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 A black square has been indicated as the symbol of solidarity for justice on behalf of Trayvon Martin.  Hopefully this does not translate into a fad.  What am I saying?  Simply this.  I would hope that there would be some responsibility on behalf of the so-called Black/African American community to take measures into their own hands if things go left – measures that involve more than marches and protest, but real deal in the trenches work and solution achievement.

CHALLENGE: Before you blackout, be willing to “BLACK-IN” by:

1. EDUCATION: Active participation in your child(ren)’s education; be it at school, home or community.

 a) Reading: Children model you – read in their presence and aloud; then make them do it.

b) Writing: Remember the book report? Go Web 2.0 and have them do book reviews in the form of a blog.  No computer?  No worries, paper and pad will do just fine – then have them read it aloud; which is a great segue into…

c) Speaking: The old saying you can tell who a person is and where they are from by how they speak is a direct reflection of the frequency one reads and write.  Have your kids do impromptu talks so they become accustomed to presenting themselves.

2. TELEVISION: Shutting it off, especially where no edification is being marketed to people who look like you; especially by people who LOOK LIKE YOU!

3. ECONOMICS: Saving and Investing in growth and wealth versus Spending and Living above our means: future versus here and now economics will establish a power base by which to be contenders versus consumers.

4. ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Even if you take baby steps, creating business and opportunities FOR the community where unemployment becomes non-existent, and economics is self-reliant.

5. BECOMING LAWYERS, DOCTORS, SCIENTIST, AND ECONOMISTS: These areas affect our community – we should be permeating them in an effort to be available to the Trayvon Martin’s of the world in the spirit of Johnnie Cochran (RIP), Ben Carson, MD, E.E. Just (RIP) and Margaret Simms, Ph.D. to name a few.

6. MARRIAGE, FAMILY, AND PARENTING: There is strength in numbers; marriage has to be a recurring theme in our community – family has to be invested in.  Parenting is a full time job – engage in it!  Your child(ren) are not your friends!  So what they will get mad at you; they don’t like it, send them packing!  Take it back to the old school!!

7. BUILDING NEIGHBORHOODS…LITERALLY: Land ownership where housing is built from the ground up must be available to house our families.  We need fresh air and safe places for our children to grow and learn!

8. MANHOOD TRAINING/WOMANHOOD GROOMING: It is our responsibility to check and raise our children into men and women.  We must begin early and be consistent – and most importantly MODEL THE BEHAVIOR WE DESIRE.

9. SPIRITUALITY: Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, whatever – spirituality is a core to 1-8 working in synergy!

10. SELF LOVE, HEALTH AND WELLNESS: “WE” have to take better care of ourselves. Period.  Eat foods that nourish our minds and bodies.  Slow down and chill.  Go to the doctor/clinic regularly.  The dentist is a vital part of healthcare.  Relationships are only as healthy as you are; choose wisely, leave promptly if toxic: the first time!  Workout – sweat out that perm ladies; rather wash my hair and style, than have my hair looking great in the casket.

Am I saying this is an encompassing solution – NO!  But until you have started at least one, be reticent to “Black Out” on behalf of Trayvon Martin…Emmitt Till has been gone over 50 years – and we are still here.