“That’s cool well let me do this full body search for my safety.”

SAFETY?

“I have rights and you’re being disrespectful to me.”
He replied “put your hands on the car, open your mouth, and spread your legs.”
“All this shit for a routine stop?”

“Just wait let me run your name
and when it comes back clean you can be on your way.”

I WAIT.

Time goes by, I try to stand strong
but ohhhhhhh you don’t know wat I really want to say.

“Officer Officer I’m going to be late.” I think to myself this shit ain’t cool
I was on my way to school, and get pulled ova’ by this dude,
cause in all reality he’s just another person to me,
just with a badge abusing his authority.

Once I’m released I think I’m too late for school
so I’m going to make these 2’s and fews,
cause my momma need help paying her dues.

We need to open doors for our youth
to explore and focus on their future,
it’s like going on a tour.

Our youth have been institutionalized, criminalize, publicized, marginalized.
Should I continue on or do you finally get the picture
‘cause to me this solidifies the true definition of what we fight for?

We fight every night to live with no regrets.
Lol we even fight in our sleep, ‘cause when we wake up,
we hope for brighter days and if you look back to when there were slaves,
today is just a new and smarter way to keep us maintained.

I didn’t even want to give a speech
but who better to tell our stories than me.

A young African American man who lived in poverty,
stricken by people’s ignorance to see we’re all one human race.

Wat do you think?
What’s next for our world?
It’s called opening doors.

Our communities need to see that for every little boy and little girl
there’s a chance for us to open doors
to what God really has in store.

I would love to wake up and think
everything is ok, and no matter how hard I blink
it would no longer be a dream.

This would be my community.

This would be my reality.