On any given day, no matter where you live, you will probably turn on your television or radio, or read in your newspaper about the homicide rate in Chicago. But recently, for once in a long time, a story of determination, pride, dignity, high self esteem and life emerges from the ruins of Chicago. Being a native of Chicago, I take this personal as I recall some life changing moments that happened when I was a teenager on the same streets where hundreds are dying each year.

I’m talking about this article I ran across a few days ago; “Little League World Series: Chicago team wins U.S. final, to face South Korea for title.

In the midst of all the negative press we’re seeing concerning young black males in our country. In the midst of perceived hopelessness among our young black men and women rises a chance for all to see a glimmer of positive images coming out of the ruins of despair. Every time you watch television or a movie, you see young black men and women being portrayed as objects of violence, sex, drugs, gangs and illiteracy. But in case you didn’t know, what you see in the media is only showing a small percentage of the young black youth population.

This thought is frightening. Just as media broadcasts the strife in other countries, so do other countries see these negative images of our black youth. It is so rare to see a positive story, showing images of black youth engaged in constructive activities. Yes. I know the homicide rate between black youth is high. And yes these stories need to be broadcast. But for every tragic story, there are many stories that show our black youth in a different light. Have you ever though that people in other countries have a stereotyped, profiled assumption of our black youth? Have you ever thought that when this country allows immigrants to come open a business in the black community they already see us as thieves and murderers?

Thank you Jackie Robinson West Little League for being one of thousands examples of our black youth engaged in something that will build up and not tear down, give hope and not strip it and give others a glimpse of what our children are really about.


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