The contributions of black youth

Published 9:37 am Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The contributions of black youth to our history have been great, but they are greatly overlooked.

Their contributions have been overshadowed by victimization, bias and prejudices through preconceived opinions that are based on how society sees black youth roles in our democratic free world.

Frequently in the media, there is a revolving door of racial profiling, incarceration, gang revolution and extortion that plagues the opinions of those who refuse to look beyond curtains of the voiceless black youths.

They are routinely misrepresented in the mainstream of society, higher unemployment rates, character assassination and unequal educational opportunities.

Black youths rarely receive media attention until they commit a crime or are killed.

They have become the framework of the voiceless; they are most likely to receive less media coverage when they are missing.

They are about 50 percent at risk in our educational system; about 28 percent live in poverty.

They have become the negative connotation associated with the word black in a society.

Black youth goals are the same as other youths, in that they want themselves and their families to be self-sufficient — not a pipeline of discipline in early education to prison.

There are many great contributions — the Freedom Riders who fought against the Jim Crow Laws, Barbara Johns of Prince Edward County in the Civil Rights Movement that was part of Brown vs. Board of Education and many others that have been overlooked.

Today, there are black youth inventors, such as in the aid of medical procedures, electronic devices, formulas for insecticides and theft devices that block and track vehicles.

There are issues, concerns and policies that are mandated for black youth, but, with fewer concerns for their perspective, ideas and desires in that no one listens to them.

These elements can assist in the reforms on employment opportunities, prison enslavement, racism and education if the youth voices are heard in helping to solve problems that directly impact them.

The dedication of teachers, mentors and family is a framework for assisting in the problem-solving process, but it takes more. Give voice to the voiceless.

Italia Gregory, of Drakes Branch, is an encouragement as a voice for black youth. Not only is she musically inclined, but she recently had a star role on a major network, adding accountability to youth voices.

Let us not silence the voice of the voiceless.

How far have we come?

William H. McCargo is an author and president of the Charlotte County NAACP. His email address is